What is a Rack and Pinion Boot?
Let’s make this a little easier to understand by breaking it down. There are two parts to “rack and pinion boot.” There’s the “rack and pinion” portion, and the “boot” portion. Let’s start with the former.
The rack and pinion (also known as the steering rack) is a critical part of your car’s steering system.
Let’s go for the simplified version, shall we? Imagine those scooters you rode around as a kid. So, they’ve got the handle bars, which are like a steering wheel. And they’ve got the wheels. And they’ve got a long bar connecting the two, right?
That’s pretty much what your car’s rack and pinion is. The steering rack is connected to the steering shaft, which is connected to the steering wheel. And it’s also connected to the steering knuckles, which are attached to the wheels. As you turn the steering wheel, the two ends of the rack and pinion move to control the wheels of the car, and then your car goes where you ask it to. In theory, at least.
So, that brings us to part two: The “boot.” You know what a boot is, yeah? Well, that’s pretty much what the rack and pinion boots are, too.
The rack and pinion has two rubber boots, with one on each end. Just like the boots on your feet, they serve to protect the rack and pinion. The boots keep dirt, dust, detritus, and all forms of liquid and moisture from entering the rack and pinion. It’s an important job.
Rack and pinion boots rarely need to be replaced. The rubber is very durable, and unlike some other rubber components in your car, the boots aren’t subject to much wear and tear. But occasionally they will need a replacement, at which point both should be replaced at the same time.