2005 Dodge Magnum Steering Rack

Tiny
RITEDOE
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 DODGE MAGNUM
  • 2.7L
  • V6
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 121,665 MILES
Can a wheel alignment be performed with a leaking reach and pinion?
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015 AT 5:54 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Yes, but no one would do that. A leak in the rack and pinion steering gear has no affect on the mechanical alignment adjustments, however, the final two adjustments are for "toe" on each side which sets the direction each wheel is steering to match the steering wheel. That is going to have to be set again when the steering gear is replaced, so why would you want to pay for two alignments? Most reputable shops warranty their work, but not an alignment when they know the second one is needed for something that wasn't their fault.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015 AT 5:58 PM
Tiny
RITEDOE
  • MEMBER
How much is it usually to replace the rack
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015 AT 6:26 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
We don't get involved with costs here because there's way too many variables. Also, I left the dealership in '99 so I don't know what is involved with your car model. I CAN point out that a new steering gear in the '90s cost around $450.00 from Chrysler, but the only way you'd ever get one was if the car was under warranty and the manufacturer was paying for it. For all others you typically buy a rebuilt assembly, just as you'd buy a refilled pop bottle. A rebuilt steering gear cost around $150.00, and some were even less.

For a car as new as yours, you can find used steering gears at any salvage yard, but I doubt they would be a good value. You might save a few bucks, but for a little more you get an assembly with new seals, new boots, and a warranty.

The worst Chrysler product in the '90s to replace the rack and pinion assembly paid 3.4 hours. The easiest was on a Dakota. I could do those in less than half an hour, not including the alignment. Most independent repair shops bill their jobs as listed in a "flat rate" book. That gives the times for each procedure for each car model and year so every shop charges the same. The only variable then is their hourly shop labor rate. Any shop using the flat rate guide can tell you exactly how much time they are going to charge for the service, but often they have a set rate for the alignment, which is not included in the steering gear time.

A slow, meticulous mechanic will take longer than the flat rate time to do the job, but he only gets paid the specified amount, and you don't get charged for the extra time. An experienced mechanic who has invested in expensive specialty tools and advanced training can get the job done faster, but you still pay for the same amount of time. It's to his advantage to work efficiently so he can "book" more than eight hours labor in an 8-hour day, but the checks and balances is if he makes a mistake and has to do part of the job over, he doesn't get paid again, and you don't get charged again. If a new part fails, he will get paid to take care of it, but you don't get charged again. Part of the profit they make on the parts goes to cover those costs.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015 AT 6:50 PM
Tiny
RITEDOE
  • MEMBER
So in this case it would be nest to get the tack fixed and then the alignment? Is that right?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015 AT 6:58 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Yup. Replacing the rack means an alignment is needed. No point in paying for an alignment, then having the steering gear replaced. You'll need another alignment and it won't be due to a mistake by the mechanic or a failed part, so you'll have to pay for the second one too.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015 AT 7:16 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides