Get to experience smoother steering and better control every time you're driving by installing a high-quality Steering Gearbox in your ride today.
Groucho Marx once said: "Behind every successful man is a woman, behind her is his wife." If the complex web of human relationships could be summarized in this hilarious sentence, then perhaps efficient auto steering can also be simplified to: "Behind great driving is a reliable steering system, behind it, an equally dependable Steering Gearbox." While the latter statement may not be as debatable or entertaining as the first, it doesn't detract anything from the importance of keeping all your steering mechanisms in great working order.
A worn power steering gearbox can be pretty dangerous since it results in excessive play in your steering wheel. When this happens, you'll have a hard time controlling your automobile. If every time you drive, you have to wrestle your steering wheel into submission because of kickback or uncontrollable vibration, then it's time to start looking around for great steering gearbox parts.
The Steering Gearbox, also known as the steering gear, transmits your steering shaft's movement to your wheels-allowing you to corner, turn, or switch lanes easily. It picks up on how far the steering wheel is turned, and the direction of the rotation to help guide your wheels accordingly. While most vehicles have steering racks instead of gearboxes, older models still carry the dependable gearbox. The good news is, a replacement gearbox is easy to find online. Look for a reputable dealer to get quality steering gearbox parts at economical prices.
Steering Gearbox Buyer’s Guide
- The steering gearbox, or steering gear, is one of the many components of the steering system that lets you control your vehicle.
- While there are several types of steering gearboxes, the most commonly used now are the rack-and-pinion and worm gear.
- The steering gearbox is designed to convert the rotary input from the steering wheel into a side-to-side movement that changes the angle of the tires.
- In a power steering gearbox, either a hydraulic or electronic mechanism is coupled with the manual steering gearbox to assist with moving the tires.
- Symptoms of a bad steering gearbox are: veering, drifting, pulling, or wandering; steering wheel excessive play, tightness, stiffness, binding, vibrations, and wobbling; loud noises; and power steering fluid issues and leaks.
- When looking for a steering gearbox replacement, it is important to take note of fit and compatibility with your vehicle.
- The prices of steering gearboxes can range from $90 to $1,600 depending on the type, your vehicle’s year, make, and model, and other factors.
The steering gearbox, or steering gear, is one of the many components of the steering system that lets you control your vehicle. This part is usually located at the end of the steering column and shaft that is opposite the tip where the steering wheel is attached to. Its purpose is to transform the rotational movement applied to the steering wheel into the linear motion that sets the direction of the tires.
Through the evolution of automobiles, various versions of the steering gearbox have been made in the aims of improving vehicle maneuverability and reducing the effort the driver needs to exert in steering . Nowadays, the most common steering gearboxes used in vehicles are the rack-and-pinion and the worm gear.
How Does a Steering Gearbox Work?
Basically, the steering gearbox is designed to convert the rotary input from the steering wheel into a side-to-side movement that changes the angle of the tires. While there are several types of steering gearboxes, the most commonly used now are the rack-and-pinion and worm gear.
As the name of the rack-and-pinion steering gearbox suggests, its main gear sets are the rack, which is linked to the tires, and the pinion, which is attached to the steering shaft. When the steering wheel is turned, the shaft rotates the pinion gear which, in turn, engages the rack to move linearly.
On the other hand, the worm gear steering gearbox features a much more complex mechanism. It comes in different types, but they all include a worm gear, which is a threaded cylinder much like a bolt or a screw. The accompanying actuator of the worm gear can vary from a sector gear, a peg, a roller bearing, or a nut with recirculating balls. Despite the worm gear steering gearbox having more parts compared to the rack-and-pinion, the principle is still the same—turning the steering wheel rotates the worm gear, transmitting the action to the actuator, moving the steering components, and adjusting the tire angle.
Power steering gearboxes, meanwhile, have been used in cars since the 1900s, but only became a standard in vehicles by the 1960s and is now used in most cars built today. In this type of steering gearbox, either a hydraulic or electronic mechanism is coupled with the manual steering gearbox to assist with moving the rack or the actuators. With the hydraulic system, power steering fluid (PSF) is pumped at high pressure to push the rack or actuator, while in an electronic system a motor is what helps with the steering.
Bad Steering Gearbox Symptoms
Any problems with the steering gearbox should be addressed immediately to avoid potentially fatal road accidents. Know how to tell if the steering gearbox is bad by looking for any combination of these symptoms:
Veering, Drifting, Pulling, or Wandering
When your vehicle is veering or going towards one side even if you are driving in a straight direction, your steering gearbox may already be damaged. However, this behavior may also be caused by another failing component in the steering system.
A steering wheel that feels loose or slack means that it has play. When this happens, there is a need to rotate the steering wheel more before the tires go in the desired direction. If it takes more than a one-inch turn of the steering wheel before the tires move, then there is excessive play. This can be caused by a worn steering gearbox wherein the gears have become loose.
Tight, Stiff, or Binding Steering Wheel
Lack of lubrication will cause friction between the mechanisms in the steering gearbox. This might cause your steering wheel to feel tight or to kickback when turned. While this can be easily remedied by applying a lubricant to the steering gearbox, there might be a need to replace the part if the problem persists.
Vibrations and Wobbling
Another symptom of a worn steering gearbox is excessive vibration or wobbling while handling the steering wheel. When parts in the steering gearbox become loose, they may move around and affect the movement of the steering column and tires.
Dry or loose gears in the steering gearbox would create noises such as grinding or thumping. Noises in the steering gearbox might either mean that the parts inside it are not moving smoothly due to lack of lubrication or that the parts have come loose and are now in the wrong place.
In a power steering gearbox that uses a hydraulic mechanism, the power steering fluid might leak if there is a crack on the case of the steering gearbox. Pitting and scuffing of the steering gearbox cylinder bore can eventually cause the case to break. Another cause for the power steering fluid to leak is if the seals are damaged.
Power Steering Fluid Issues
Among problems in the power steering fluid that you should watch out for are foaming, discoloration, and the smell of burning oil. Foamy power steering fluid means that there is excess air in the system, while a milky coloration of the fluid signifies the presence of water. When the power steering fluid smells burnt and it has a dark or black color, it means that there is a buildup of heat in the steering gearbox due to friction.
Each of these symptoms can signal problems in other components of the steering system or parts of your car. If you are experiencing more than one of these issues, then it is most likely that the trouble is with your steering gearbox. Once you have determined that your steering gearbox has been worn out or damaged, you will need to have it replaced immediately to prevent any accidents on the road.
Steering Gearbox Replacement
When looking for a steering gearbox replacement, it is important to take note of fit and compatibility with your vehicle. For instance, if your vehicle features a steering system that has a pitman arm, then you would probably need a steering gearbox that uses a worm gear instead of a rack and pinion. You should also consider whether your vehicle uses a manual steering gearbox or a power steering gearbox and if it is possible to either upgrade or downgrade from one to another. Different makes and models of vehicles also use steering gearboxes that meet the needed steering ratio, such as a lighter car having a lower steering ratio than a truck.
Costs of steering gearbox replacements
The prices of steering gearboxes can range from $90 to $1,600 depending on the type, your vehicle’s year, make, and model, and if you are able to provide the core of your old steering gearbox. Power steering gearbox replacement costs also run in the same range.
Important Facts You Need to Know About Steering Gearbox
Can you imagine how hard it was to drive before power steering was invented? Making the sharp turns and complex maneuvers you're so used to today would not have been possible without this technology. As you may know, one must never take his steering system for granted. After all, smooth steering performance doesn't just boost driving convenience but driving safety as well. Faulty steering systems, on the other hand, make it difficult for you to direct where your vehicle goes, which could end up being very dangerous. To prolong overall steering functionality, you must ensure that all of its system componentsincluding the steering gearboxare in tip-top shape.
Regarding the steering gearbox, it's very important that you double-check this component for damage on a regular basis. This auto part is attached to the vehicle's chassis and reacts to movements of the steering wheel. In other words, the gearbox is what helps translate your steering wheel movement into the movement of the front wheels. High-performance vehicles typically come with a relatively low steering ratio, which means that even minor steering wheel input will greatly affect wheel output. This component is also very important in terms of vehicle comfort and safety as it is connected to your ride's suspension system.
When your steering gearbox malfunctions, then your wheels will no longer be receptive to your steering wheel movements. In order to remedy such problem, you must have your busted gearbox replaced with a new one. You can easily find many aftermarket gearboxes online, alongside some quality replacement steering gear box parts. Such components are typically made with durable materials, which would prolong their longevity, and with the latest technology, which will guarantee superb product performance. There are various types of gearboxes out there, so make sure you pick the right one that matches your ride's exact year, make, and model.
Steering Gearbox: Just the Facts
If you're experiencing a delay in steering response each time you attempt to turn or shift lanes, then it's high time you checked out your steering gearbox. There's a huge possibility that your steering issues is rooted in a damaged gearbox. Also known as a steering gear and steering box, this component is designed to transform your engine's rotational power into the linear movement needed by your front wheels to turn properly. Naturally, when this gearbox fails, so does the rest of your steering assembly. One of the most common signs of a bad steering gearbox is the excessive play of your steering wheel as you drive. During one of your trips, pay attention to your steering wheel. If it turns every which way even as you travel over smooth terrain and later fails to turn your car properly as you corner, then it's an almost sure bet that your gearbox is what's causing your auto problems. Now, the best thing you can do during situations like this one, is to replace your worn steering gearbox as soon as possible. Remember, that after replacing your gearbox, you'll have to check your wheel alignment as well. To avoid gearbox failure in the future, we suggest you inspect this component every time you conduct your annual wheel alignment.
Steering Gearbox: What Every Car Owner Should Know
Steer clear of disaster. A faulty steering gearbox can be dangerous out on the road. In driving, steady steering is important, especially at high speeds. The gearbox ensures that your vehicle's wheels respond whenever you turn the steering wheel.Mounted on the steering column and attached to the chassis, the gearbox also helps the front wheels change direction. Any sudden jerk caused by defective steering gears could lessen the rear tires' traction and send your car into a dangerous spin.Loose steering worsens through time. If you're not sure of the extent of damage, you may be caught off guard when the system suddenly snaps. Better be safe than sorry. Check the steering system once you have a hard time controlling the direction of your vehicle's wheels.In case you need a replacement for your vehicle's steering gearbox, try browsing CarParts.com's online catalogs. We can get you the lowest-priced, most reliable steering gearboxes.
• Provides a perfect fit
• Restores firm, steady steering operation
• Designed to endure high pressure, for longer-lasting functions
How to Pick the Right Steering Gearbox
You won't be able to control your vehicle if you've got a shot steering gearbox, so you'd better have it replaced ASAP. Even though your car's steering system is one of the most important components of your vehicle, very few people actually understand how it works, and that goes double for the steering gearbox itself. This particular component is available in different forms, but would generally work the same way. Go through our short guide so you could easily decide on what steering gearbox you should buy.
Types of Steering Gearboxes
Two of the most common types of manual steering gearboxes found in vehicles would be the "rack and pinion" and "worm gear" gearboxes. Both work the same way by using gears to transfer the rotation of the steering wheel into motion for the two front wheels as you steer left and right. Rack and pinion systems are much simpler designs and have been used in automobiles ever since. The worm gear or worm drive mechanism operates in a similar way but have the unique advantage of being built from tougher components. If you're driving a newer car, it'll probably have power steering. It works by using a small hydraulic pump that builds up fluid pressure that is used to help turn the car's front wheels. We highly recommend that you go through your vehicle's manual and see what type of gearbox your car uses so you could purchase a proper replacement. You would want to stick with what your vehicle has, whether it's rack and pinion or a worm gear, but adding power steering is also advisable should you want to upgrade.
Always Get an OEM Replacement
Gearboxes are typically made from very sturdy materials, and it takes a long time for one to wear out. That's why we advise you to always go for an exact OEM replacement of your stock gearbox, since these will be made according to the particular specifications of your vehicle's make and model. Unless you're participating in motorsports or local racing events, then you would not need to get higher end models when it comes to aftermarket steering gearboxes. Standard models can go for as low as $100, but it will go as high as $1500 for top-of-the-line designs.
Go For High-Quality and Durability
In the end, what matters most is that you get a compatible aftermarket steering gearbox from a brand that is known for making highly durable parts. Regular folks wouldn't need to get a highly customized steering gearbox, they'll just need a replacement that'll allow them to steer properly over at normal highway speeds. Racing equipment is an entirely different matter, but for most people, a standard steering gearbox would do.
How To Replace your Steering Gearbox
It's risky to drive a vehicle with a broken steering gearbox, you won't have full control of your vehicle should it fail entirely. It's a good thing that it's easy enough to replace it one on your own, so you won't need to head over to a mechanic and shell out for a hefty repair fee. All you'll need would be a couple of basic tools and about an hour of your time in order to get the job done.
Difficulty Level: Advanced
Tools that you'll need
- Ratchet and socket set
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Needle-nose pliers
Step 1: Begin by parking your vehicle on a level surface with the wheels pointed straight ahead.
Step 2: Lift your vehicle up using a jack and secure it in place with a couple of jack stands.
Step 3: Take a look at your steering column and find the point where it attaches to the input shaft on the steering gearbox itself. You should find a round pinch clamp that's secured by a bolt on it. You should loosen that bolt and spread the clamp open with a screwdriver so you could remove the clamp off from the input shaft. If your vehicle has a different method of removing this part, then it's best to check it's manual for specific instructions.
Step 4: You should then get under the vehicle and locate where the steering linkage connects to the pitman arm on the steering gearbox. It should be held in place with a nut so you'll have to loosen that so you could remove the pitman arm from its place.
Step 5: Once you've removed the pitman arm, you should be able to access the gearbox and unbolt it from its frame. Be careful as you're working with heavy parts that could potentially drop on you and cause injuries.
Step 6: You should then install your replacement steering gearbox into place. Make sure that you place everything back in reverse order and perform some tests on your vehicle's steering before you wrap up.