The steering system is responsible for maintaining control of the vehicle at any time and in any situation. The role of the steering system is to allow easy and fast driving of the vehicle in a straight line and turns, as well as to ensure the stability of the vehicle in all operating conditions.
An important part of this system is the steering wheel column, which contains chips, cables, and wires. This needs to be replaced every time after a car accident that involves the front end or/and deployment of the airbag. Also, some people choose to replace it due to cosmetic reasons or other problems.
How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Steering Column?
In general, the replacement cost for a steering wheel column depends on the make and model of the car you are driving and the mechanic you choose. You should plan on spending, on average, anywhere between $480 and $1,500 for fixing a steering column with an OEM part.
The steering column designs will vary from one make and model to another. If your vehicle’s steering is equipped with many controls, like cruise control or radio controls, then it has more complex wiring, which results in higher replacement costs. Remember that every steering column is different and if it takes longer to disassemble it, you will have to pay much more than for a straightforward, basic job. You will be charged by the hour by most garages.
In the table below you will find the average costs for repairing different steering columns at a local dealership/mechanic.
|Average Price for Parts and Labor
|Chrysler Town and Country
|Chevrolet Silverado 1500
In case you choose to replace the steering column on your own, you should be prepared to pay more than $270 for a new steering column, while a used piece costs less than $110, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. For instance, we were able to find some steering wheel columns on eBay that cost less than $220.
According to the members of F150Forum.com, you should expect to spend anywhere between $120 and $270 for replacing a steering wheel column on your own.
Steering column repair overview
When replacing a steering wheel column, the mechanic will unscrew the old column from different points, depending on the make and model of your car. After this process, the mechanic will lift the column out of its position, will disconnect the wires, and clean the area.
Once everything is free of any debris or obstacles, they will place the new part in its position and securely connect it to the existing screw holes with bolts. Finally, when the steering column is installed on the dashboard, they will lift the car’s hood to connect any loose cables and wires to the column.
The majority of the steering columns will move in and out, and up and down. These should be adjustable to fit each driver for maximum safety.
Which are the additional expenses?
There may be applied extra fees if your steering column needs to be reprogrammed after its installation.
If you purchase an aftermarket part that has to be painted to match your vehicle’s interior, you will have to support some extra costs.
Important things to consider
Uncertain, unstable, imprecise, and rigid steering or the feeling that the car is “pulling” in a certain direction are all important reasons to carry out repairs to the steering system.
If your car is still under warranty, you should check if this repair is covered by this. You can find out if your car is under warranty by simply giving a call to the car manufacturer.
The wear of the steering column will reduce the vehicle’s stability and the driver’s control over it. Your car’s steering system should be checked regularly, at least once a year, along with wheel alignment.
Tips for saving money
Before sending your car to some mechanic or dealership, check for coupons or specials. Some of them may post promotions on their official website.
In case you choose to go to a mechanic for replacing the steering column of your vehicle, you should ask for at least three price offers. Some may ask to see you in person to give you an exact price, while others may be able to tell you a price over the phone. Also, you should check with the dealerships and local shops as, in general, dealerships are more expensive than privately owned mechanic shops.
If you want to replace the steering column on your own and don’t want to purchase a newer OEM part, take into consideration looking for second-hand parts at local junkyards. Though, before you go to a salvage yard, give them a call and ask if they have the part you need.