Do I really need total new front wheel "rack"

Reply

  #1  
Old 10-18-17, 06:01 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 158
Do I really need total new front wheel "rack"

My 2007 Honda CR-V has just 41k miles on it. Had it last week into CarShop for regular maintenance. They are telling me that the power steering "boots" are leaking a bit and that I need to replace entire front axle/rack. I have trouble believing that just 40k miles would wear this part out to the point requires $1300 to replace "front rack". This is a shop that I have trusted in the past. But they have a new guy there that did the inspection and I don't feel I can trust him. He wanted to put in new cabin filter for $60, something anyone can do themselves and I have done several times before. So I declined that service. Then he comes up with this problem that slightly leaking power steering boots requires replacing entire from rack (axle).

Does this sound even feasiable? I have NEVER had to do this kind of repair on any of my previous cars even up to 160k. So how does 40k wear this out so bad?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 10-18-17, 06:31 AM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 517
If you feel that you can't trust him, look for a second opinion.
 
  #3  
Old 10-18-17, 06:34 AM
Bob14525's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 1,248
While uncommon, I have had to have the steering rack replaced on a car with under 40K miles, so it can happen. In my case, it was leaking enough power steering fluid that I had to keep refilling it every few days or the pump would make "groaning" noises when turning the wheel. If the power steering fluid reservoir isn't noticeably going down, I would be inclined not to rush into anything. It may be a very minor leak that won't cause problems for some time. On the other hand, if you're seeing the power steering fluid level dropping, then you probably should get it replaced. You could always take it in to another shop for a second opinion.
 
  #4  
Old 10-18-17, 06:38 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North East Kingdom of Vermont
Posts: 2,240
The only "boots" on the front end that i know of, are those surrounding the Constant Velocity (C/V) Joints or U-Joints on the axles, and you;d be able to inspect them yourself with just a floor jack; and if you needed replacement of these front end components, you'd also be experiencing symptoms . . . . severe symptoms.

Actually, 41,000 miles sounds like it just drove off the assembly line; why so few ?
 
  #5  
Old 10-18-17, 06:40 AM
pugsl's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 7,650
Boots are replaceable, If the rack is also leaking you need the rack. To replace boots tie rods ends have to come off and alignment is needed.
 
  #6  
Old 10-18-17, 07:18 AM
Marq1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 2,028
Having had an issue on an old Escort once, the R&P assembly has internal seals for the rack, if they leak then the fluid leaks out of the boots.

So it's not really a boot leak but a seal leak.
 
  #7  
Old 10-18-17, 07:28 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 158
From what the shop guy told me, the leak is very minor at present with just "residue" around the boots. He said they DO NOT try to just replace the boot/seal because very difficult to get good seal. So they always replace entire rack. The Honda Dealer does the same. I haven't found any dripping power steering fluid and haven't needed to even add any . Long-term the leak could actually become a leak but it doesn't make an sense replacing the rack now. He did say an alignment would be done after replacing the rack.
 
  #8  
Old 10-18-17, 07:52 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa!!!!!
Posts: 3,673
For something like that, if it steers OK, I would put some Lucas stop leak in it.
 
  #9  
Old 10-18-17, 09:49 AM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 517
The more I think about it, it's too easy for a female customer to be cheated. Try the stop leak & look for an honest guy.
 
  #10  
Old 10-18-17, 10:00 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa!!!!!
Posts: 3,673
I've used Lucas seal conditioner/Stop Leak on Power Steering pumps for years. If you have a hardware wearout or failure you'd have to do more, but for a seal that's getting a little stiff, it's a good try and isn't expensive.

I wouldn't replace anything if you're not adding oil.
 
  #11  
Old 10-19-17, 03:53 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 11,519
I second (or third) those suggestions. Better than 50/50 chance it'll never need replacing.
 
  #12  
Old 10-19-17, 11:31 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,355
The rack on my late Infiniti G35 had leaks from both boots, and so does my Toyota Tundra. I just check the reservoir periodically to ensure it is topped off. Maybe once a year I need to add an ounce or two. Steering is fine. I would just keep an eye on your reservoir and not worry about it. Worst that can happen is your steering gets stiffer and you end up replacing the rack anyway.
 
  #13  
Old 10-21-17, 03:53 PM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Canada
Posts: 133
Perspective

A power steering rack is pretty much never repaired, it is replaced, as there is too much liability to getting a worn steering rack sorted. Although your mileage is low, the car is 10 years old, and seals often degrade with time more especially when mileage is low. The mechanic might just be proactive in trying to keep you safe.

As another poster noted, the rack has seals that leak, not boots, although there are accordion type boots to keep crud from the seals, and you can see the fluid like its leaking out of the boots. A small amount of weeping over time is fine, it can accumulate and look worse than it is, albeit a more visible amount of fluid dripping is a seal needing replacement. Without a picture it is hard to know. This would be one that needs a new rack...https://www.hondacivicforum.com/foru...n-8ded73e6.jpg

If you monitored the power steering fluid carefully and regularly, you can determine if you are losing any meaningful amount of fluid, and live with a weep. But if the level goes down measurably over say a weeks worth of driving, that type of leak is not great, if you lose power steering while driving, and don't expect it, the steering will be so stiff it will fell like its not turnable. It still will turn, but those who are not used to manual steering will typically panic.

The stop leak simply swells a seal that has hardened from heat and age. Might do the trick. It can not fix a damaged or crumbling seal. Gunk makes a special stop leak for Honda https://www.ebay.com/itm/Gunk-M2714H...-/332335096152

Lucas says compatible with everything, but Honda fluids are different, and some have hard steering with Lucas, and who knows if its ok for the power steering pump, which cost more than the rack. I would do the Gunk and avoid any compatibility issues.

So see if you can confirm how much of the leak the mechanic observed, he may just have been conservative and not cost sensitive. If it is a notable leak, he is not out of line to be suggesting a costly rack replacement rather than repair. (Some places will repair a rack, but hard to find these old school shops). The Gunk with monitoring is worth a go as long as you are willing to monitor it regularly (which is really simple to do, but you need to actually do it!).
 
  #14  
Old 10-25-17, 03:07 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,355
Power steering pump more expensive than a rack replacement? I'm seeing CRV pumps for $180 max. And this is a DIY job.
 
  #15  
Old 10-25-17, 09:35 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 20,807
You need to find a new shop. Just looking at full retail new part prices and estimating time, he is really sticking his hand in your wallet. Parts are about $420 for name brand aftermarket (hey, you gonna put Honda parts in a 10 y.o car?). That's retail new at a storefront, he should be able to get it cheaper. Heck, Rockauto has them professionally remanufactured (ACDELCO, Cardone, etc) for under $300.

That means he's charging almost $900-1000 labor for what looks to be about 2-3 hrs workr if they have any clue what they are doing. A shop that specializes in imports and has worked on a CR-V or 10, would probably have it done in 2 hrs or less.

That said, I agree with the others on whether you need it done or not.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'