The steering assembly of cars and other vehicles consists of several vital parts that help control and turn the vehicle. The steering assembly of vehicles includes parts such as ball joints, rack and pinion, and tie rod ends.
All these parts help in controlling and turning the vehicles. The tie rod end also plays an important role in the steering assembly of vehicles.
Through this article, you will get detailed information about tie rod ends. Such as, what are tie rod ends, symptoms of a damaged tie rod end, and how much can its replacement cost?
What Is A Tie Rod End?
Tie rod ends are a vital component of a vehicle’s steering system, connecting the vehicle’s steering rack to the steering knuckle and allowing the vehicle’s tires to turn when the vehicle’s steering wheel is turned.
The tie rod end is designed to control the vehicle’s wheels through the steering system, allowing the vehicle’s wheels to turn in the direction determined by the driver when the steering wheel is turned.
But sometimes, due to a lack of maintenance, the tie rod end of the steering system may get damaged, which can badly affect the functioning of the steering system.
How Do Tie Rod End Work?
Tie rod ends work by connecting the steering rack to the steering knuckle. When the steering wheel is turned in a direction selected by the driver, the steering rack rotates the ends of the tie rods, which in turn apply pressure or pull to the steering knuckle, causing the vehicle’s wheels to turn in the direction specified by the driver.
The ends of the tie rods are designed to control the wheels, allowing the vehicle to be turned and steered straight.
The ends of the tie rods in a vehicle’s steering system are designed to be adjustable, allowing proper alignment of the wheels and allowing the vehicle’s tires to provide motion and control without excess friction during motion in a straight direction.
Types Of Tie Rod Ends
The steering systems of vehicles are usually equipped with two types of tie rod ends.
- Inner Tie Rod Ends
- Outer Tie Rod Ends
Inner Tie Rod Ends
These are located inside the steering rack and serve to connect the steering rack or box to the steering linkage.
Outer Tie Rod Ends
These are located on the outside of the steering rack and serve to connect the steering linkage to the steering knuckle or spindle. Both types of tie rod ends are designed to pivot and rotate, allowing the wheels to turn and steer the vehicle.
Symptoms Of Bad Tie Rod End
If a vehicle has bad tie rod ends, common symptoms can include excessive play in the steering wheel, uneven tire wear, knocking or knocking noises when turning, and wandering while driving. Additionally, there may also be signs of steering wheel vibration and improper wheel alignment.
Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of bad tie rod ends so you don’t get confused with other bad vehicle suspension parts.
1. Steering Wheel Vibration
Often when the tie rod ends component of the vehicle’s steering system is damaged, you will feel the vibration from the steering wheel during the high speed of the vehicle.
Because the damaged tie rod ends are unable to stabilize and control the wheels of the vehicle during speed, Due to which loose or worn tie rod ends start to vibrate slightly during high speed. And you also feel this vibration in the steering wheel.
2. Steering Wheel Pull One Side
If the tie rod ends of your vehicle’s steering system are damaged or worn, then your vehicle’s steering wheel will exert more pressure during high speed on one side, which is controlled with more force by the driver.
Damaged or worn tie rod ends can result in loss of straight-line control during high speed and cause the vehicle to over-pull or veer to one side.
3. Loose Steering Wheel
Often, a worn or damaged tie rod end of a vehicle’s steering system can cause the steering system to feel loose or not function as it normally should.
4. Steering Wheel Off-set
The center point of the steering wheel is often set during vehicle alignment, so that the center point of the steering wheel remains straight when the vehicle is moving in a straight direction. But damaged or worn tie rod ends can throw off the center point of your vehicle’s steering wheel.
However, there are other reasons for the deterioration of the center point of the steering wheel. Therefore, when this happens, it is necessary to investigate its reasons.
5. Clunking Noise
Damaged or worn tie rod ends of a vehicle’s steering system often result in an abnormal clucking noise when the steering wheel is turned. Sometimes this noise can be heard faintly even when the vehicle is moving in a straight direction.
Damaged or worn tie rod ends may rattle during motion or when turning the steering wheel, causing abnormal noises.
6. Uneven Tire Wear
Worn or damaged tie rod ends can cause uneven wear on the tires. Because damaged or worn tie rod ends cause poor alignment of the vehicle’s front tires when running in a straight direction during speed, causing both the front tires of the vehicle to run at different angles to each other and additional friction in the tires. The vehicle’s front tires seem to wear out, and tire life can be reduced and handling can be poor.
Caused Of Damaged Tie Rod Ends
Damage to tie rod ends can be caused by natural wear, tie rod end corrosion, other damage, improper alignment, or overloading problems.
1. Natural wear and tear
The tie rod ends of a vehicle’s steering system are subject to wear and tear over time. as the tie rod ends bear more shocks during the movement of the vehicle and during cornering, due to which the tie rod ends get damaged due to excessive wear.
2. Rust In Tie Rod End
Tie rod ends in a vehicle’s steering system are often located low to the vehicle’s chassis and near the tires, making tie rod ends a common occurrence. Hence, tie rod ends can be damaged due to rusting. And corrosion causes more wear on the tie rod ends.
3. Other Damage
Many times during high speed the vehicle hits a big pothole or any other type of debris on the road, due to which the tire of the vehicle gets a strong shock and this shock reaches the steering through the tie rod end. The tie rod end gets damaged or bent due to a sudden, strong jerk.
4. Improper Alignment
If your vehicle’s front wheels are not aligned properly, the wheels exert more pressure on the tie rod end during motion and can cause more wear on the tie rod end, which can lead to quicker and more severe damage to the tie rod end. Is. If the wheels are not properly aligned, this can cause excessive wear on the tie rod ends.
If a vehicle is driven for a long period of time with frequent overloading, it can also cause the tie rod ends of the vehicle’s steering system to wear more quickly or be completely damaged. Because the turning of the wheels of the vehicle at the time of overloading puts more pressure on the tie rod end.
How To Replace A Damaged Tie Rod End?
To replace the damaged tie rod end, you can follow the procedure given below.
- First of all, you will need to gather the necessary tools to replace the tie rod end, such as a jack, a jack stand, a lug wrench, a tie rod end tool, and a new tie rod end.
- After this, you will have to lift the vehicle with a jack, install the jack stand for support, and make sure that the vehicle is properly fixed on the jack stand or not.
- Now, with the help of a lug wrench, open the wheel nuts and also open the lug nuts.
- Next, find the location of the damaged tie rod end.
- After this, you have to use a tie rod end tool to open the tie rod end.
- Next, after removing the old tie rod, clean the steering linkage area and install the new tie rod end.
- Then tighten the wheel and lug nuts with the correct torque wrench.
- After this, you have to check the alignment of the vehicle.
- After this, take the vehicle for a test drive.
Tie Rod Ends Replacement Cost
Tie rod end replacement cost depends on the vehicle model, tie rod end quality, and the mechanic’s labor rate.
On average, tie rod end replacement costs can range from $180 to $350, and this cost will include the mechanic’s labor costs.
A unit of tie rod ends for normal cars can cost between $100 and $220, and a mechanic’s labor cost can range from $80 to $130. However, these costs may be more or less dependent on the location of the mechanic and the model of the vehicle.
Q. What happens when tie rod ends go out?
Severe damage or complete failure of the tie rod end may cause the vehicle’s wheel to separate from the steering assembly, rendering the vehicle unable to control and turn. But if it fails during high speed of the vehicle, it can lead to a dreadful accident.
Q. Can you drive with a broken tie rod?
If your vehicle’s tie rod end is worn, you can drive with it carefully. But if the tie rod end fails completely, it can lead to a complete loss of steering control.
Banty is the owner of Autorepairszone.com & is also a vehicle mechanic by profession. We have almost 12 years of experience in the field of automotive repair, and we strive to provide you with accurate information about vehicle malfunctions and repairs based on our experience.