Symptoms of a Bad or Worn Tie Rod End
- Wobbly or loose steering wheel
- Banging or clanking sound coming from the front end
- Front end alignment is off
- Excessive or uneven tire wear
- Looseness or play when shaking a wheel from side to side
What is a Tie Rod End?
A tie rod end is an important part of any vehicle’s steering mechanism. Whether the vehicle uses a rack & pinion assembly or a steering gearbox, there will be tie rod ends to connecting steering mechanism to the inside of the front wheels (and occasionally the rear wheels). When the steering wheel is turned, tie rod ends push or pull the wheels in order to turn them left and right.
Tie rod ends are subject to normal wear and tear over extended time and use, and will occasionally need to be replaced to ensure the vehicle’s performance and safety.
There is no real rule for how long tie rod ends should last. Depending on road conditions and driving habits, tie rods can last for many years, in some cases up to the life of the vehicle. However, if a tie rod does become worn or loose, it is important to replace it right away. Failing to replace a worn out tie rod end can potentially lead to major damage to the vehicle’s front end steering and suspension components.