Check twice. Fix once.

steering rack hydraulic system
drawing: Audi
Forums can provide a quick answer, but it’s not always the correct answer.

I read a few automotive forums, mostly for their technical content, and occasionally rely on them for advice. A few days ago, I saw a question from someone who needed to replace the two hydraulic hoses to his steering rack. One hose feeds hydraulic fluid at over 2000 PSI to the rack. The other hose returns the fluid to the reservoir.

I’ve done this job before, but couldn’t remember which hose goes where. A forum member whose answers are normally correct, replied. Unfortunately, his answer was wrong: he transposed the hoses. Yikes!

The person who asked the question followed the advice, and promptly blew out the pinion seal in his steering rack. Watch his steering wheel violently vibrate in this Youtube video.

Expensive mistake
A rebuilt rack costs about $250, and the R&R (Remove & Replace) labor is over 4 hours for an experienced mechanic. I’d guess that it will require a full day for an inexperienced mechanic. At about $100 per hour labor rate, that’s an expensive mistake.

Reading the message thread reminds me to always double-check answers that are offered by even well-meaning and informed forum members. For critical questions, verify with factory documentation.

Caveat lector
Most information that’s found on the web is free, and may be worth exactly what you pay for it. As Richard Nixon said, “Trust, but verify”.

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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

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