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My 2002 Camry has one of those rack and pinion rubber boots with oil on the outside of it. It’s not leaking but the oil is just covering the rubber. The steering is fine but feels loose. Very easy to turn the steering wheel. It’s been like this for a long while I think but I’m not the primary driver of the car. Does the whole thing need to be replaced or should I ignore this.
 

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Hi Lucas, and welcome to the TN forums! I moved your thread to the appropriate Camry forum where you’ll be more likely to get some advice.
 

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My 2002 Camry has one of those rack and pinion rubber boots with oil on the outside of it. It’s not leaking but the oil is just covering the rubber. The steering is fine but feels loose. Very easy to turn the steering wheel. It’s been like this for a long while I think but I’m not the primary driver of the car. Does the whole thing need to be replaced or should I ignore this.

- make sure its the rack boot and not the cv axle boot
- if the rack boot is ripped it will take on grit and water and wear out the rack due to increased lash/backlash between the rack and pinion gears

- this backlash will create 'play' in the steering wheel, ie 'freeplay' when you move the wheel back and forth before the front wheels actually move/react

- most steering racks have a backlash adjuster screw to adjust for wear, HOWEVER once the rack is worn enough to feel play adjusting the backlash adjuster will usually not fix it (you'll get heavy steering effort that wont re-center instead)..

- live with it OR replace the entire rack

- OR you may try to adjust the backlash on the rack itself and see if you get lucky.. :)













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Try suctioning out the PS reservoir with a turkey baster or other suction device. Add Dexron III or Valvoline MaxLife ATF. Drive vehicle for a few days. Repeat procedure two or three more times. The seal additive in the new ATF may swell the seal enough to prevent leakage. My 04 PS rack boot on one side showed some accumulation of oil early on but never developed a fluid leak.Regards
 
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