Have a '96 850 - Goodyear mechanic indicated that Rack & Pinion unit needs replacing. How do I know that he's right and not simply trying to replace something unnecessary. 2 years ago had it done...can't figure out why again. How do I self-diagnose & if so, any repair lessons on how repair myself. Thanks!
Yes, get a second opinion. Due to economic and other reasons, a lot of these repair franchises are using unethical tactics. If you really do need a replacement, www.fcpgroton.com has good deals on refurbs that work fine.
'98 S70 T5 Emrld Grn Met/Beige Tons of Upgrades Mobil-1 '04 V70 2.5T Red/Taupe Some Upgrades Mobil-1 94 850 Sedan NA Drk Blue/Tan '00 V40 Purple/Grey Mobil-1
I would assume he was checking the front end parts prior to an alignment and found looseness? Or is it leaking? You can look at it and see if it's leaking easy enough. Looseness is a little harder, but if the tie rod ends are good and the wheels can still be wiggled from side to side (3&9 o-clock), it's shot. I would have a good repair shop look at it. It was probably a remanufactured unit that was put in two years ago, so it's possible there is something wrong with it.
If it was a cheap reman unit, It could be shot. By cheap, I'm saying Autozone type of cheap, which is essentially garbage.
It could very well be the tie rod ends, and the tech (inexperienced, inept) just says it's the rack and calls it a day. NEVER take anything to chain/corporate type joints. Most of the employees despise being there, which means they could care less about your car. They also don't fix your car starting with the problem, corporate policies dictate how they do their repairs. That means they start big, rather than just replace the one thing wrong.
If Kansas is like Michigan, where everybody drives a domestic car, try damn hard to find a decent independent shop that works on foreign cars. You may have to drive, buy you'll save yourself a ton of headaches.
Unless the rack is bent from a collision chances are it is a leak. The last 850 I bought had a rack leak and - to my total amazement - Valvoline High Mileage Automatic Transmission Stop Leak fixed it. You can get it at Advance Auto Parts and likely other places like O'Reilly's. It is ATF with some seal conditioners so (warning to the turkey baster) you can just suck out the old stuff and replace it with the new. I did several iterations of that, ran the rack from lock to lock, and then sucked it out and replaced it again. It took about 1 full quart to "flush" the system.
I have not yet leaked another drop.
If you want an honest opinion try KC Autosport in Merriam. The are at more or less at I-35 and Shawnee Mission Parkway behind the pinheads at Aristocrat Motors, I think on Carter Drive.
Stay very far away from Superior Volvo, they are thieves.
If you do need to change the rack here is a link to a procedure for a right hand drive car - the left hand drive is a bit more complicated but it should help you out.
Thanks to each of you for the helpful counsel. Lee, for the heads up on local support, I appreciate that direction. I have some extended time off coming up here in a week...and will be tackling this then. Kindly,