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I don't know very much about cars. During an inspection, the dealership said my front right inner tie rod was loose and recommended replacing the entire steering rack on my 2007 RAV 4 for $2500. They said that on some cars you can replace the inner tie rod but not on a 2007 RAV 4.

I took the vehicle to another mechanic for a second opinion (before just buying another car). The second mechanic said it is easy and much cheaper to replace the inner tie rod, and there was no need to replace the steering rack.

Which mechanic should I trust? I do not want to waste money, and also do not want to drive an unsafe car.

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    No, just replace the inner tie rods, Just did both on my 2010 Honda Odyssey. Cannot tell you who to trust. They are cheap on Amazon. – Moab Jul 7 at 18:36
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    Unless there's something obviously wrong with the steering rack, just replace the tie rod. You'll probably need to get the front tires aligned afterwards as well. – the_storyteller Jul 7 at 18:42
  • Literally, you can get the inner tie rod end for under $30. Tell them to look at MOOG part number EV8003289 ... they need to quit trying to rip off the customer. Even a complete rack (which includes new inner tie rod ends) only runs ~$275. They are going to charge you over $2k in labor? Sheesh. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jul 7 at 20:49
  • This is literally a ten minute do-it-yourself job. The only (minor) issue is that you need a ball joint splitter to remove the old tie rod, but you can probably buy a cheap one of those for $20. – alephzero Jul 7 at 22:14
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You need an inner tie rod. These cost about $10-$20 depending on the manufacturer.

$2500 to a dealer to replace the steering rack... sounds like what a dealer might suggest. Your local mechanic should be able to replace the inner tie rod for $200 or less (parts & labor).

(No, it doesn't take 10 minutes...)

Add $50-$100 for an alignment which you WILL need.

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