24 Apr Tie Rod Replacement Service & Repair
Tie Rod Replacement Service and Repair
What is a Tie Rod and what does it do?
A tie rod is a part of your steering system. Your car has two of them, one for each front wheel. The tie rod assembly is connected on one end, to the steering knuckle assembly, which holds the front wheel, and on the other end, it is connected to your steering gear (steering rack) which connects to your steering wheel. The tie rod, or tie rod assembly, consist of two parts. The inner tie rod is a ball type joint that connects to the steering gear (steering rack). The outer tie rod or tie rod end, is a ball type joint that connects to your steering knuckle. The tie rods are your direct connection between your steering wheel and the front wheels. The two parts of the tie rod, the inner and the outer, are generally connected by a threaded sleeve. The purpose of the design is for their secondary function, which is to allow for toe adjustment of your car’s wheel alignment.
What common symptoms indicate that you may need to replace the Tie Rod?
Because your tie rod assemblies have to be able to move and articulate with your front wheels, their placement on your vehicle allows them to be exposed to the elements. Therefore, they can often fail due to rust. Often times, the failure is not discovered until the technician attempts adjust the tie rod, by extending it or shortening it to perform a toe adjustment during a wheel alignment. In such cases, rust is found to be severe enough to cause the metal connecting parts to seize or the metal parts to become weakened enough that they strip and shear when a wrench is used on it.
Other issues are:
- The rubber boots that seal in the grease on the ball joints of the tie rod ends have torn and allowed the joints to become overly stiff from rust or excessively loose from debris.
- Tie rods and usually the first items to become damaged or bent when hitting pot holes and curbs or road debris.
- The ball joints of the inner and outer tie rods ends become worn and loose with age and can contribute to a loose steering wheel, inaccurate steering, or steering shimmy.
- Excessive or uneven tire wear can be caused by bent, damaged, or poorly adjusted tie rods.
How Important is a Tie Rod Service or Repair
Tie rods are a critical safety component. Allowing the ball joints in the tie rod ends to degrade to point of complete failure or breakage can cause serious risk or death to you and other motorists on the road.
General Repair or Service Procedure (NATEF):
- Inspect all suspension and steering components.
- Verify that the tie rods are bad and inspect steering rack or steering gear for failure.
- Remove Wheel.
- Remove old tie rod assembly and install new one.
- Install Wheel.
- Perform wheel alignment and test drive car.
Additional parts and labor that may be needed:
It is necessary to have the technician investigate the steering rack and steering gear for excessive play. These items wear out and are prone to incurring damage when a car is driven excessively with failed tie rods.
- It is best to replace the entire inner and outer tie rod assembly, not just the tie rod end.
- It is good and standard practice to replace both left and right tie rod assemblies at the same time to insure accurate wheel alignment and eliminate any steering unpredicatability.
- A 4 wheel alignment is always recommended and required with suspension and steering repairs.
Preventative Maintenance Recommendations:
Make sure the auto repair shop or car service facility inspects the tie rods when doing brake jobs, routine maintenance, and brake service. It helps to spray tie rods with WD-40 or other penetrating oil before and after winter to help prevent rust formation and corrosion.
– OUR MISSION –
To schedule an appointment for Tie Rod Replacement and Wheel Alignment, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-831-3730. We welcome you to stop by our new auto repair shop located at 2099 S 10th St, Unit 40, San Jose, Ca 95112. If you have any questions about your car’s performance, automotive service needs, or vehicle maintenance, don’t be shy and ask our friendly and experienced staff for assistance.