Car encyclopedia

Steering Gearbox

The steering gear box (or steering gear) responds to movements of the steering wheel and steers the wheels in the corresponding direction.

Symptoms of Wear or Failure

  • Steering effort may increase or become jerky and uneven
  • Steering linkage may feel loose and/or have excessive play
  • Gearbox may leak fluid from the steering shaft seals
  • Cracks in the steering gearbox itself

Related Repair Advice

  • When replacing a steering gearbox, we recommend using a factory replacement unit. Be sure to verify that the timing and gear ratios are an exact match to the old gearbox.
  • During any steering gearbox replacement, be sure to inspect all of the steering linkage for excessive play and replace as needed
  • If the steering gearbox is power assisted, be sure to flush out the system to remove any dirty fluid and debris. On European vehicles, replace the steering fluid reservoir because it contains a filter that gets clogged after 60,000 miles.
  • Sometimes broken or missing steering gearbox mounting bolts, or loose, worn out steering linkage, and/or a cracked frame near the steering gearbox can be confused with the symptoms of a failing steering gearbox

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