Rack and Pinion Replacement Cost - Ask Car Mechanic (2023)

If you love the ease and speed that comes with the power steering, then you understand why the moving parts behind it are so important. However, like any other parts of a car, the rack and pinion mechanisms are susceptible to issues that may require replacement. So how much is it to replace the rack and pinion mechanism?

The average cost of replacing the rack and pinion mechanisms is $2,000. This encompasses parts costs that can be as low as $250 and more than $2,500 and the labor costs. Factors such as the make and model of your car and your mechanic’s labor rate will affect the price.

This article will explore the various costs associated with rack and pinion replacement, including parts and service costs. Additionally, I will also discuss some factors that either reduce or increase this cost. Read on for more.

Average Cost of Rack and Pinion Replacement

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Naturally, the price of rack and replacement will depend on numerous factors, including your state and selected service costs. I will discuss these factors later in this article. However, despite the expected variance in the price of rack and replacement, it is possible to gauge the average cost that you can expect to pay.

The average cost of replacing the rack and pinion steering is $2,000. This price includes the cost of parts and the cost of labor. According to Costhack, you can expect to pay anywhere between $1,200 to $1,500 for parts.

For labor, the cost is somewhere from $300 to $1,000. Using these figures, we can arrive at an estimated average cost. Accordingly, the table below shows the expected price range for parts and labor, considering the highest price point and the lowest price point.

PartsLaborAverage Cost
Lower Limit (estimate)$ 1,200$ 300
Higher Limit (estimate)$ 1,500$ 1,000
Average Cost$1,350$650$2,000

Table 1: Rack and pinion average replacement cost summary

Read: What Are Rack and Pinion Failure Symptoms?

Replacing a Rack and Pinion Is Often Cheaper Than a Repair

One of the common dilemmas car owners have when the rack and pinion mechanism on their car is compromised is whether to replace or repair the mechanism. So which one should you choose?

According to the steering mechanism experts at Auto Service Costs, it is generally much cheaper to replace the mechanism than to repair it. This is because repairing these mechanisms is time-consuming, so you may end up racking up hundreds or thousands of dollars in labor costs.

Additionally, the repair process is highly complex because the power steering is a highly complex system. Therefore, the chances are that even after repair, the mechanism will not work as effectively or as reliably, which has significant safety implications.

Therefore, when these parts are damaged, it is prudent to replace this mechanism instead of repairing it.

Factors That Affect Cost of Rack and Pinion Replacement

Numerous factors will affect the cost of the rack and onion mechanisms. In this section, we will explore three of these factors, namely:

  • Mechanic-Specific Factors
  • Car Make and Model/Size
  • Cost of Parts
  • Vehicle’s Age
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Mechanic-Specific Factors

Unlike other aspects of repair, replacing the rack and pinion is not something you should try and do yourself unless you have the required expertise and knowledge. This means that even after purchasing the parts, you still have to pay for labor.

Labor costs are incredibly variable. It is difficult to accurately determine labor costs because different mechanics will quote differently based on numerous factors, including their location, labor rate, and even their level of interest in the job.

Remember, rack and pinion replacement requires a great deal of expertise and understanding of the car steering system.

However, you can even the odds in your favor by carrying out your own independent research or taking quotes from different mechanisms and auto dealers in your area or region. This will allow you to take advantage of lower pricing and possible discounts. Remember, even when the cost of parts is fixed, the labor costs can be variable, and don’t be shy about looking for a better deal.

The good news is that you can find contact information easily for most mechanics if you want to save some time finding out about the different quotes.

However, in pursuit of the best deal, keep in mind the garage’s reputation because low-quality replacement work may end up costing you more and, at the same time, could put your safety in jeopardy.

Read: Door Lock Actuator Replacement Cost

Car Make and Model

Costhack makes it apparent that the make and model of your car will affect the cost of your rack and pinion mechanism. These mechanisms will generally cost higher for luxury cars than lower-end consumer vehicles.

In some luxury cars, the average cost of replacement is significantly higher than that of a standard vehicle. Labor costs tend to be higher as well due to the higher complexity of the vehicle.

Cost of the Steering Rack

Contrary to common belief, the price of a steering rack is not fixed. Different vendors will offer different prices for the same product. Therefore, just like the labor cost, it is prudent to carry out a good degree of research to determine which vendor provides the lowest price point for the rack and pinion mechanism without compromising quality.

Vehicle’s Age

Your vehicle’s age or year of manufacturing will also impact the rack and pinion replacement cost. This is because it is more difficult to find parts for older vehicles than for newer vehicles, and this difficulty in sourcing parts will be reflected in your total replacement costs.

The age of the vehicle will also impact the labor costs associated with the repair.

Read: Knocking Noise When Driving – What’s The Cause?

How to Minimize Costs of Rack and Pinion Replacement?

As previously discussed, one of the ways in which you can minimize the costs of repairing your rack and pinion mechanism is by comparing the prices offered by different vendors or mechanics for parts and labor.

However, you can also pursue some other approaches to keep this cost even lower, as discussed below.

Replace the Rack and Pinion Yourself

If you have experience repairing or replacing the rack and pinion mechanism, you can save quite a bit in terms of labor. However, this is only a viable option if you are adept at fixing these parts and have previously done it successfully.

Remember, DIY experiments of this nature can go awry and result in further damage. So if you are unsure of your ability to carry out the replacement successfully, doing so is ill advised. Luckily, there are other potential ways to save money.

Purchase Remanufactured or Refurbished Parts

The cost of parts undoubtedly takes up a significant portion of the replacement costs. The good news is that you do not have to buy brand new parts. You can opt for refurbished or remanufactured parts, readily available from most auto shops and comparatively cheaper.

Consider Aftermarket Parts

The make and model of your car will affect the replacement cost of the rack and pinion mechanism, as has already been discussed. This is especially so for high-end luxury vehicles. However, you can go around this problem by opting for aftermarket parts instead of model or brand-specific parts.

Aftermarket parts are made to fit a wide range of vehicles, but the trade-off is because the vehicle’s specific manufacturer does not make them, they may result in some minor design changes. That said, aftermarket parts are cheaper than model-specific parts and could save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in replacement costs.

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Conclusion

You can spend anywhere from $1,000 to over $3,000 for the total cost of replacing the rack and pinion mechanism on your car. This cost will vary depending on your vehicle’s age, labor costs, your choice of mechanic, and the cost of parts.

However, it is critical to have this mechanism replaced if you sense that something is wrong with the power steering because this has significant safety implications. As a good rule of thumb, take your car to an auto shop and don’t try to replace these mechanisms yourself if you do not have the required expertise.

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