Tie rods play a crucial role in a car’s overall safety. For those who don’t know, tie rods are incorporated in the steering system of most modern vehicles as they help move the tires when the steering wheel is turned. The good news is that they can last for years and years without causing any issues.
The chances are that you might have never heard of them before because they could have lasted long enough to never seek a replacement in your former or current car.
Now, this isn’t to say that they are made of bulletproof material. Like any other automatic part, they can go bad due to regular wear and tear, causing you to replace them.
Generally speaking, this usually happens due to poor driving conditions, such as constantly driving on poor roads, potholes, etc. Even an accident can cause the tie rod to malfunction. Because they can cause major safety concerns, getting them checked out is of great significance.
Signs of a Faulty Tie Rod
Of course, you won’t receive a court notice, alerting you of major concerns with your vehicle. You need to watch out for some signals that can act as a warning sign to alert you of a failing tie rod. These signals include:
- Uneven wear and tear on the tires
- Squeaking sound when turning the car
- Feeling of disconnect during steering movements
If you notice one or more of these symptoms, it’s in your best interest to get the car checked out. The problem with a faulty tie rod is that it can lead to an expensive repair if it’s left unattended for long. Imagine paying thousands of dollars for something that could have been remedied for a fraction of that cost.
Not to discount the fact that things can go haywire when driving with a faulty tie rod because it won’t provide proper direction to the front wheels. Of course, you don’t have to wait for the alarming symptoms discussed above to replace the tie rod.
If a car mechanic alerts you of a worn-out tie rod during a routine inspection, get it replaced at the earliest because the only way to inspect the tie rods properly is to raise the vehicle on a lift.
As touched upon earlier, tie rods are quick, easy, and inexpensive to repair as long as other parts are not ruined by a bad tie rod. This may sound like normal advice, but it’s totally worth a mention over here.
What Is The Average Price Of Tie Rods Replacement?
Frankly speaking, tie rods don’t cost a bomb. Plus, it doesn’t take too long to fix the breakdown. So, you can get the job done by paying $60 to $200 for both the parts and labor.
Of course, your vehicle’s make and model will determine whether you will end up spending $60 or $200. As expected, luxury car parts are bound to come at a higher price tag than the regular car parts.
|Mr. Tire||$100 – $200
|Midas||$80 – $200
|Your Mechanic||$60– $170
|Pep Boys||$60 – $120
How to Conduct a Tie Rod Replacement?
For those who are not aware, tie rods issues are more prevalent in heavier cars due to the increased load. If it’s determined that you need to replace the tie rods, you should replace both the left and right side of the tie rods at the same time.
The reason being that the tie rods on both sides usually wear out at the same rate. Also, you are suggested to do a full four-wheel alignment once the new tie rods are installed.
Step 1: As you would expect, the car technician would begin with the car inspection to gauge the problem. This is true, even if your car is showing all the symptoms of a faulty tie rod because another related issue may be causing the problem.
Step 2: If it’s determined that the tie rods are at fault and need to be replaced, the mechanic will remove the old tie rods to make way for the new tie rods. This is usually done with the help of a variety of wrenches that mechanics usually have handy with them.
**For the most part, it just requires loosening and tightening of the nuts to remove the old tie rods to be replaced with new tie rods. *
Step 3: If a mechanic finds out that other surrounding parts are also worn out, he will replace them as well. Once the replacement parts are fitted, the car technician will inspect the suspension and steering system to detect possible issues.
Step 4: Finally, the car technician will grease the rods, enabling them to rotate smoothly. The wheels will be put to the test by driving the vehicle. During the test drive, the technician will check how smoothly the car is turning when the steering wheel is turned.
How Do You Take Care of the Tie Rods?
Other than periodic greasing, you don’t have to do anything special to take care of them. This is true, especially if you are the owner of an old car or truck.
Most of the modern cars already come with greased tie rods, which is to say that they don’t need any maintenance.
If you are not sure whether or not your car has a grease fitting, you can check the owner manual. Alternatively, you can also check with the car mechanic during regular servicing.
How Can You Save Money on Tie Rod Replacement?
The fact that one doesn’t need any fancy or expensive tool to replace tie rods, any car owner with passing interest in a mechanical job can do it. Basically, you don’t have to be an accomplished mechanic to replace a tie rod.
So, if you are looking to cut costs, you can consider replacing the tie rods by yourself.
That said, it’s not a labor-intensive job. It’s less than an hour worth of work for a skilled person. So, it won’t hurt your wallet if you take your car to a professional for tie rod replacement. The key is to fix it at the earliest to avoid further problems.