1993 Lexus ES 300 Rack and Pinion.

Tiny
MUSSTANG
  • MEMBER
  • 1993 LEXUS ES 300
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 185,000 MILES
Hello...I just had my R&P replaced, but still had problem with leaking. So the mechanic learned that when I had the job done, the O-Rings were never replaced...so I had them replaced. Everything seemed fine for a few miles, then the problem came back with the steering, especially when making turns. Do you think that because they originally didn't replace the O-Rings that it damaged the R&P? Please help...already spent $1000 on this problem.
Thanks!
PS: Forgot to add..the mechanic said that it was NOT the pump??? : /[img]http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/532836_Just_Me_1.jpg
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Saturday, May 29th, 2010 AT 4:43 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hi musstang. Welcome to the forum. It is normal to not replace the o-rings on the hoses unless they are torn, and then it is not necessary to replace the rack and pinion assembly. That said, most replacement racks come with new o-rings for insurance. I replaced around 50 to 80 racks over ten years as a suspension and alignment specialist at a dealership, and I don't believe I ever replaced the provided o-rings. So don't blame the first mechanic, but that doesn't mean one of them couldn't leak. And to answer your question, no, not replacing them won't hurt the new rack assembly.

The only way to damage a rack and pinion assembly is to cross-thread one of the hose fittings. That will damage the threads which voids the warranty. Most of the time the old rack will leak into the accordion boots over the inner tie rod ends. If you see fluid leaking from a threaded fitting, and especially if the new rack leaks the same way, it is more likely to be caused by a leaking high pressure hose and running along the metal pipe to the fitting. You really have to wash the entire area, then watch closely under the car while the engine is running. The crimp between the rubber hose and metal pipe is the most common place to find a leak. Also, a leak in the inner layer of the rubber hose can be misleading because the fluid will travel between the layers to the end and sneak out at the crimp. It is irrelevent though. Regardless of the cause, the hose must be replaced.

Caradiodoc
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Saturday, May 29th, 2010 AT 10:39 PM
Tiny
MUSSTANG
  • MEMBER
. It seems that this is exactly what happened and the 2nd mechanic did replace the hose and the O-rings were cracked, so replaced them as well.

I'm not blaming anyone, in fact, the second mechanic is kinda blaming the first for not replacing the rings. BUT, now, the problem is back. The second mechanic said over the phone "well, I don't know what the problem is, then.I did everything possible." Now, I'm out $1,000.00, it seems. Let alone driving the car, when I don't feel it's safe.

Oh and by the way, I bought a new electric antenae that the mechanic installed at the same time. It worked for awhile. But now won't go down! Someone up there doesn't want to see me fix my car! I'm pulling my hair out. I'll have to return the $80.00 antenae, as well.

Lastly, doesn't the service station have to stand behind their work where the R&P is concerned? I'll be willing to pay more, and not have a refurbished R&P, if necessary.I just want my car fixed, you know?

Thanks again!
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Sunday, May 30th, 2010 AT 3:11 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
There is no advantage to a new rack and pinion assembly. Every remanufactured unit is hand assembled and tested, and the aftermarket rebuilders develop a lot of fixes for the common problems. As a result, the remanufactured racks can be better than new, especially for the real low quality GM units.

The shop that did the work should stand behind their work. The markup on the parts helps to cover the cost of doing the job a second time. There really isn't that much that can leak. It is legitimate to ask you to pay for additional needed parts that weren't installed or billed out previously, but you should not have to pay again for any parts that were installed the last time. Mechanics get a warranty on parts from their suppliers that they pass on to you. In some cases the parts warranty might be longer than the warranty the shop gives you on their labor, so you might have to pay the labor charge again even when the parts might be under warranty. That will vary among shops.

The first thing to do is find out definitely what is leaking. The metal end of one of the hoses could be cracked, one of the hose nuts could be loose, the new rack and pinion housing could have a crack, but that would be very uncommon. There are a couple of different styles of hose ends too. I suppose it is possible they installed a rack assembly for a different model year that uses a different hose. They could tell if the part number they installed is wrong for your car. If the manufacturer packaged it with the wrong part number, that could be a little trickier to figure out. The shop might just have to order another rack and install it.

As for your antenna, if it doesn't make any noise when it should be going down, the new part is likely defective or a pin in the electrical connector got bent over. That happens quite often. If it does sound like it's trying to go down, use your hand to help it. If that gets it to go down but it's sluggish, the mast could be bent. I repaired two on Chrysler products many years ago. One was just full of bug juice. After cleaning it, it worked fine. The other one was up when it went through a car wash and got bent. It was a nice smooth bow, so I tristed it back and forth while putting pressure on it to straighten it. That one worked fine too, but because they were under warranty, Chrysler insisted that both be replaced with new ones.

As one manufacturer's trainer said a long time ago, "we not only provide you parts, we provide them pre-broken". It is rare, but not unheard of, for a new part to be defective. It must have worked when it was installed or the mechanic would have had to look for the reason it wasn't working. Here again, technically you paid for a repair you didn't get, and the shop that did the work will have to see what went wrong. Every job they do has a little cushion built into the bill that helps cover the cost of doing the job again. Only bargain basement shops don't offer some kind of warranty on their parts and labor, but you pay fewer dollars up front. Those kinds of shops are rare. Legitimate businesses charge enough the first time so they don't lose money if they have to do a few jobs here and there a second time. Their reputation is based, in part, on how they take care of their customers' problems after the work is done. They would rather have you come back, and they would rather do the work over for free, than to have you bad-mouth them to your friends. A common saying in the business is "it takes more dollars for adverising to get one new customer than it takes to keep ten current customers happy.

Please don't be visibly angry with your mechanics. They didn't cause these problems, ... At least not on purpose. You will get much more help and cooperation if you are polite, but you don't have to be a pushover either. Keep the idea in mind that you are part of a team of people working together to solve these problems. As a suggestion, you might ask if they have a loaner car you could use so they can take their time to be sure they found the problem. That will reduce the stress they will be under if they know you depend on your car and they are responsible for not getting it back to you.

Caradiodoc
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Sunday, May 30th, 2010 AT 11:41 PM
Tiny
MUSSTANG
  • MEMBER
Thanks Cardiodoc. They checked out the part itself and found it defective. They have no problem switching it out for another one at no extra charge.

One other thing, however, these refurbs are only covered for 3 months, am I better off buying new, to get a longer warranty? 3 months from now, I don't want to be facing putting another grand into a 17 year old Lexus, you know?

Antennae is being replaced by auto zone. They may even reimburse me for the labor I've paid to install and uninstall it. Around $75. Waiting to hear back from them. Ugh!
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Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 AT 2:28 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Unless you were told some reason to not trust the less expensive part, I would not worry about its quality. If they had a high failure rate, the parts stores would stop selling them. I can't speak to this part directly, but very often you will get the same part, just at a higher cost for the better warranty. It is not uncommon for a rebuilder to rebuild a thousand parts, all with the same replacement parts, the same procedures, and with the same people, then to pick half of them and give them one part number with one warranty and give the other half a different part number with a different warranty. It is also not uncommon in this type of assembly for a rebuilt part to outlast a new one because modifications and improvements have been built in to address known common problems. There is a real good market for these rebuilt assemblies because the industry knows that paying for a new one is not a good value. In the case of my buddy's car, he found a rebuilt replacement generator with a lifetime warranty, (a good investment for miserable quality GM parts), at a lower cost than a rebuilt unit with a one-year warranty.

As far as the age of your car, you are asking the wrong person. I am so angry at what all manufacturers are doing to their new cars to drain money from unsuspecting owners that I will never buy another new car. The use of unnecessary, unreliable, expensive computers to do simple things such as blow the horn or turn on dome lights is insane. Imagine being handed a bill for $1500.00 because you lost your key? A new one must come from Japan with the new Body Computer it is programmed to. Imagine owning a GM product, (by far the worst company at siphoning money from their customers), and you MUST spend over $450.00 to repair the original radio / cassette player because your power windows don't work. The Body Computer is built into the radio to prevent you from going to Best Buy and buying an inexpensive replacement. Without the original radio, the cruise control, dome lights, and power windows won't work!

I have newer cars and minivans, but my daily driver that I took on three cross-country trips last year is a 1988 Dodge Grand Caravan. Only one very reliable Engine Computer. There are no computers involved with the transmission, lights, radio, gauges, doors, horn, power windows, or speedometer, and they all work fine. Why would I trade that reliability for something I know will cost thousands of dollars every year in repairs? No mechanic is going to ridicule you for keeping an older car on the road unless they're too ashamed to admit they don't know how to troubleshoot and diagnose it. Another way to look at it is you can spend your money on a replacement rack and pinion every year, (highly unlikely), or you can spend the same amount every month on a car payment. Oh, ... And don't forget, expensive parts break down on relatively new cars too.

Caradiodoc
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Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 AT 3:55 PM

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