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.
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015 AT 6:50 PM