Five most com­mon hy­draulic rack fail­ures

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Steering Guide -

1. Ford Mon­deo (2007-2015)

A loss of as­sis­tance in ei­ther one, or both, direc­tions is caused al­legedly by a man­u­fac­tur­ing de­fect with the in­ter­nal hy­draulic pis­ton that causes a loss in pres­sure. Look for a blocked reser­voir fil­ter, which causes the pump to be starved of fluid, which protests by be­com­ing noisy.

2. Ford Gal­axy MKIII and Ford S-MAX MKI

The same prob­lems that strike the Mon­deo af­flict these other Ford mod­els. Ig­nor­ing the prob­lem can lead to pump fail­ure. First, re­new the rack and reser­voir bot­tle and con­sider re­plac­ing the pump af­ter the sys­tem has been flushed. Sub­sti­tut­ing the pump be­fore re­plac­ing the rack and reser­voir bot­tle is not rec­om­mended, be­cause this can lead to the new pump fail­ing very quickly.

3. Volk­swa­gen Golf MKIV and Audi A3 (1998-2004)

These mod­els can suf­fer from a very high fail­ure rate, caused by ei­ther leak­ing fluid and/or ex­ces­sive play in the rack. Wa­ter ingress is a par­tic­u­lar prob­lem, from a split, or badly-fit­ted gaiters. The re­sult­ing cor­ro­sion of the in­ner rack bar dam­ages the in­ter­nal seals, which then al­lows PAS fluid to en­ter the gaiters.

4. Mit­subishi Shogun (1999-2015)

The ex­posed pin­ion shaft at the top of the rack be­comes cor­roded and dam­ages the top seal, caus­ing fluid to leak from the top of the rack. This can af­flict other mod­els as well, such as the Citroën C5 (2008-2016).

5. Ford Fo­cus MKII, in­clud­ing C-MAX (2005-2012)

The steer­ing rack pis­ton wears a low point in the in­ter­nal bore of the alu­minium rack body, which con­tam­i­nates the fluid sub­se­quently. The in­crease in tol­er­ance causes the rack gaiters to fill with fluid. Watch out for black PAS fluid and for the cen­tre steer­ing po­si­tion to feel ‘sticky’ while driv­ing.

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