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The Steering Gear Boot on the passenger side is torn completely in half. I have a Haynes repair manual that very clearly explains how to replace it, but it does not mention the components that the boot protects or if they should be inspected prior to installing the new boot. What does the Steering Gear Boot protect? I am not sure if the part the boot protects may be bad as my manual does not identify what it is.

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Courtney, One of the key systems for navigating your rig around the roadways is the steering rack & pinion. This combination of a round pinion gear and straight rack gear converts the rotational motion of your steering wheel into the lateral motion that triggers your wheels to turn in the right directions. Of course, as a staple system in your automobile, your steering rack & pinion requires regular maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape. The boot is an integral part protecting these steering components, usually if you have a torn boot the grease has been slung out depleting the lubricant properties of these particular components, I recommend that you look into have the entire assembly replaced and an alignment should be performed after any extensive repair is performed to the steering system.

Laurie Sarno, Co-Owner at Super Girls Auto Hi Courtney- The purpose of the boot is to keep road dirt and grit out of the end of the rack-and-pinion (steering gear) assembly. Upon complete removal of the damaged boot, inspection should be made of the inside surface of the tube. Should this reveal any scoring,(caused by abrasive grit) the entire assembly should be replaced with a new or re-manufactured unit. Also, the inner tie rod joint should be inspected for looseness. You may need to check the alignment if the tie rod has to be removed and re-installed. Should no problems be found, it is acceptable procedure to replace the boot. Hopefully this will help. Super Girls Auto

Pat Fleischmann, Director of First Impressions at Community Tire Pros & Auto Repair Wow! I applaud you for taking the initative to come this far with the manual and enpowering yourself to Question? This is a tricky item, and if the boot is torn, it's pretty sure the elements have effected the inside parts. Especially, if you don't know how long you've been driving like this.... This houses the CV Joints,(Contant Velocity). They need to be examined for wear, cleaned and repacked with grease. Depends if it's an outter or inner boot the degree of difficulty. When dirt gets in this area it rubs with damaging effects....Let your professional ASKPATTY.com facility handle this or your local trusted mechanic. Believe me, they will expedite far faster & identify IF there are any problems,repair or replacement. This is a major SAFETY issue...steering is IMPORTANT! Listen for a popping or clicking sound when turning...you have some problems.

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