BMW 435i Rack and Pinion Replacement Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

Rack and Pinion Replacement
The average cost for a BMW 435i rack and pinion replacement is between $3,121 and $3,177. Labor costs are estimated between $211 and $267 while parts are priced at $2910. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
Note about price: This service is typically done as part of a bigger, more expensive repair, so the estimate you see above may not represent your total cost. Some of these bigger related repairs are listed in the table below. Talk with a RepairPal Certified shop to learn which repairs may be right for you.
Rack and Pinion Replacement

What is a rack and pinion?

The rack and pinion steering gear is a newer and lighter steering gear, and may be hydraulically assisted, electrically assisted or unassisted. When the steering wheel is turned, the steering gear pushes or pulls the wheels in the requested direction.

How does rack-and-pinion work?

The steering rack is located between the front wheels, and attaches them to the steering wheel. The inner and outer tie rod ends link the ends of the steering rack to the steering knuckles, which is what the car's wheels attach to. When the steering wheel is turned, the steering rack forces all of these components out on one side, and pulls them in on the other side.

What are the symptoms related to a bad steering rack?

Rack-and-pinion problems typically come with the following symptoms:

  • Power steering fluid leaks
  • A whining or clunking noise when turning the steering wheel
  • Difficulty steering at low speeds, or a loose sensation when turning the wheel

» LEARN MORE: How your steering system works

Can I drive with a steering rack problem?

Small power steering leaks won't prevent the vehicle from driving, but when fluid cannot be added quickly enough to keep the pump full, a tow truck is recommended to avoid damaging the fuel pump and steering gear.

How often do steering racks need to be replaced?

As any system that carries high pressure will, the system will eventually fail from normal wear and tear, but this should be well into the serviceable life of the vehicle. For most vehicles, the power steering system will last well over 100,000 miles before any failures occur.

Keeping the power steering fluid fresh and the system free of contaminants is key to ensuring long power steering system life. That's why sticking to your regularly scheduled maintenance, detailed in your owner's manual, is so important.

How are steering rack issues diagnosed?

Since most power steering issues generate the same symptoms, it can be difficult to diagnose one part without checking the condition of the whole system. A technician will check for leaks, examine the belt tension and listen for problems with the power steering pump. If these all check out. After that, if no other issues are found, the steering rack will be suspected of failure, if the symptoms dictate. 

How is a steering rack replaced?

Replacing the steering rack involves a fair amount of disassembly — fluid must be drained, hoses and electrical connectors must be removed, and the rack has to be unbolted from the car.

Replacement is the opposite order of operations, followed by standard fill and bleed procedures for power steering systems.

RepairPal recommendations for steering rack issues

Power steering components are subject to high pressure, high heat and high speeds. Using parts that are built to meet or exceed OEM standards will help ensure the longevity of the power steering system. Inferior parts tend to lead to repeated replacement. 

Can I replace the steering rack myself?

Rack-and-pinion steering systems should be replaced by a professional technician. Many modern vehicles require removal of the front sub-frame while supporting the engine from the upper frame rails. This is a dangerous operation made much more safe when performed on a lift, with proper bracing equipment.