Rack and pinion steering is a common steering mechanism in cars. Your car’s steering wheel is connected to a steering shaft that leads to a pinion, a device that rotates with the steering wheel. The pinion has teeth that fit into grooves on a “rack,” which is literally a bar with grooves in it that helps to move the wheels in the direction you specify with your steering wheel. Although rack and pinion steering is pretty reliable, it’s important to know the signs of a failing system before it’s too late.
- Check for strange noises when you turn your steering wheel. This is one of the first and most obvious signs that you’ll need to visit a mechanic. You should not hear any noise at all when turning the steering wheel. If you are hearing noises, this is a sign that your rack and pinion mechanism could be loosening.