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Symptoms of a failing Rack and Pinion Boot
Rough and rocky ride
So, the rack and pinion boots are responsible for keeping all the nasty stuff out of your rack and pinion. Which means if they stop showing up to work, your steering rack no longer has its security system in place, and anything can waltz in there.
Over time, dirt, moisture, and debris will begin to collect in your steering rack, which will impact your car’s ability to steer. So, here’s a piece of good advice: If you ever find that the steering in your car doesn’t feel right, you should get your car looked at. Not sure if you realized this, but the ability to steer is kind of a crucial part of your car.
On the rare chance that your rack and pinion boots die, hopefully they’ll be detected before your steering is impacted, or else you may need to replace the entire rack and pinion.
As your rack and pinion boots fail, there will be visual evidence. The boots may be cracked, split, or straight up broken, and they may also have some oil on them.
Now, look, I’m not expecting you to be under the hood of your car, checking on your rack and pinion boots every morning. You probably won’t ever notice your rack and pinion boots, healthy or not.
But a technician might, and if they do, they’ll let you know that the rack and pinion boots need to be replaced.
How urgent is a Rack and Pinion Boot replacement?
Unless your car feels unsafe to drive, a busted rack and pinion boot isn’t going to keep your car from being safe. However, the issue won’t magically resolve, and the longer it is avoided, the more damage it will do to the steering rack. So, do the smart thing and get your rack and pinion boots replaced if needed.