What it does
The "steering rack" is a device that converts the rotary motion of the steering wheel into linear motion by running a gear wheel ("pinion") over a flat-toothed bar ("rack"). The result is what is known as "rack-and-pinion" steering.
Like any mechanical component, the steering rack can wear out, which results in symptoms that signal the need for replacement.
The most common of these symptoms is steering that wanders at both high and low speeds. This requires the driver to make many more steering corrections than are normally needed. Another symptom is a "numb spot" in the center spot of the steering, which creates minimal steering feedback between the 11 o'clock and 1 o'clock positions on the steering wheel.
TIP: Other symptoms that may indicate the need to replace the steering rack include steering-wheel shake at higher speeds, clunking noises, and a steering-fluid leak.
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