Here’s some good news if you’re facing a rack and pinion repair. If you have an extended warranty policy with Protect My Car, there’s a pretty good chance your rack and pinion is covered. Only 1 of our plans (the driveline) doesn’t cover it.
We’ll get into other plans in a bit, so bear with me.
If your steering doesn’t work, you’re not going to be getting anywhere fast.
Unfortunately, if your rack and pinion isn’t working correctly that’s exactly what’s going to be happening.
If your car is newer than 1980 or so, it probably has a rack and pinion which is often supported by a power steering system. This allows you to quickly and easily turn your steering wheel.
First used by BMW in the 1930s, the rack and pinion started to see use in US models in mid-1970s, with more complete acceptance by the end of the 1980s.
Dramatically oversimplifying the internal mechanics, the rack and pinion translates your turning of the steering wheel (rotational motion) in to the motion needed to turn the wheels (lateral motion). It also makes it easier to turn the wheel.
The rack and pinion system can wear over time as the gears are frequently engaged while driving and steering, although it’s generally a pretty hardy system. That said, it is frequently exposed to varying temperatures, and everything that gets splashed underneath your car.
The causes of damage vary. It’s possible for road debris to damage internal bushings and cause a leak. It’s also equally possible for the fluid to become contaminated which allows grit into the gears that causes damage.
Signs Of Rack And Pinion Damage
Besides the obvious signs, like low or discolored power steering fluid, or visible leaks, there are a few things you need to be on the lookout for.
- Wandering steering where it feels like your car is being blown by a strong gust of wind even when there is none.
- If there’s a spot that you get no resistance when turning the steering wheel. The steering wheel will feel like it’s separated from the rest of the car.
- Grinding noises when turning the corner at low speeds.
- Burning smell along with other signs on this list
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, take your car to a mechanic right away to get to the bottom of what’s causing your symptoms.
How Much Does A Rack And Pinion Repair Cost?
Your Rack and Pinion system is complicated, and can cost up to $1,846 dollars, according to repairpal.
The parts themselves will run you anywhere between $200-$800, and labor can be up to $1,000. While that might come as a shock, I may have some good news if you’ve got an extended warranty because…
There’s A Good Chance Your Extended Warranty Covers Your Rack and Pinion
As I mentioned before, if you have an extended warranty through us, you’ll be in good shape. Our Select, Supreme, and Ambassador plans all cover the rack and pinion. Unfortunately, our driveline coverage does not include the rack and pinion.
In order to give you a better idea if your plan covers the rack and pinion, I’ve gone ahead and taken the other 3 largest warranty companies and investigated all of their policy options to tell you if you’re covered.
If your warranty policy isn’t covered here, your best bet is to find your warranty contract and read the “covered” section, and the “exclusions” section. This will give you a better idea if you’re covered or not.
As a general rule, more basic “powertrain” coverage won’t cover your rack and pinion. More comprehensive plans however, tend to cover your rack and pinion.
With that said, let’s begin.
Plans that cover rack and pinion: Supreme, Superior, Secure Plus
Plans that don’t cover rack and pinion: Secure, Select Premier
Direct Warranty Provider: Yes
Notes: As previously mentioned, the upper tier plans all cover the rack and pinion while the lower tier plans do not.
Plans that cover rack and pinion: New Car Diamond, Platinum
Plans that don’t cover rack and pinion: Gold, Silver, High Tech, Bronze
Direct Warranty Provider: No
Notes: Car Shield is not a direct warranty provider, and the rack and pinion is only covered on two of their most expensive plans.
Plans that cover rack and pinion: CARCHEX Care by AAS (Titanium Plus), CARCHEX Care by AAS (Titanium), American Auto Shield Diamond, CARCHEX Care By Royal, Royal Administration Services Ultimate, Allegiance Ultimate, Royal Administration Services Preferred (if you bought the add on, otherwise it isn’t covered), CARCHEX Care By Royal Gold, American Auto Shield Deluxe, Allegiance Silver, Allegiance Gold
Plans that don’t cover rack and pinion: American Auto Shield Bronze, CARCHEX Care by Royal Bronze, Allegiance Select Elite, Royal Administration Services Centennial, CARCHEX Care By Royal Silver, American Auto Shield Powertrain Plus,
Direct Warranty Provider: No
Notes: Carchex is not a direct warranty provider, but unlike Car Shield, they use several different finance companies, so your experience could vary greatly depending on which policy you have.
What Is A Direct Warranty Provider?
So you’re probably wondering what the direct warranty provider bit is above. Fear not, we’ll break it down, even though no one is really talking about it.
A direct warranty provider is a warranty company that administrates and services its own claims, legally speaking. What that means, is when a direct warranty provider sells you an extended warranty, they are responsible for paying your claims, as well as handling any customer service issues that arise.
Direct providers can offer lower prices for their plans and better customer service because everything is handled in house.
Currently, only Protect My Car and Endurance are direct warranty providers.
Other extended warranty companies aren’t selling their own plans. When you buy a policy with them, they then transfer the responsibility for your future claims to a 3rd party finance company. They get paid, and then that finance company that you didn’t choose becomes the legal entity responsible for paying your claims.
This can be a huge hassle. Claims take longer to get paid, and your policy can be up to 100% more expensive than choosing a direct warranty provider.
That’s not to mention that the 3rd party finance company has no connection to you as a human being and has every financial incentive to pay as little as possible on your claim.
With over 13 years in this business, everyone will tell you that choosing a direct warranty provider is the best way to go. You’ll avoid getting a run around from claims agents, and instead will get help from a real person who wants to see you off smiling.
Don’t Want To Get The Run Around? Get An Extended Warranty From Protect My Car
As a proud direct warranty provider, you’ll never be mistreated when you join us. There’s a reason our average review score (TrustPilot, Consumer Affairs, BBB) is a 4.3/5.0, and I want you to find out why.
While we know there are a number of other great extended warranty companies out there, we know we’re the best and we want to prove it to you.
That’s why, for a limited time, we’re giving away $50 dollars in rewards just for getting a quote with us. From there, you’ll be able to shop all of our different plans, online, with no phone call needed.
Because we’re a direct warranty provider, you may find that our plans are significantly cheaper than what you’re paying right now.
So get a quote with us today, and stop paying more for the same coverage.