How Do You Pick the Perfect Replacement Tie Rod End
Poor steering performance is one of the major problems that can cause by a worn-out tie rod end. Fortunately, it's a problem that you can easily solve by replacing the damaged part with a high-quality aftermarket component. But how can you spot a good replacement tie rod end from a shoddy automotive product? Well, you can read our tips below and find it out yourself.
4 quick tips on finding the right tie rod end
Tip #1. Look for a tie rod end that has superior durability. If you want to make sure that your replacement tie rod end can handle the stress that comes with its function, you must get the product that is made from heavy-duty raw materials. However, it doesn't simply mean that it must be constructed from high-quality steel. It should also has other features such as a forged and heat-treated housing to guarantee that it has an unmatched sturdiness.
Tip #2. Get a tie rod end that's customized to your vehicle's make and model. You basically need to do this to ensure that you will acquire a part that would directly replace your stock component. If it doesn't match your ride, then it's a clear waste of time and money. Also, an OEM fit allows you to carry out a hassle-free installation on your own-which ultimately saves you from hiring a professional mechanic.
Tip #3. Check for other important features. There are also other things that you should know before you buy a replacement tie rod end. You should identify if it's greasable or non-greasable, an outer or inner tie rod end, and if sold individually or a set. Keep these things in mind and you can avoid possible head-aching problems in the long run.
Tip #4. Find a product with a good warranty. You'll never know if the part is going to prematurely fail or not. Just to be safe, you have to make sure that it's backed up by an excellent warranty so that you can return it to the retailer where you bought it if it's not up to scratch.
Tie Rod End Replacement: A Few Straightforward Steps to Follow
Your vehicle's tie rod end basically allows you to accurately steer your car left or right anytime you want. Its role is undoubtedly important to your car's overall performance, which is why you always need to ensure that it's in good working condition. There are plenty of possible situations that may cause the tie rod end to get damaged such as extreme physical impact and corrosion. You should expect poor steering performance and premature tire wear from your vehicle once this component breaks down. Fortunately, you can replace your damaged tie rod end at the comfort of your own garage by simply following these steps:
Difficulty level: Moderate
Things that you will need:
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Ratchet and socket set
- Grease gun
- Tie rod end puller
- Replacement tie rod end
- Cleaning rags
- Owner's manual
Step 1: Gain unhindered access to the tie rod end assembly by raising your vehicle using a floor jack and supporting it securely with the jack stands. Make it a point to work on an area with a level flooring to keep your car from toppling over while you're doing the rest of the task.
Step 2: Using a wrench, take off the wheel lug nuts one at a time. Place them on an organized area to prevent them from going missing. Once you've removed all the lug nuts, pull the wheels off your car and set it aside. This should give you better access to the tie rod end assembly.
Step 3: Locate the tie rod end that you need to replace. If you're having a hard time finding it, refer to your owner's manual to see its exact location.
Step 4: After you've found the damaged tie rod end of your vehicle, mark the tie rod and measure its distance from the grease fitting.
Step 5: Remove the cotter pin that holds the tie rod end to the steering knuckle. You can use a pair of pliers for this procedure. Again, make sure that you're placing every vital component in an organized area; the last thing you want is to get them misplaced.
Step 6: Once you've gotten the cotter pin out of the way, you may now remove the castle nut using a ratchet.
Step 7: With the cotter pin and castle nut removed, you're now free to take the damaged tie rod end off the steering knuckle. To make this step easier, you can use a tie rod end puller.
Step 8: Take your new tie rod end and attach it onto the tie rod shaft. Make sure that the replacement tie rod end is compatible with your car to avoid complications.
Step 9: Link the new tie rod end to the steering knuckle by reinstalling the castle nut and cotter pin. Ensure proper alignment before securely tightening up these components.
Step 10: If the tie rod end comes with a grease fitting, you should put a generous amount of grease over its surface.
Step 11: Tighten up all the fasteners to keep the suspension components from coming loose while you're driving.
Step 12: Install the wheels back and lower your vehicle.
This installation process may take around one hour to finish. Remember to practice the proper safety precautions!