Tie rod ends are used in the steering linkage, steering knuckle pivot supports, and various hinge mechanisms. They connect the center link to the steering knuckle on cars with ordinary suspension systems and recirculating ball steering gears. Together with the ball joints, tie rod ends make sure the car steers left and right at the same time it is hitting bumps and potholes that might cause the wheel to travel up and down.
The sleeve joins the inner and outer tie rod ends together and allows for adjustment when the front wheels are aligned. The outer tie rod ends are connected to the steering knuckle that actually turns the front wheels. The steering knuckle has an upper and lower ball joint that it pivots on and creates the geometry of the steering axis. It consists of an inner and outer end. The inner tie rod ends are attached to either end of the center link and are served as pivot points for the steering gear.
In order to be effective, the steering system has to turn the wheels at the same rate and along the same plane in any condition. The tie rod and the ball joint will see to it that the wheels are held firmly. A worn tie rod can result to abnormal wear patterns on the tires, wandering and erratic steering. Aside from tie rod replacement, wheel alignment is also required since tie rod replacement disturbs the toe setting. To sum it up, steering and suspension systems should be checked regularly or consult a qualified service technician for best results.