Replacement Rack and Pinion Parts

If driving the car has been feeling different than it usually does, this could be the location of the problem. Just use the search box above to get started.

Rack and pinion steering works by converting rotational force into linear force. The steering wheel is attached to a shaft which goes down into the car to a gear (the pinion) which itself is used to move the rack. Think of a rack as a gear that’s been unwound and laid flat, or maybe a saw with very blunt teeth. When the steering wheel is turned, the pinion is also turned. Since the pinion’s teeth are lined up with the rack, that rotation causes the rack to shift from side to side. That shifting movement is then transferred to the wheels. The transfer is done by attaching the rack to the wheels. A tie-rod is at either of the rack, and this tie-rod is attached to a part of the wheel called the spindle.

There are a number of different rack and pinion designs that a vehicle can have. The size of the teeth and gear involved will determine how far the steering wheel must be turned in order to get the wheels to rotate in a certain direction. Faster, more sporty cars usually have a lower gear ratio, which basically means the steering wheel does not have to be turned as far to get the wheels to rotate to a certain direction. In brief, a lower ratio means the steering is more responsive. There are also variable ratio systems, where the teeth of the rack are different at the ends than they are towards the center. The steering response changes as the steering wheel turns farther.

Power rack and pinion steering works in a similar fashion, but instead of just using a gear fluid is injected to drive a piston in one direction or the other. This piston is what causes movement in the rack. Movement from the rack is still transferred to the wheels in the same way as in a standard system.

Not sure what type of steering system your car has? We can help you with that. Just select the year and maker of your car to get started, and we’ll help track down the part that you need.