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.
Tie Rod End Buyer's Guide
- Tie rods are the small rods attached to the steering knuckle. It is the link between the steering rack and the wheel.
- Parts associated with tie rods include the steering shaft, steering rack, pinion, inner rod, outer rod, jam nut, bearings and ball stud, bushing, bellows, and steering knuckle.
- Faulty tie rods cause a shaky steering wheel, misaligned wheels, and uneven tire wear.
- It costs around $17 to $1,500
Most cars nowadays share a common steering system known as the rack and pinion. This type of steering mechanism utilizes a circular gear or pinion attached to the end of the steering shaft and a linear gear known as rack. To control the wheel with ease, the system integrates tie rods, which are attached to both ends of the steering rack. The rods help with the wheels movement by pushing and pulling them as the steering wheel turns.
What does a tie rod end look like?
Tie rods are the small rods attached to the steering knuckle. A single tie rod end consists of outer and inner rods. The outer rod consists of a head or ball stud with a threaded end that connects to the steering knuckle. Its counterpart, the inner rod, serves as the long arm with two threaded ends; one for the jam nut that links it to the outer rod and one for the inner socket assembly of the steering rack. This end of the rod married to the rack is often covered by bellows.
Components associated with tie rod ends
Tie rod ends are simple rods with important function in your car’s steering system. However, these rods need other components to function properly, specifically the steering system assembly. There are multiple parts related to tie rods like the suspension assembly and anti-sway bar, which is a topic for another time. For now, here are some significant parts that are associated to tie rod ends.
The steering shafts is the rod connected to the steering wheel, with a pinion on the other end.
A linear gear that is engaged with the pinion; the ends connect to the driver and passenger side tie rod ends.
The circular gear found at the tip of the steering shaft; rolls on top of the rack to create the left and right motion.
The slim metal rod which has threaded ends that attach to the outer rod and the steering rack.
The bulkier end of a tie rod which houses the ball stud and bearing assembly.
The hardware that glues the outer and inner rod
Bearings and ball stud
The head of the outer tie rod that is designed primarily for steering movements, while at the same time helps the steering system with bump impacts
The rubber that covers and protects the ball stud and bearing from possible road dirt that may infiltrate the internal parts
The plastic, spring-like cover that protects the inner socket assembly, where the inner rod and steering rack connect.
The metal part connecting the wheel to the outer tie rod
Why do I need to know about tire rod ends?
Being aware of the tie rod end can help in troubleshooting mechanical problems and symptoms of your car, especially when the issue has something to do with steering. Just like any other part, tie rods serve an important role in your car’s overall operation. A failing tie rod would simply mean that your car won’t turn properly, or it could alter the alignment of your wheels.
Tie rod ends can malfunction due to wear and tear caused by metal stress from frequent motion, bumps, and time. Misaligned wheels make your vehicle difficult to control, as the wheel couldn’t meet the optimum angle needed for your car to effectively turn.
What are the signs of a faulty tie rod end?
Like any other failing parts of your car, you shouldn’t be ignoring a damaged tie rod end. Tie rod ends are important since they are responsible for the movement of your wheels. The good news is that you can easily detect a tie rod problem without having to check the actual part. Here are the possible signs of faulty tie rod ends.
Shaky steering wheel
As you might already know, a misaligned wheel causes vibrations on the steering wheel. A vibration is defined by small movements and is minor compared to shaking. If your steering wheel begins to shake, that’s when you should go check on your steering system. Shaky steering wheel could be a sign of worn-out tie rods that’s beginning to loosen. A shaky steering wheel is the first give away that a trip to the mechanic is needed as soon as possible.
Sometimes, you won’t notice shaky steering wheels right away. If your wheels are misaligned and angled in the same direction, your car would steer towards that direction automatically. If you notice this happening, check your wheels. You’re more likely facing a loose set of tie rods that badly need replacements.
Irregular wearing of tire/s
Misalignment increases the friction of the affected wheel by adding more tire surface contact to the road. This could lead to extreme wearing of the tire, which is commonly known as uneven tire wear. Uneven tire wear is irritating to deal with because instead of purchasing a tire set, you’ll find yourself buying a piece ahead of your replacement schedule. Failing to notice uneven tire wear could render to fatal situations like tire explosion.
How much is a tie rod end?
Prices for OE replacement tie rod ends vary depending on the quantity or part you’re after. Individual tie rod end pieces, be it outer or inner, are priced around $17 to $820. For better deals, try checking the sets (up to sets of 16), as well as kits. These items come with other components like wheel hubs, hardware, adjusting sleeves, and even drag links. Kits and sets range from $30 to $1,500.
What are the benefits of replacing worn-out tie rod ends?
There are multiple reasons why you should replace a broken tie rod end, and the benefit ranges from safety to practicality. One obvious advantage of installing a fresh OE replacement tie rod is better handling on corners. Poor cornering can result to oversteering or understeering, which are both risky on populated public roads. Another reason is to save you from unnecessary extra expenses like buying a new tire replacement due to uneven tire wear.
Important Facts You Need to Know About Tie Rod End
When going through bumps and potholes, your car needs to be able to steer left and right. Get your car to this by equipping it with a Tie Rod End.
Steering your car to where you want it to go is easy, right? You have the tie rod end to thank for that. If you are unaware that such a component exists in your car, it's time you get acquainted with it. This car part plays a very important role in your car's overall handling because it links the tie rods to the steering knuckles. This link allows you to easily maneuver your car.
This flexible coupling is frequently exposed to strong road impacts, which can cause damage. That's why, as a car owner, you should check on the condition of your tie rod ends regularly. Damaged tie rod ends greatly affect your vehicle's transmission system and steering system. One way to check for damaged tie rods is by checking the tires. Feathered wear patterns on your tires usually indicate a broken tie rod. If this is the case, you should get a new tie rod end replacement.
To avoid steering problems, you must replace your car's defective tie rod end right away. A tie rod end replacement is easy to find these days. All you have to do is go online and browse through auto parts stores. Plenty of online auto part shops offer high-quality and affordable tie rod end replacements for all makes and models.
The Automobile Basics: Tie Rod End
A driver will get tired easily if there is something wrong with his car's steering system. A damaged steering system makes overall handling of a vehicle very difficult, thus tiring in the long run. If the problem lies in the steering system, checking on the Tie Rod End is a must. This part is a kind of joint that connects the tie rod to the steering knuckles. It basically helps transmit the movement of the steering wheel to the wheels. When the defect lies in the tie rod end, naturally, the movement of the steering wheel won't be sent to the wheels. There will be difficulty in getting the vehicle to move to the direction that the driver needs and wants it to go. Aside from difficulty in handling, there is also another sign that pinpoints to Tie Rod End damage like feathered wear pattern on tires. Wise car owners know better than to ignore a defective tie rod end because they know doing so will only lead to more inconveniences and expense. The best solution that many resort to is replacement. Tie Rod End replacement is the most practical way of bringing back the effortless steering capability of a car, just like the way it was before. However, the new end must be accurately installed to ensure its excellent function.
Tie Rod End: Just the Facts
One major requirement of vehicles equipped with either McPherson strut suspension or conventional suspension systems is the tie rod. As a vital part of the suspension system, the tie rod transmits force from the steering center link or the rack gear to the steering knuckle. This force is what makes your vehicle's wheels turn. The tie rod has an inner and outer end. The outer end connects with the adjusting sleeve, making the length of the tie rod adjustable. When the tie rod end gets damaged, you can expect to experience wandering, erratic steering, and excessive tire wear. You can detect a worn tie rod end by simply raising the suspension and rocking the front wheel back and forth. If there's free play, it's time for you to get your vehicle replacement tie rod ends. And for that, look no further. Click through to CarParts.com's catalog to view our extensive selection of durable tie rod ends.
• We offer the tie rod end that complements the specifications of your vehicle's suspension system.
• Our tie rod ends are designed to steadily produce the right amount of preload to ensure proper steering effort.
• Our tie rod end features a forged and heat-treated housing for added toughness and durability.