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Honda Accord Steering Racks & Gear Boxes

The Honda Accord is a family-friendly, mid-size car known for its smooth driving performance, so when Accord drivers experience power-steering issues, they may need to replace some of the system's components. The gear box, also known as the steering rack, is the heart of this system. If you have noticed your Accord steering wheel is tight, the gear box may be the culprit.

What is the function of the Honda Accord gear box?

The gear box is the central unit of the rack-and-pinion steering system. At the end of the rack is a series of gears, which engage with the steering column's pinion gear. This is the mechanism that connects the gear box to the steering wheel. Inside the gear box is a series of passages which are filled with pressurized fluid. This fluid is what powers the power-steering system. It's also responsible for keeping system components cool and minimizing the friction caused by metal-on-metal contact.

When the gear box is functioning correctly, the other parts of the system have the power they need to induce the left-right movement of the wheels. When the gear box malfunctions, however, Honda drivers may experience reduced turning and driving performance.

Why do gear boxes get damaged?

Gear boxes are typically made of steel, which ensures that they can withstand plenty of wear and tear. Eventually, however, even these durable parts can fail. That's because they are subjected to hot temperatures under the hood, which can damage the metal rack over time. They can also be damaged by dirt and debris. While a Honda Accord is operational, road debris hits the gear box, which can damage internal mechanisms. It can also contaminate the power-steering fluid, which can damage the surrounding gear sets.

What are signs an Accord has a faulty gear box?

When a Honda Accord vehicle has a malfunctioning gear box, drivers may notice the following signs:

  • Leaks - If the gear box is cracked or broken, the power steering fluid may leak out onto the ground. You may notice puddles of brown liquid under your Honda vehicle.
  • Fluid discoloration - You should regularly check the fluid levels on your Honda to ensure that the power-steering system has enough. If the power-steering fluid is too low, contaminated, or foamy, it's a sign that the gear box has been damaged.
  • Wandering vehicle - When the power-steering system starts to malfunction, your Honda Accord may start wandering. You may have to perform constant steering-wheel adjustments to get the car to drive straight. If this isn't caused by alignment issues, the gear box is the likely cause of the problem.
  • No resistance - The steering wheel should provide drivers with a consistent level of resistance at every position. If you notice that your Honda steering wheel has a "numb spot" where the wheel offers no resistance, this is a sign that the gear-box gears are worn out.