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HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOUR TIE ROD END IS BAD?
1. Front end alignment is off. One of the primary jobs of the tie rod end is to keep things solid on the front end of your vehicle. This includes the tie rod, wheels and tires, stabilizer bars, struts, and other components that all factor into the vehicle’s alignment. When the tie rod is worn down, it will become loose and will cause the front end of the vehicle to fall out of alignment. This is easily noticed by the driver as the vehicle will drift to the left or right when the vehicle is pointed straight. If you notice that your car, truck, or SUV is pulling in one direction, it may be a loose or worn out tie rod end that is causing the problem.
2. Steering wheel shakes or feels loose. As indicated above, the tie rod end is designed to make sure everything is solid in the suspension. When it wears out, it tends to bounce or have some play in the tie rod end. As a vehicle accelerates, this play or loose condition will cause a vibration to set in that is noticed in the steering wheel. Typically a tie rod end that is wearing out will begin to vibrate at speeds as low as 20 mph and gradually increase as the vehicle accelerates.
This may also be an indication of a tire/wheel combination that has fallen out of balance, a cupped tire, or another suspension component that is broken. If you notice this symptom, it's important to have a mechanic inspect the entire front end to determine the precise cause of the issue and replace the parts that are causing the problem.
3. Uneven and excessive tire wear.Tire inspections are often completed by a tire center or oil change service station. However, you can easily complete a visual inspection of your tires to determine if they are wearing unevenly. Simply stand in front of your vehicle and look at the edges of the inside and outside of the tire. If they appear to be evenly worn, this is a good sign that your tie rod end is functioning correctly. If the tire is worn excessively on the inner or outer portion of your tire, this is a warning sign that the tie rod end may be wearing out and should be inspected.
Excessive tire wear, like vehicle vibration in the steering wheel may also be caused by other suspension components, which is why a ASE certified mechanic should be called to properly inspect this condition.
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We work on foreign and domestic vehicles including Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mercedes, BMW, Kia, Hyundai, Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, VW, Audi, Infinity, Lexus, Acura. Dodge, Chrysler,Jeep, Jaguar, Porsche, and others.
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