All cars will have a steering column which is what controls how the car steers as well as other things. Located on the steering column, you will find the ignition switch, windshield wipers, and turn signals. Many new cars will also have a gear selector and cruise control option. Whenever you look at the steering column you will just see the controls and knobs for these features. Most of the assemblies for these features are located under the dashboard on the driver’s side. The assembly will be connected to the where the engine is located under the dashboard on the passenger side. The chassis will contain all the steering parts which will be connected to the steering column through a solid tube made of steel and some universal joints.
The steering column will give the drive many steering options like swing away steering, tilt steering, and telescopic steering. The steering column was improved starting in the 1950s which was considered as the golden age for vehicles in the USA. It was by the 1960s that the steering column become a major part for cars and it was more than just a feature that was used for steering the car. The steering column is what allowed drivers to get in and out of the car by moving out of the way. Other options such as tilt steering and telescopic steering were introduced by the middle of the 1950s.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace a Steering Column?
Auto shops that you take your car to will be the main factor in how much replacing the steering column will cost you. Plus, the model and make of your car will also be a factor of the cost. You may be expected to pay between $500 to $1500 for a full replacement at many auto shops. In order to save a bit of money, you could do it on your own and save money on labor costs. You may even purchase the steering column that has been used for under $90. If you are wanting a new one, then you may pay over $300. The model and make of your car will affect the price.
If you are able to scrap your steering column and then replace only a few parts, then you can pay between $125 to $350. The steering column designs will be different because each model and make will have a unique design. If your steering column takes a bit to disassemble, then the labor will cost more money. Most auto shops will charge about $60 or more per hour and that adds up fast.
If you are still wanting to use an auto shop, then do price checking with several shops near where you live. You can try to get an estimate by phone, but most will want to take a look at the car for themselves. Also, you need to remember that there are some dealerships that do auto work too. However, a private auto shop will be less expensive than a dealership.
How Long Does It Take To Replace A Steering Column?
The steering wheel on your car is the main part to moving into a parking space, on the road, and much more. But, it doesn’t do it on its own. There are many parts within a steering system. Your steering column will be a big part and it is more than just a bunch of plastic pieces used to protect the shaft.
The steering column will include many components. It has a mounting location for the steering wheel, as well as a universal joint which lets you turn the wheel in any direction. The column is attached to an intermediate shaft which is a series of tight fitting splines that keep the column attached. This means that when you turn the wheel, your steering column turns which turns the shaft and then activates the steering gear to turn your wheels.
Other parts in your steering column may include the telescope and tilt mechanisms that lets you adjust the steering wheel to a position you prefer, as well as houses the ignition. It is a big part of your car. You use your steering column every time that your car is drove, but it isn’t subjected to the same type of wear that other parts are.
The steering column is supposed to last as long as your car does. Since that has been stated, if you happen to drive a lot, especially on a curvy road, then you will have more wear on your steering column than a person who hardly drives or just drives on a major interstate.
Bad Steering Column Problems & Symptoms
A very common issue with a steering column other than damage on the plastic cladding will be wear on the universal joint which could cause it to bind. This means that it gets really hard to turn your steering wheel, and you may not get a full range of motion. The splines that are connecting the intermediate shaft to the steering column will wear which causes a really loose feeling in the steering wheel.
Seeing how important a steering column is, it is really important to know a few symptoms that your steering column is having issues. These include:
- Turning the wheel causes a creaking or squealing noise.
- You hear a clunking whenever you turn the wheel.
- The steering feels really loose.
- The steering wheel begins to bind during a turn.
- The steering wheel doesn’t turn as far as it should be.
If you are having these issues, then it may be best to look into replacing your steering column. You should have a certified mechanic check out your steering column and other parts on your car to see what type of repairs will need to be made.