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The Volvo Parts, Accessories &
Performance Specialists Since 1963

Steering Rack Boot Inspection and Replacement Made Simple

Created on 2019-01-09 by ipd Staff, Last Updated on 2021-06-23

Disclaimer: Direct from ipd’s Tech Tip archive!  This tech tip contains information from previous publications.  Products mentioned may not be available or the information may not be accurate due to changes in supply, manufacturing, or part number association.  Please contact ipd Customer Support if you have further questions

So you’re under the car changing the oil and you happen to look at the steering rack. Not good - it has oil drips on both boots. You check the power steering fluid and, sure enough, it’s down a little bit. So you top off the fluid and replace the rack boots, right? Wrong! The accordion-shaped boots on each end of the rack are there to keep out rocks and dirt. They do not, however, seal the power steering fluid in the rack. Oil should never leak past these seals; if it does it means the seals are worn out and the rack should be rebuilt or replaced. Torn steering rack boots will expedite the failure of your steering rack. Don’t wait for your steering to get stiff and crusty. Take a little time and replace those boots.

Each boot should only take about 20-30 minutes to change and doesn’t require a front end alignment when done if you are careful. Start by removing the wheel, then loosen the locking nut on the tie rod end. Mark the tie rod threads flush with the end of the tie rod end, and unthread the end off of the shaft. Cut the ties holding the boot to the rack, and remove the old boot. Before installing the new boot, pack some lithium grease around the inner tie rod joints. Now you can slide the new boot in place and put new zip ties on both ends of the boot. Thread the rod back onto the tie rod end until your marks line up, tighten the locking nut and reinstall the wheel. That’s it; you’re done! That wasn’t all that bad now was it?

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