The steering rack is subjected to significant loads during the operation of the car, especially in the conditions of broken Russian roads. The condition of the steering rack will not only depend on the ease of driving the car, but also on the safety in the car, so it is necessary to determine such malfunctions in time and perform competent repair of the car. And if it’s too late to repair the car, recycle it:

What to do if the steering rack began to knock?

Causes of steering rack damage

The knocking of the steering rack appears due to an increase in the gaps that exist in the mating parts. These gaps are caused by wear on the mating surfaces or by individual component failures, such as splines, cogs, bearings, bushings, and clutches. There are three interfaces in the steering mechanism, including left-right movement of the steering rack, rotation on the pinion shaft bearings, and rotation at the rack and pinion gear junction.

If a characteristic knocking sound appears when you turn the steering rack, it indicates that one of the mating and contacting parts is damaged. In such a case, the car owner should contact the service as soon as possible, to carry out diagnosis and repair. The fact is that by timely turning to the service, you can repair the steering rack or eliminate other possible failures, without replacing this expensive unit.

Knocking steering rack: repair or replacement?

Wear of pinion bearings

This is a fairly rare breakdown, which can lead to wear of the rack, after which an overhaul of the control system of the car is required. The car owner should remember that there are two bearings in the control system, a needle bearing and a roller bearing, which should be replaced during the routine inspection and restoration of the car.

Gap appearances in the pinion and rack

As the vehicle is used, the teeth wear out, after which there is an increase in clearance in the rack and pinion. Initially, such malfunctions can be eliminated by adjusting the clearance in the pinion and rack meshing. However, at a later stage, a complete overhaul of the vehicle is required. Faulty parts, including pinions and rack, in the presence of knocking and impossibility to adjust them are changed for new spare parts.

Knocking steering rack: repair or replacement?

Bushing wear

A typical steering system malfunction and a very common cause of knocking is the wear or breakage of the bushing which centers the steering rack in the sump. The cause of such malfunctions is increased loads, as well as the operation of the car on Russian broken roads. You can perform such diagnostics yourself by rocking the right or left end of the rack. If you can clearly feel the runout, then in this case it is necessary to replace the bushing. It is important to perform such work in a timely manner, which will eliminate the malfunction by replacing the bushing, but without changing the rack itself.

To summarize

Knowing the device and features of the car control system, you can eliminate critical malfunctions, including avoiding the need to replace the steering rack. Typical knocks of the steering rack may appear due to wear or breakage of the bushing, gap formation in the gear pair, as well as destruction of bearings of the driving pinion. If your car has characteristic knocks or the steering wheel turns with a considerable effort, it is necessary to contact the service as soon as possible and perform diagnostics and repair of the car.

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