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RACK AND PINION ~ Help

 
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Old 22 Oct 2007, 06:12 pm
Young Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: OxCx - SO CAL
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Unhappy RACK AND PINION ~ Help

Hi I'm new and bummed.

I have an 05 PT Limited Turbo with 45K miles on it. One month ago my air went out and I took it into the dealer (which I had been going to with no prior problems) for them to fix. At that time I also did most (all) major servicing: fluid flushes, new spark plugs, etc. 1700$ worth of work.
At the time I also added a Mopar Cold Air Intake.

The only things I had done up until that point were oil changes regularly, tire rotates and new rotors and brakes and new tires.

There was a malfunction in the steering that they replaced and fixed at this time also due to a 'rubbing' ticking noise in the steering wheel.

As of Friday, upon acceleration, I noticed a fast clicking sound, almost a squealing, only with acceleration at any speed; stopped or returning to a speed while in motion.

I took it back to the same dealer and now they say it's a possible rack and pinion that needs to be replaced. Is this typical at only 45K?

For 2 years I worked .5 miles from work and rarely drove the PT except for short trips and various places on the weekend.

Since Feb of this year, I have a typical 25 mile one way commute to work and it is usually done on a toll road with no stop and go traffic.

I am meticulous with my car and am starting to get nervous I am getting taken by the dealer.

I have another mechanic, non Chrysler I am going to take it to for a 2nd opinion....

any advice, news, recalls, suggestions for me????
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Old 22 Oct 2007, 06:30 pm
Hooligan's Avatar
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Default Re: RACK AND PINION ~ Help

R_I_PT, Welcome to the Forum!!!

Definately get a 2nd opinion.
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Old 22 Oct 2007, 06:36 pm
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Default Re: RACK AND PINION ~ Help

Welcome to the forum.

Found this on the PT DIY site for some interesting reading:

I have a 2002 TE PT with 40k miles. It appears to me that the rack and pinion is failing. At slow speeds the steering wheel has a faint wiggle motion back and forth. The fluid is not low and the tires are in good shape. The wiggle is more pronounced when the temperature is colder. The dealer wants around $1,100 plus alignment, to replace the rack and pinion with no guarantee that the problem will go away. I have heard that the steering system in PT's is a weak link, is it? I have searched the web sites and have not found anything on the subject. The part is not under warranty because there is more than 36,000 miles, but I feel Chrysler should bear some cost for what I feel is a very early failure for a major part. What do think I should do? Thanks. - Ed, from USA.

We have received and or read about only one other (unconfirmed) report of rack failure during the last three years. The dealers' diagnosis sounds very wishy-washy if he's not willing to stand behind it. That would be an indication to me that it might be prudent to obtain a second or third opinion. I would investigate several other garages to determine if the rack is failing, without initially mentioning what the dealer told you. There may be many other causes, including the tires. Another known good set could be installed, to rule out that issue. Another place to inspect is the brake rotors for warpage.

If it does turn out to be premature failure of the rack, ask your dealer for assistance. Dealers and DC occasionally make free "out of warranty" repairs or will pay for a portion of the repair cost under a goodwill policy. They are usually more receptive to helping out if the damage occurs just outside the warranty period and if you can demonstrate that it occurred prematurely. Of course, if you can show that it a documented widespread problem, that would be a tremendous help, however we are unaware of any TSB's or reported concerns that support that contention. If the dealer isn't open to helping you, try contacting DC customer assistance and explaining the situation to them. If you're a repeat DC car buyer it wouldn't hurt to mention that either.

Follow up from owner - A friend, who is a mechanic, has experienced this same problem in other cars. His research has indicated that the geometry of the front suspension and the nature of modern radial tires create this problem. He stated that it is particularly noticeable on Ford Taurus. Nothing to worry about. Better tires may help, however were going to experiment with different alignment settings, i.e. caster and camber, etc. to see if we can eliminate the problem.

Follow up from owner - I increased the air pressure by 2psi all around and the problem disappeared. I normally run with 38psi in the front and 36psi in the rears, and now run at 40 and 38 and there is no indication of any wheel shake or wiggle. DIY Note - The normal and recommended tire pressure for the OEM tires is 35psi. Over inflation can be dangerous and cause uneven tire wear.
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Old 22 Oct 2007, 06:50 pm
Young Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: OxCx - SO CAL
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Default Re: RACK AND PINION ~ Help

Hi Hooligan and Crewzin.

Thanks for the quick response!

I just called a long time family used mechanic and turns out he has been working on PTs since they came out. I used to have nothing but Hondas
and that is his other specialty.

Hopefully he can give me the final word on what the heck is happening to my poor PT.

This coming right at the time I was about to add a roll pan, drop the rear, pin stripe it and get MOONIE rims with purple accent.
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Old 22 Oct 2007, 06:57 pm
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Default Re: RACK AND PINION ~ Help

Well, ya gotta get it running right before you think about adding mods. Good Luck.
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Old 22 Oct 2007, 07:29 pm
Young Cruiser
 
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Default Re: RACK AND PINION ~ Help

I know. Just bummed because I was SOOOO close to doing fun mods to the appearance.

I'm going to the mechanic on Thursday, so I'll let ya know what happens.
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Old 23 Oct 2007, 07:19 am
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Default Re: RACK AND PINION ~ Help

Please do let us know what the fix is.
I'll bet it's not the rack.
you wrote: " At that time I also did most (all) major servicing: fluid flushes, new spark plugs, etc. 1700$ worth of work." - even if that included radiator, auto transmission and brake fluids, that's still high. I'd be leary of that dealer...
I have read of some racks being replaced, but not many of them, and it's not clear they were needed.
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Old 24 Oct 2007, 06:53 pm
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Default Re: RACK AND PINION ~ Help

Well that $1700 included the Mopar Air Intake, plus a new turn signal switch that was broken. So it was like $375 for those parts. There were 18 items done. In addition, they fixed my AC for free since they did 4 major boo boos which included dinging my hood, scratching my car, FORGETTING to fix the air which made me have to get a rental (which they comped), then returning the following morning after they told me it was done, and finding out it wasn't.

After all that insanity I asked nicely that they comp the AC job since they screwed up and I had been a loyal repeat service customer for 3 years. They comped the AC and fixed the ding and scratch all the same day. They fixed the ding and scratch and a few others scratches that they hadn't done and they did a great job.

SOOOOOOOO back to the Rack and Pinion. My car is sounding worse every day. Yesterday I called Chrysler customer service in Michigan (I am in Cali) and I inquired as to if in their opinion that the rack and pinion should have a longer life expectancy. I also told them my woes from the previous visit.

They called me today and told me that Chrysler would as a good faith item, treat this as a warranty issue, even though my basic is over, and ask that I pay a $150 deductible while the remaining cost would be covered by Chrysler. So thank you Crewzin for posting what you did. It worked for me.

I am thinking I should just let the dealer fix it since I know something is wrong since the noise is getting worse, and ask for all the parts from my car so that I can have the mechanic I know look at them.

I have never had problems with my PT until now, so I hope this isn't a look into the future of my PT.


Yes it included brake and transmission, steering, fluid, every fluid I believe, throttle body service, fuel injection service, decombustion chamber on the somethin er other....and other stuff I'm sure was not needed, but I thought to keep the car with a clean bill of health, spending the $$$ after only doing the oil changes and tire rotates, brakes and tires going on 3 years, that it was money well spent. I could be wrong???

Last edited by R_I_PT; 24 Oct 2007 at 07:09 pm.
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Old 29 Oct 2007, 07:50 pm
Young Cruiser
 
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Location: OxCx - SO CAL
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Default Re: RACK AND PINION ~ Help

Wow.
I'm drained. So I had the dealer fix the rack and pinion which ended up being the vinyl 'rubbing' sound in the steering column. Chrysler covered that and I payed $150 as a co-pay even though I was out of the 36K mile warranty.

The squealing sound from the engine was the serpintine belt, replaced for
$40. They also informed me I have 10% left on my front brakes. I replaced all my brakes and rotors last December so here I am again having to dump money for the brakes.

So instead, I bought Napa Ceramic pads for 90$ which includes the lube kit and all the parts and Napa replacement rotors, thanks to reading all the info on this forum I am so done with Mopar stock brake pads. If they destroy the rotors so fast I might as well upgrade the pads to save the life of the rotor.

This forum has saved me alot of $$$.
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Old 30 Oct 2007, 03:37 am
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Default Re: RACK AND PINION ~ Help

Glad we were able to help.
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