Common causes and symptoms of pinion leak and steering rack in cars


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Do you know the most common causes and symptoms of pinion leak and steering rack in cars? In this post, we have discussed the top 3 causes and top 5 symptoms! is dedicated to pointing out and discussing all the major and minor common issues that Nigerian drivers face with their cars as well as providing useful tips and advice.

Many car owners and drivers in Nigeria don’t know that the pinion and steering rack are components that are present in almost any vehicle’s power steering system. These two are actually a form of dual gearset that is solely responsible for enabling a driver to turn the vehicle’s wheels. This simply means that the rotational movement of the steering wheel with this gearset gets converted into proper linear motion which is actually needed for the vehicle’s wheels to turn freely.

So, in a situation whereby the pinion and the steering rack are leaking from being worn out or damaged, then it would become really difficult to control or turn the steering of such an affected vehicle.

1. Steering rack and pinion leak problem – Top 3 common causes

See the below common causes of this problem!

1.1. Loose fitting

Whenever there is a scenario of the pinion and steering rack being loosely fitted, it should be obviously expected that the power steering fluid will gradually keep leaking out.

To avoid this, always make sure that these two components, as well as every other parts of your vehicle’s power steering system, should be always fitted firmly and appropriately.


Leaking of the power steering oil is really bad and can lead to major damage to any car when unfixed

1.2. Bad Gasket

Whenever your vehicle’s Pinion and steering rack gasket is worn out or damaged, certainly there will be leakage of the power steering fluid.

All you have to do is to just replace the broken gasket to avoid the problem getting out of hand.

1.3. Bad Seals

A vehicle’s steering rack normally has seals at its ends which normally prevents the power steering fluid from getting through to the outside. Once these seals are worn out, bad or damaged, then the power steering fluid will keep getting out and leaking.

If you don’t get the seals repaired on time, you might end up having to replace the entire steering rack and pinion later on.

>>> Editor's recommendation for you: 5 signs of a bad steering column for timely repair

2. Steering rack and pinion leak problem – Top 5 Symptoms

You may be asking: How do I know when there is a leak in the pinion and steering rack?

2.1. Steering Wheel getting too tight

If you realize that your vehicle’s wheel is being too tight when you try to turn it, then there is a clear probability that you have leakage at the pinion and steering rack.

2.2. Noticeable Pink or Red Fluid

Every modern vehicle uses lots of fluids which have different peculiar colours each. In case you begin to see some fluid leaking from your car and you are confused on which part the leak is coming from. Take note of the colour and if you realize that it is pink or red colour, your car’s steering rack and pinion section need to be checked.

  How to fix a Power Steering Leak

2.3. Perceived burning smell

Right after you might see the pink or red fluid, a burning sort of smell will follow like that of burnt oil. In fact, this smell will occupy the entire cabin area of your car. The reason for this smell is the lack of enough transmission fluid for its other hydraulic parts to actually function well.

2.4. Audible grinding noise

You will begin hearing some unpleasant grinding noise every time you are driving the affected car and turn the steering wheel.

This is caused by an improperly lubricated gearbox.

2.5. Steering wheel not centring

Whenever the pinion and steering rack is functioning properly, the steering wheel will usually settle to the centre position.

But if you ever start noticing it behaving otherwise, suspect that there is a leak in the pinion and steering rack.


We hope these tips and points will really help you detect such problems like the one mentioned above.

>>> You should check here more often for useful car maintenance tips and advice. Goodluck!

Oluwaseun Solomon




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