Mechanics

RACK AND PINION

1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue

Steering problem
1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 180000 miles

hi,
I purchased a used car and have been fighting with the dealer to have the issues addressed - the biggest is the steering. I had it checked out by another dealership and they said the Rack & Pinion needs to be replaced along with the power steering pump. Since I am taking this matter to court I have to present " How this effects the Use and Safety of the Automobile". Although to me this appears to be self evident.
Can you please tell me exactally What would happen if the Rack and Pinion were totally gone along with the power steering fluid pump.
thanks
Susan
Avatar
SusanB
December 5, 2008.



Hello
Thanks for the donation

Sorry to hear about your vehicle issues.

A rack and pinion is a pair of gears which convert rotational motion into linear motion. The circular pinion engages teeth on a flat bar - the rack. Rotational motion applied to the pinion will cause the rack to move to the side, up to the limit of its travel.

The rack and pinion arrangement is commonly found in the steering mechanism of cars or other wheeled, steered vehicles. This arrangement provides a much less backlash and greater feedback, or steering " feel" then other mechanisms.

If the rack and pinion were to fail, this could lead to accidents by preventing the driver to steer correctly. A failed rack and pinion will cause the steering wheel to become extremely stiff to turn, bind up while turning and cause loose play in the steering wheel. If the rack and pinion were too completely lock up, or not be present on the vehicle at all, this would render the vehicle useless, as you would have no way of steering the vehicle left or right.

The failed power steering pump is the component that pumps appropriate fluid through the power steering system. Without the fluid, the power steering assistance is completely useless. This, too, will cause extremely stiff steering especially at lower speeds.

I hope this helps you.
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