Power Steering Replacement and Repair Cost (for 4 Common Parts)

Last Updated on May 20, 2021

In the old days, steering a vehicle required drivers to have strong arms and a strong upper body. If they didn’t then it would have been very difficult for them to steer.

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Fortunately, power steering was invented to give any driver the ability to steer their vehicle and make turns without much effort. The power steering system involves the use of power steering fluid, hoses, a rack and a pinion and power steering pump.

Symptoms of Power Steering System Leaks

The first thing you may notice when this happens is an unusual stain on your driveway or garage floor. But the real symptoms will be noticeable when you actually drive your vehicle on the road.

Once power steering fluid starts to leak, the steering wheel will become hard to turn which means the driver will have to use more upper body strength to turn the steering wheel.

Drivers may also start to hear whining or grumbling noises when they turn the wheel. At this point, you need to make sure your power steering fluid reservoir is full and top off if necessary. Then you’ll want to troubleshoot the cause of the power steering leak or take it to a mechanic to fix.

Average Repair Costs for Power Steering System Leaks

There are 6 main components of a hydraulic power steering system. They include:

  1. Power steering pump assembly
  2. Power steering reservoir tank
  3. High pressure hydraulic hose
  4. Power steering fluid return hose
  5. Steering rack and pinion assembly
  6. Power steering fluid

Because of this, there are many possible areas for a leak to occur. The leak could come from the pump, reservoir tank, high pressure hose, return hose or rack and pinion assembly.

To know from which area the leak come from, you can get under your vehicle to try to pinpoint the leaking area or simply have a professional find the leak. Below are estimated costs to repair or replace the leaking area of your power steering system.

Power Steering Pump Repair Cost

power steering pump repair cost

The average cost to repair a power steering pump is somewhere between $200 and $350.

To replace the power steering pump with a new part, it will cost between $400 and $800 (depending on car model and what shop you take it to).

Power Steering Reservoir Tank Replacement Cost

power steering reservoir replacement cost

A power steering reservoir tank leak commonly comes from the cap and hose connector. But sometimes, a clog from the filter of the reservoir tank can cause a spill or noise especially while turning.

The average cost to replace a power steering reservoir tank is somewhere between $150 to $250 depending on the vehicle and how hard it is to access the reservoir.

Power Steering Hose Replacement Cost

power steering hose replacement cost

Power steering hoses are typically made of rubber and they carry the power steering fluid to the rack and pinion of the power steering system. Unfortunately, these rubber hoses tend to crack after a while which causes the fluid they carry to leak.

The actual repair job will likely consist of replacing the power steering high pressure hose or power steering return hose because of the crack it has that leaks fluid.

The cost to replace with new hoses will likely be between $100 and $300 for parts, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. The labor costs for the replacement will be between $80 and $160.

The labor costs depend on the hourly labor rate that the mechanic charges. Most mechanics charge $80 to $120 per hour and a power steering hose replacement service should take about an hour to perform. Therefore, the replacement cost will be between $180 and $460.

Power Steering Hose Repair Cost

power steering hose repair cost

If you want a cheaper and temporary alternative to replacing the hose, or if you’re out of town and need an emergency repair, you can fix the hose yourself. All you need is to find a local auto parts store and purchase a male-to-male brass coupler, 2 hose clamps, and something to cut the hose with.

Find the portion of hose which has the leak and cut off the section that’s bad. Insert the coupler inside each hose in the spot you cut out the bad hose and tighten each side via a hose clamp. 

This temporary solution should cost you less than $10 and allows you to get back on the road. You’ll eventually want to completely replace the hose since its condition has deteriorated enough where it will likely develop other leaks.

Power Steering Rack and Pinion Repair Cost

rack and pinion repair cost

The average cost to repair a leak on a steering rack and pinion assembly will most likely fall somewhere between $500 to $1000. This is a lot more expensive than other parts of the power steering system since you need to completely overhaul the steering rack and pinion.

This consists of replacing all O rings and replace all oil seals inside the steering rack, and also include a front wheel alignment.

Conclusion

While leaks within the power steering system can happen, one tip can help problems from arising. The simple thing you can do is to not hold the steering fully turned for more than 10 seconds since this places a lot of stress on the system.

So to recap, here again are the average repair or replacement costs for various components of your power steering system:

  • Repair power steering pump:  $200 to $350
  • Replace power steering pump:  $400 to $800
  • Replace power steering reservoir:  $150 to $250
  • Repair power steering hose:  $10
  • Replace power steering hose:  $180 to $460
  • Repair power steering rack and pinion:  $500 to $1,000
 

10 thoughts on “Power Steering Replacement and Repair Cost (for 4 Common Parts)”

  1. I have a 2011 AWD traverse and I had the rack and pinion replace 300 miles ago now there is some kind of fluid in side both front fender wells. where could this oil be coming from the power steering pump is full.

    Reply
    • Check your brake fluid level. You should also take off one of the front wheels to have a closer look. Brake fluid has a very unique smell. I assume you’re sure the fluid in the fender wells wasn’t from before you had the Traverse serviced.

      Reply
  2. I have a leak that appears to be coming from a plug on the opposite side of where the pinion comes into the rack. Is there a way to replace this ?

    Reply
  3. I have a 2011 Nissan Murano my power steering is complete not working I heard a pop from my right wheel when I turned power staring stopped & there is reddish oil leaking all over said tire . Is my power pump out ? Or something else ?

    Reply
    • Power steering systems often use automatic transmission fluid (ATF) which is a reddish oil, so that’s probably what you’re seeing. My guess is the reservoir has been punctured or one of the hoses has come off, leaking fluid from the reservoir everywhere.

      You might be able to peek under the hood and spot the problem right away. Your pump is probably on the passenger side and it should be pretty obvious where it’s leaking from.

      If you’re not sure what to look for or how to fix it, I’d bring the car to a mechanic for a look. Be aware that driving the vehicle too much in this state may cause damage to the power steering pump, as it is not designed to run without fluid.

      Reply
  4. I have Elantra Hyundai 2004 with leak in power steering system. Mechanic said that lines are rotten ,rack needs to be replaced and the hydrolic fluid is leaking in several
    places.
    My question is ; can I use to replace above from used parts from TRIPS YARD?

    Reply
    • I would use brand new hoses. When you pick up hoses from a salvage yard, it can be hard to tell what condition they’re in and how long they’ll last you.

      Reply
  5. I am very grateful to you for this information. The bottom line is, I cannot afford to have a car anymore. And there is no other transportation other than taxis, and I cannot walk very far at all. My car is 30 years old, but still worth fixing if I can find someone to replace the rack and steering with labor costs $200 or less. Not $300, as I was quoted for just labor.

    I have the part. It was sent with no charge as the current rack – rack number 3 in succession, also failed. (Remanufactured part, all installed by expert mechanics). So, at least I have the part. Add on the necessary alignment for around $100. This can be stalled off for a couple weeks if a mechanic marks the position before removing the exisiting rack, but it must be done. There is no way I can turn the wheel if all the fluid blows at once; I have experienced that and had to have the car towed.

    But, the bright side here, is, (not dead yet), and your giving a labor cost that might not be $300. I think the mechanic who gave me the quote, (a private mechanic), well knew I wouldn’t be able to go for the $300, and then alignment costs elsewhere, and just didn’t want to deal with my old car any longer. Can’t really blame him, but, on the other hand, he is very well “set” – if you know what I mean. So, thank you. One other actual mechanical point –

    There was no fluid loss while the outside temperatures were 32 F and below. Only now, with temperatures over 32 F has the leak started again. The fluid is not cheap, is it.

    Reply
  6. My VW Passat 2012 has steering noise. I took it to mechanic, he charged me $1000 for replace the pump, and steering hose. After the fixed, problem is still there. I took the car back, then he charged me $270 more for the return hose. Have I been ripped off? I live in Southern California.

    Reply

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