5 Symptoms Of A Bad Tie Rod End (& Replacement Cost)
The front suspension has many parts, including control arms and important suspension components.
Sometimes they wear out due to the amount of stress the tie rod end experiences, as it holds the wheels still.
We will discuss the common signs, whereabouts, and what the cost to replace the tie rod ends. Let’s begin with a quick look at the signs to look for:
A distorted alignment of the front wheels is one sign that a tie rod ends are bad. If you examine your tires, you may find uneven wear and a distorted steering wheel.
Your dashboard will not show warning signs because the tie rod end of your car isn't connected digitally. You will notice other signs if your eyes are open.
Below is a list that explains the five most frequent symptoms associated with bad tie rod ends.
5 Bad Tie Rod End Symptoms
1. The front wheel alignment is distorted
You should have your car aligned and straightened by the tie rod. Although other suspension components like the shock absorbers, struts and shock absorbers play an important role in wheel alignment, any alteration in performance can cause serious distortion to your front wheels.
Badly worn tie rods can cause your car to move unnecessarily left/right when it brakes or drives. You can feel the performance of suspension components right from your steering wheel.
You can also feel if the component, such as a tie rod, is not performing well.
2. A Jittery Steering Car
Because the tie rod connects directly to the steering housing it means every hand movement is emulated at the bottom of the car's steering wheel and causes the car to steer. If your steering doesn't respond or feels jittery it could be the problem with the tie rod.
The steering wheel may vibrate or shake at higher speeds. This is normal when the tie rod has been worn.
You could end up with a suspension problem, like the bushings for control arms. It's best to get it checked out by a mechanic.
3. Uneven Tire wear
The tires will feel the most impact when the alignment is not in balance. Tires are the ones that absorb all of the road friction. If you find that one area of your tire becomes worn, it is likely the fault with the suspension parts. The tie rod could be the culprit.
Uneven tread depth can be a sign that this problem is present. When the tire wear is bad on both the inside and the outside, it might be caused by a bad tie rod end – but a bad wheel alignment can also cause it.
4. Bumps make strange noises
A grease-filled plastic bushing is found in the tie rod ends. This play can cause noise when you turn or drive on bumpy roads.
Usually, you won’t hear this from the inside of the car if you are not very skilled, but it is noticeable if it has gone terribly bad.
5. Take the wheel
There is a good chance the tie rod end may be damaged if the car is lifted with a floor-jack.
You should always check your wheel carefully when you're driving it. A play could also occur in the inner tie rod, or the bearing of the wheel.
The Tie Rod End Function
A car's suspension component is the tie rod end. The tie rod end is a tiny joint connecting the wheel to the rack. It supports the car during turning of the steering wheel.
One on each side should be the one for your front tires. If you ask it to go left or right, the car will drive straight when you drive it. This can be controlled by the tie rod. This restricts and facilites vehicle movement.
The rubber bushings of a tie rod should be replaced. Older cars may need newer rubber bushings. However, because the entire system is constantly in operation, it can become stressed and eventually fail. This can cause major modifications in how your car drives. You should be able to identify these issues early so you can fix them before they become major problems.
Tie rod end Location
Between the steering rack and the hub spindle of the front wheels, the tie rod ends can be found. These control the turning action of the front wheels.
These bolts are attached to the wheel hub spindle. The other end is mounted on the inner rod which is connected with the steering rack.
One fun thing you maybe didn’t know is that some sports cars like Nissan skyline, have 4 wheel steering which means they actually have tie rod ends on the rear wheels also.
Tie rod end Replacement Cost
Without a cost for alignment, the average cost to replace a tie rod end is $70-$250. A tie rod end costs $20 – $50 while the labor cost is between $80 to $100.
A wheel alignment can be performed after a replacement of the tie rod end. It may cost between $80 and $100.
That is why it can be a good idea to replace both of the tie rods ends at once, so that you will not replace one – make a wheel alignment, and the next month you have to do it again.
For 4WD vehicles, I recommend a four-wheel alignment.