Car Doctor Q&A: Cheaper Fixes for Santa Fe’s Leaky Steering Rack

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It’s a real conundrum when you’re about to sell off a car that requires $1,500 worth of work. Do you fix it right, or try a cheap repair that may get you through the winter? AAA Car Doctor John Paul provides one solution.

Q. I have a 2007 Hyundai Sante Fe and was told the power steering rack is leaking. I was told the repair would be close to $1500. I only plan to keep the truck through the winter. Can I just keep adding fluid or do I need to have this repair done?


A. You could certainly keep adding fluid; the down side is that the dripping power steering fluid will end on the ground or coating the underside of the vehicle. I looked up the price on AllData, the technical database I use for research, the price of the steering rack is $767 and it will take about six hours to perform the repair. Add in the cost of a wheel alignment and it is easy to see how this job could run $1,500.

You could save some money using a rebuilt aftermarket part which would be about half the cost of the new steering rack. Finally you could try a power steering sealer. I have heard of pretty good results with Lucas Power Steering Sealer and Conditioner. These types of additive will swell the seals slightly and may slow or stop the leak. At a cost of $10 a bottle it is certainly worth a try.