Steering wheel play in Stratus

I've noticed recently about an inch or so of play in the steering wheel of my '02 Stratus, with 133K on the clock.
Hopefully I will be getting it in the shop soon to be checked out, but is this always a sign that the rack is going, or could it be something less extensive (and expensive), such as bearings or even something needing tightening? The car handles and drives fine otherwise. Inner tie-rods were replaced about two years ago.
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tie rods, rack bushings and bolts......i found 2 rack bolts loose this weekend, and possibly the steering link connecting the steering column to the rack.
getting any noise?
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No noise.
This is weird: this morning, the play was gone! Everything seemed nice and tight. It's been over 100 degrees here lately; that shouldn't have affected it. Or whatever was funky straightened itself out.
It's going in for inspection and alignment check this weekend. We'll see what gets found. The shop is pretty good with diagnostics.
Thanks for the reply.
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