Tie rod end replacement from $206
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Tie rod end replacement
Tie rod end replacement cost
Have you had a wheel alignment recently but your vehicle is still pulling over to one side of the road and now your tyres are wearing out on the edges?
This might mean that a tie rod end needs to be replaced. But how do you know for sure? Best to have an awesome AutoGuru mechanic carry out an inspection to be sure, but we have listed some telltale signs to look out for when a tie rod end is failing and needs to be replaced.
If it does need replacing, there is a chance you may need to change more than just one. You may have 2 on each side of your vehicle - an inner and outer. The mechanic may suggest the left and right hand sides be replaced at the same time.
The cost to replace one tie rod end will be approximately $95 to $300 give or take, and depending on your vehicle. Have your mechanic price up both inner and outer, since they are already working in that area. Getting both done will probably save on labour costs later.
What is a tie rod end?
Your vehicle will typically have outer and inner tie rod ends as part of the steering system on each side of your car. They are rods with ball joints on each end and attach to the steering rack on the inner side and to the steering knuckle on the outer side, behind the wheel.
Tie rod ends are responsible for keeping the front end and suspension firm. When they fail you may notice the steering feels loose.
Tie rod ends can wear out over time. This is usually due to the protective rubber covering being damaged, which allows dirt and moisture to get in. Because of this, it can be difficult to determine when they may break down. Regular servicing and inspections will help to pick up on a failing tie rod end.
Symptoms the tie rod end needs replacing
- Wheel alignment is out
- Vibration or shaking through the steering wheel
- Uneven or extreme tyre edge wear
- Steering feels loose
- Car pulls to one side of the road
- Knocking or clunking noise
- Road wandering
How is a tie rod end replaced
This is a job for a mechanic. There are a number of pins, torque settings and tools required to remove and install the tie rod end successfully. It is best to leave it to the professionals. A technician will carry out the following:
- Loosen wheel nuts and raise vehicle
- Remove the wheel
- Locate inner and outer tie rod end
- Unfasten inner and outer tie rod end
- Refit new tie rod end
- Refit wheel
- Lower vehicle
- Perform a front-end wheel alignment
- Test drive
Tips to remember
It would be an idea to consider changing the ball joints at the same time as tie rod ends as they usually have a similar life span.
It is recommended to replace the inner and outer tie rod ends at the same time if both have been in the vehicle for the same length of time.
How important is replacing a tie rod end?
If you continue to drive with a faulty tie rod end, you do run the risk of increased tyre wear and unaligned steering. This can create driver discomfort from road wandering and vibration through the steering wheel.
Worst case scenario would be for the tie rod end to break completely. This would mean no steering, potentially putting you in a very dangerous position.