I left a very nice Chrysler dealership ten years ago so my numbers are that old but they'll get you in the ball park. A new rack and pinion assembly cost around $450.00 but that was only used for cars that were under warranty and the customer wasn't paying the bill. Most GM rack and pinions cost about the same amount. When your car is out of warranty, it is customary to get a rebuilt assembly. Those are the ones with the stainless steel inserts that have been modified to prevent a repeat problem. Typical cost for those were less than $150.00.
There were a lot of Chrysler products that the rack and pinion could be replaced in less than a half hour, but there was at least one model that took over three hours. (I was the suspension and alignment specialist at the dealership). I don't know how long it will take to replace the assembly on your car, but from watching former students work on Pontiac Grand Ams, it could be a half day job. Your assembly is designed more like the common Chrysler units, not like those miserable Pontiac ones, so my guess is it won't be a real big job to replace it.
Once it's replaced, the car will need to be aligned. There may or may not be other adjustments available, and if there are, they might not need to be adjusted, but "toe", the direction each wheel is steering must be readjusted because those adjustments are incorporated into the rack and pinion assembly. That part of the alignment is rather easy to set precisely very quickly. It could take less than a half hour for the alignment but most shops have a set charge regardless how quickly they can get it done or whether it takes a long time to get it right.
If you're given the choice, opt for a replacement rack assembly with a lifetime warranty. That is somewhat common but you might pay extra for it. That warranty might not cover the labor and alignment, but even if it just covers the part, it's worth the small extra cost.
Friday, July 22nd, 2011 AT 11:47 PM