Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Sticky steering

The steering on my 2005 Sienna (55,200 miles) is hard through much of the turns, as if it is going back and forth between old-style manual and automatic. Mechanic says rack and pinion needs replacing, all-in estimate $1000. Question: a) is the diagnosis probably correct?; b) can I just muscle the steering and not repair it: would this be safe? will leaving it alone incur other costs/damage down the road?; c) is the estimate reasonable?



Muscling it along will leave you regretting your decision the first time you need to make a sudden evasive maneuver. I recommend against it.

Shop around, ask for a rebuilt unit.

Also, get a second opinion. The only part of the rack I could envision causing this would be the spool valve, and frankly that’s an awfully young vehicle to be needing a new rack.

I wonder how mechanic knows that the pump is working right. He doesn’t know, does he? The pressure seems to be related to selling the job.