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Steering Rack/Gearbox Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your steering rack/gearbox replacement? Use Jerry’s GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your steering rack/gearbox replacement.
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John Davis
Expert Automotive Writer
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does it cost to replace a steering gearbox?

The exact total cost for a steering gearbox replacement will vary significantly based on the car and location. The average cost falls around $667, which breaks down into $378 for replacement parts and $253 for the mechanic’s labor cost. You should also note that your car will need an alignment after the gearbox replacement, which will increase the job’s total time. 
Here’s a breakdown of steering gearbox replacement costs for different vehicles:
Estimate DateCustomerCarFair Cost EstimateParts CostLabor CostLabor Time
May 26, 2024
Maserati Ghibli
$1,143
$709
$434
3.5 Hours
May 24, 2024
Eagle Talon
$906
$500
$406
3.5 Hours
May 22, 2024
Mini Cooper
$699
$253
$446
3.5 Hours
May 20, 2024
Toyota Prius
$928
$469
$459
3.5 Hours
May 19, 2024
Kia Seltos
--
$709
--
3.5 Hours
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need for my steering gearbox replacement, and how much do those parts cost?

You should check your vehicle repair guide or
owner’s manual
for model-specific information. But here’s a basic overview of what you may need:
  • Steering gearbox: The main component you’ll need to replace is the gearbox itself. A new one can cost between $300 and $700.
  • Power steering fluid: You’ll need to refill the power steering system with hydraulic fluid after replacing the gearbox. Bottles of power steering fluid can cost between $10 and $30.
  • Tie rod ends: You may need to replace the tie rods when you replace the gearbox, especially if your car uses a rack and pinion steering system. Tie rods can cost between $20 and $100 each.
  • Pitman arm: If your vehicle uses a conventional power steering system, you may need to replace the Pitman arm when you replace the gearbox. A new Pitman arm can cost between $50 and $150.
You can purchase steering rack/gearbox parts for your common car from auto parts stores like AutoZone, NAPA Auto Parts, and Advance Auto Parts, as well as online retailers such as Amazon and RockAuto. Three of our top recommended brands for steering gearbox parts are A1 Cardone, AC Delco, and Maval. For power steering fluid, Prestone, Valvoline, and Lucas Oil are our recommended choices. When it comes to tie rod ends and pitman arms, we recommend Moog, TRW Automotive, and ACDelco. Keep in mind that the best parts and brands for your steering rack/gearbox will vary depending on your vehicle’s year, make, and model.
For most auto repair jobs, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts are the best option, especially for newer vehicles.
OEM parts are designed by your vehicle’s manufacturer specifically to fit your car’s make and model. They come with a strong warranty and tend to be built using high-quality materials. The drawback to OEM parts is they can be expensive. 
Aftermarket parts are produced by third-party companies and fit a broader range of cars. They are typically cheaper than OEM parts but are usually available in budget, premium, and performance options. Aftermarket parts are a solid choice for older vehicles, drivers looking to save money on repair costs, and enthusiasts who want to upgrade their cars.
You can purchase OEM parts from your local dealership or through an authorized parts retailer. OEM parts are available from various auto parts stores—like AutoZone, NAPA Auto Parts, and Advance Auto Parts—and online retailers like Amazon and RockAuto.

Where can I get my steering gearbox replaced?

Finding a quality and trustworthy repair shop can be challenging. Fortunately, you can use Jerry's
GarageGuard™
to compare hourly rates and repair estimates from more than 2,500 U.S. shops. 
Jerry's GarageGuard™  uses accurate hourly rates from local shops to generate fair price estimates. You can use Jerry's GarageGuard™ to plan for maintenance work, discover diagnostic charges, and find the shops near you with the best customer reviews.
Check out some of our top-rated vetted shops below and download the app to search for repair services in your area.
115 Reviews
On The Go Tires
address
(Mobile repair service), Fort Myers, FL
Steering Rack Gearbox Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$732
(Parts - $500, Labor - $232)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$75
186 Reviews
AAMCO Transmissions & Total Car Care - Ralph Ave
address
1266 Ralph Ave, Jersey City, NJ
Steering Rack Gearbox Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$877
(Parts - $500, Labor - $377)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$69.95
127 Reviews
Kwik Kar Dallas - Greenville Ave
address
6426 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX
Steering Rack Gearbox Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$848
(Parts - $500, Labor - $348)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$137
170 Reviews
Florin Auto Center
address
2770 Florin Rd, Sacramento, CA
Steering Rack Gearbox Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$819
(Parts - $500, Labor - $319)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$199.99
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic replace my steering gearbox?

The replacement process will vary substantially depending on the car and the type of steering system. But these are the general steps a mechanic will follow to replace your steering gearbox:
  • Raise the car off the ground and support it with jack stands or a hydraulic lift
  • Remove any skid plates
  • Remove necessary components—depending on the vehicle and the type of steering gear, you may have to remove part of the subframe, exhaust components, the front wheels, inner and outer tie rods, the sway bar(s), ball joints, steering input shaft or linkage, and the Pitman arm (note that not all of these parts will be present on every vehicle)
  • Place a drain pan beneath the gearbox
  • Disconnect the power steering pressure and return lines from the power steering rack and pinion or gearbox
  • Remove any brackets/mounting hardware
  • Remove the old gearbox/rack and pinion
  • Remove any bushings from the mounts 
  • Clean the mounting surfaces/brackets
  • Install new bushings
  • Position the new gearbox/rack and pinion
  • Replace the brackets and mounting hardware
  • Reconnect the hydraulic power steering lines
  • Connect the gearbox to the input shaft
  • Torque all mounting bolts to the appropriate specification
  • Replace all components that you removed to access the gearbox
  • Lower the car
  • Torque the lug nuts to the appropriate specification 
  • Fill the power steering system with clean fluid and bleed the air from the system
  • Perform an alignment
  • Take the car on a 10-mile test drive
Remember, the above steps are heavily generalized and only serve to provide you with a rough idea of the steps your mechanic will follow. The actual replacement process will vary significantly from one car to the next. 

What happens if I don’t replace my steering gearbox?

If you ignore a faulty steering gearbox and choose not to replace it, you’ll likely develop the following problems:
  • Steering problems: A bad gearbox will make it more difficult to turn your steering wheel. You’ll likely notice that the steering feels loose, stiff, or unresponsive. If you let the issue progress far enough, you may lose power-assisted steering completely, putting you at risk of losing control of the vehicle. 
  • Wear on other components: A faulty gearbox can put increased stress on other components, like the tie rods, ball joints, and control arms. This can lead to premature wear and more expensive repairs.
  • Safety issues: If you neglect a bad gearbox for long enough, you’ll eventually lose power steering functionality. This can compromise the car’s overall safety, increasing the risk of accidents and costly repairs. 

What is a steering gearbox?

A steering gearbox is an integral part of your car’s power steering system. Its purpose is to translate the rotational movement of your steering wheel into the lateral movement of your front tires. The gearbox contains complex gear systems that amplify the driver’s input and transfer it to the tie rods, which move the wheels back and forth from side to side. 
There are two types of steering gearboxes found in modern vehicles. 
The most common type of gearbox found on most modern vehicles is a power steering rack and pinion. This system uses a pinion gear that rotates on a rack. As you turn the wheel, the pinion gear moves, causing the rack to move from side to side—this movement is then transferred to the tie rods, which connect to the steering knuckles and move the wheels.
The other type of gearbox is known as a recirculating ball system. This gearbox is used in the conventional power steering systems that are found in older cars as well as some modern off-road and heavy-duty vehicles. These gearboxes are much more complex than rack and pinion systems and use a worm gear and ball bearings to transfer the driver’s input to a Pitman arm. 

When should I replace the steering gearbox on my car?

Steering gearboxes are generally designed to last for the lifetime of a car. That said, they can and do occasionally wear out over time. And you’ll need to replace yours when it shows signs of failure.
The most common signs of a bad steering gearbox include the following:
  • A very stiff steering wheel: One of the steering gear’s primary jobs is to make it easier to turn the steering wheel. When the gearbox begins to fail, it will lose that ability. If your steering wheel feels extremely stiff, it could be a sign of a failing gearbox.
  • Power steering fluid leaks: Many power steering system problems can cause a fluid leak. But once you begin leaking power steering fluid, you risk developing gearbox damage. While the leak may originate elsewhere, you should get a gearbox inspection if you notice red or reddish-brown puddles beneath your car. 
  • Strange noises when steering: A bad gearbox may make grinding or clunking noises due to a lack of fluid or internal damage. 
  • A burning oil smell: If your gearbox is bad and begins to overheat, you may notice a strong burning oil smell. If you notice this problem, stop your car immediately and call for help. 
Keep in mind: The above issues can indicate other problems, like a bad power steering pump or a damaged steering column. The best way to accurately diagnose your car’s problem is to visit a certified mechanic for a steering system inspection. 

How often should I replace my steering gearbox?

Steering gearboxes are designed to last for the lifetime of the vehicle. Because of that, there is no fixed replacement interval for them. But they are subject to wear and tear and can deteriorate over time.
You’ll only need to replace your steering gearbox if it fails. The top signs of a bad gearbox include overly stiff or loose steering, power steering fluid leaks, and grinding noises while turning the wheel. 

Can I replace my steering gearbox myself?

A steering gearbox replacement is a fairly high-level repair job. And it’s probably too complex for most automotive novices and even intermediate home mechanics. 
If you’re an experienced hobbyist and have access to a variety of tools, you can probably manage to get the job done. But if you’re uncomfortable working with the power steering system or don’t have access to the proper tools, you should absolutely contact a professional mechanic.

FAQs

You should not drive with a bad steering gearbox if you can avoid it. The longer you drive with a faulty gearbox, the more damage you risk doing to your car and steering system. Not only will it necessitate expensive repairs, but driving without a functional gearbox is dangerous and will increase your risk of accidents.
Various factors can contribute to a steering gearbox’s failure, including the following:
  • Wear and tear
  • Lack of lubrication
  • Lack of maintenance
  • Contamination
  • Driving habits
  • Environmental conditions
  • Impacts or accidents
  • Manufacturer defects
  • Age
The lifespan of a steering gearbox can vary based on many factors, including your driving habits, the type of gearbox, and your environment. And while gearboxes are designed to last for the vehicle’s lifetime, they can fail over time. That said, you can typically expect your steering gearbox to last for between 100,000 and 200,000 miles.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.