The steering system of your Toyota must be in good condition to steer properly, and for safety reasons, as well. The final link from the steering rack to the wheel is the Toyota tie rod. This part is directly responsible for transferring the steering input from the steering rack to the wheel hub, and it is connected to each with a ball joint. When the steering wheel is turned to the left or the right, it pushes or pulls the Toyota tie rod, which moves the tires. The weak spots in this part are the ball joints. As the name implies it is a ball and socket type of joint, and it allows the Toyota tie rod to turn the wheels while compensating for the motion of the suspension. Both the ball and socket are metal, so friction will eventually cause the joints to wear. When the damage becomes too severe, the Toyota tie rod will have to be replaced, in order to avoid the wheel becoming detached from the steering system. You will find the correct version of the Toyota tie rod for most vehicles in our vast online catalog, at a much lower price than what the dealership would charge fro a similar part. It is made to be an exact match for the original unit, so installation will be very easy. After the Toyota tie rod is installed, it will be necessary to have a full alignment done, in order to adjust it properly, and to avoid premature tire wear. The Toyota tie rod can be easily ordered through our web site, or by phone, with a toll-free call, and with our efficient shipping, it will arrive soon.
OEM vs. Aftermarket Toyota Tie Rod End
- When looking for replacement Toyota tie rod ends, drivers will encounter OEM parts and aftermarket parts. This article will help you distinguish between the two groups.
- Known recalls for Toyota tie rod ends include faulty tie rods in the 2020 Toyota Supra’s steering gear, insufficiently tightened adjustment nuts on the 2006-2011 Toyota RAV4, and 2010 Lexus HS250h that exposed a tie rod end’s threads.
- Aftermarket tie rod ends enjoy much wider availability and the wide array of competing products keeps their costs down.
- Drivers can expect to spend anywhere between $5 and $350 on a new tie rod end for their Toyota vehicle. The component is sold individually and in a set with multiple parts.
The synergy of steering parts like tie rod ends give Toyota vehicles the maneuverability they’re known for. The upper and lower ends combine to form the tie rods, which move the tires according to how the driver turns the steering wheel.
When looking for replacement Toyota tie rod ends, drivers will encounter original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and aftermarket variants. This article will help you distinguish between the two groups.
OEM Toyota Tie Rod Ends
OEM parts refer to everything produced for a vehicle model during its assembly in the factory. Also called genuine parts, they include stock equipment and replacement parts for worn-out or broken items.
Toyota manufactures OEM tie rod ends and other replacement parts for its vehicles. These parts are usually found only at Toyota dealerships and official retail partners. Their limited availability makes them harder to find, especially since they usually get a price markup.
Known TSBs and Recalls for Toyota Tie Rod Ends
OEM status doesn’t guarantee a part’s quality and performance. Faulty Toyota tie rods have led to several recalls.
On June 30, 2020, BMW recalled 3,800 units of various models, including 2020 Toyota Supra vehicles. The German automaker had discovered a problem with the tie rods in the steering gear, and the faulty rods also saw use in the 2020 Supra.
BMW explained that the tie rod's kink groove wasn't thick enough to withstand the stresses encountered while driving. If the rod bends too much, the weak kink groove will break.
The affected tie rods were an older design that made it into earlier BMW and Toyota year models. The two companies’ dealers will replace the faulty rods with new, stronger parts.
In August 2016, Toyota recalled 337,000 units of the 2006-2011 Toyota RAV4 and 2010 Lexus HS250h. The Japanese carmaker found that insufficiently tightened adjustment nuts on the rear control arm could expose the tie rod end’s threads.
Rusty tie rod threads can cause the adjustment nut to break off. The ensuing misalignment can result in steering problems ranging from the Toyota noticeably steering toward one side to a sudden loss of control.
Toyota dealers will replace the entire rear suspension assemblies of affected RAV4 and HS250h vehicles. They will coat both tie rods and adjustment nuts with anti-corrosion material to prevent rust.
Aftermarket Toyota Tie Rod Ends
Manufactured by companies with no direct connection to Toyota, aftermarket parts can serve as an alternative to OEM parts. They take design inspiration from stock parts and follow the same standards of quality to ensure their durability and performance. Aftermarket tie rod ends also enjoy much wider availability and the surplus of competing products keeps their costs down.
How Much Does A Toyota Tie Rod End Cost?
Drivers can expect to spend anywhere between $5 and $350 on a new tie rod end for their Toyota vehicle. The part’s cost can vary according to the company that manufactured it and the quantity in a replacement set. Toyota tie rod ends are sold individually and in a set with multiple parts.
Common Symptoms of a Bad Toyota Tie Rod End
Tie rods are important parts of a rack and pinion steering system. They are designed to help push and pull the front tires as the steering wheel is turned. The tie rods' functions are important to a car's overall safety. Like most automotive parts, your Toyota tie rod ends don't simply go bad as they are manufactured to last for years. However, due to normal wear and tear and driving conditions, the rods may work incorrectly and may cause steering problems. Below are some of the symptoms of bad tie rods and how to diagnose them:
Clunking and popping noise while turning
Although one of the symptoms of a bad tie rod end includes unusual noises when driving, a clunking or popping noise may just mean that you have loose tie rods. If you've recently brought your vehicle to a mechanic for a repair involving your steering system, he might have neglected to tighten the tie rod properly causing it to get loose after some time. Get your vehicle on jack stands and check under if any part is missing or damaged. If you found nothing, try tightening the castle nut properly.
Shaky steering wheel and free play
When tie rod ends get worn out, they become loose. You will notice this looseness when you get a wandering feel as you drive. In this case, the tires will move left and right a little bit even without turning the steering wheel. You can diagnose a free play by checking your outer Toyota tie rod ends by pushing them up and down. Make sure to grasp the tie rod ends by hand. To check the inner tie rod ends, push them from front to rear. If there is any free play in a joint, then your tie rod is worn and needs to be replaced.
Wheel alignment doesn't work
Your Toyota tie rod ends have a component called the adjusting studs. These are designed to help easily toe and align the wheels. It is common for vehicles that are 2-years or older to get severely corroded studs. Using a putty knife or any other hard, flat, and dull object, lift the bottom of the seal up in the tie rod to expose the stud. If you notice any water or bubbles escaping from the seal, it is time to replace the tie rod end. Using a clean rag, remove any grease on the studs and closely examine them for any signs of corrosion.
Interference in braking
When you notice that you're having a hard time braking but everything in the brake system is checked and in good condition, you may need to check the tie rod boots. The tie rods hold lubricant in and debris out with a flexible rubber boot around the base. When the boot is damaged, this means that the lubricant may leak and contaminants will get in to wear the joint, causing further tie rod problems. The leaked lubricant can get into the brake rotor and may interfere with braking. Thus, it is necessary to regularly inspect the seals and boots for signs of tears, perforations, and wear. Raise the vehicle and remove the front wheels. You will need to turn the wheels to the right in order to inspect the passenger side inner tie rod end. Move the wheels to the left to inspect the driver's side inner tie rod end. If there is any indication of wear or perforation, you should replace the tie rod end.