Toyota Prius, 2002, Rack & Pinnon Steering

After hearing what sounded like a bad tire and having some shimmy in the steering wheel occasionally when making sharp turns, I took my Prius into the dealership and was told that the rack & pinnon steering needed to be replaced to the tune of $2000 or more. What happens if I don’t replace it and is it worth it on a 2002 car with 90000 miles? Love my car, but don’t have the money right now!

Yes it is worth it if it is needed. However I suggest you get a second opinion and estimate. You don’t need to go to the dealer for service! Dealers are no better (or worse) than independent mechanics for almost anything you might need done on your car. They will almost always charge more per hour and often more for parts and supplies. They also tend to look at repairs a little different than the independent.

A dealer may well recommend work that strictly may not be needed, but could be connected to the problem or maybe replace a part when a little repair would fix it ALMOST as good a new.  

There is no need to bring your car to the dealer for any service other than service that is going to be paid for by a recall or original warrantee.  During the warranty period be sure to document all maintenance work.

I suggest that most people would be better off finding a good independent (Not working for a chain) mechanic. 

If you do need it replaced do so now, otherwise you could find yourself stranded some dark and stormy night.

I agree with Mr. Meehan about getting another opinion.
There are 2 areas in the steering rack that can cause this. One is the outside tie rod ends and the other are the inner tie rods. These are replaceable without replacing the entire rack.
What may be happening here is that the dealer has to use factory OEM parts and those items may not be available to the dealer separately so the dealer has to order the entire rack. They may not have a choice in the matter.

Here is what the outers look like.

Here is what the inners look like.

Hope that helps.

I would put the $2000 down on a new car. what about the batterys do for replacement $ how much $6000 .

What exactly will happen on this dark and stormy night?