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From Basics To Symptoms Of A Bad Tie Rod End: Know Everything!

Ever wondered how that steering wheel makes your vehicle turn in the direction you want in just a fraction of second? Well, a group of components in your automobile stay responsible for performing the function. The primary component, however, is the tie rod end that works with any vehicle’s steering system and allows the car to do the maneuver with the directions.

Here we present you the guide that covers the basics about the tie rod end as well as the symptoms of a bad tie rod end.

What Is A Tie Rod End?

In simple words, it is the tie rod end behind making a car take turns as you want. Regardless of the automobile, this component is a must part and hence whether it is an SUV, truck, or a car, the tie rod is there. Also, when it is about having a car straight while driving, the same components are responsible in which the tie rod works as a major element.

However, like all the parts of any machine, this too is prone to wear and tear. Hence, in a few years, the tie rod gets weak in its functioning. When it meets the situation when you should replace the tie rod end, it bestows you with some symptoms that you can notice and get ready for the replacement. The same symptoms we bring for you here that you can read and determine if you are experiencing the same issue.

tie rod end- the explained guide
Tie rod end too is prone to wear and tear

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Different Types Of Tie Rod End

There are two types of tie rod end: inner and outer. Both types are essential in an automobile for the steering system to perform the basic functioning. Let’s get to know a bit about these-

1. Inner Tie Rod

An inner tie rod can be found at the center line of the vehicle.  It consists of the first turn point that makes the vehicle rotate in a particular direction. It is more like a ball socket that spins accordingly.

2. Outer Tie Rod

As the inner tie rod includes the initial pivot point, the outer tie rod adds up the final pivot point. Farther from the center of the vehicle, it is located at a distance from the inner rod and hence named as an ‘outer tie rod.’ The rod makes the vehicle rotate once the inner rod performs its part using the first turn point that gets transferred to the final turn point.

How Does It Work?

A tie rod end is one of the components that contribute to the performance of the steering. Any tie rod has two ends: inner and outer and both permit the vehicle to steer. When rotating the steering wheel, the force applies to the steering center link that reaches to the steering knuckle. It makes the vehicle to take the turn accordingly.

Additionally, the outer tie rod allows for the vehicle’s alignment angle as it includes an adjusting sleeve. The length gets adjusted, and so it sets the desired angle in which the driver wants to take the turn. The tie rod plays an important role in the entire scenario and keeps this process straightforward for the driver.

Signs Of Tie Rod Problems

The constant use of the steering wheel makes the tie rod wear off after a few years. During its lifecycle, an automobile faces different surfaces or roads such as the paved and the rough ones. The more drive hours a car goes through, the more it is likely to create the fatigue to the tie rod. As a result, the rod does not work as expected. The only solution in this situation is to identify the symptoms if a tie rod needs replacement and take it to the nearby auto shop.

tie rod end- this is how you deal with it
The constant use of the steering wheel makes the tie rod wear off after a few years

Let’s have a look at these symptoms so you can catch the signs of tie rod problems.

1. If The Steering Wheel Feels Shaking Or Loose

It is an easy symptom that indicates there is something wrong with the tie rod. The bouncing-like steering wheel or if it feels loose during the usage, there is a chance that the tie rod has worn out.

When the vehicle is in motion, you can easily notice vibrating the steering wheel or creating some kind of movement. It is a sign that the tie rod is damaged or there is something wrong with another component that takes part in rotating the automobile.

A proper inspection of the steering wheel can make things clear for you and this is how to tell if tie rods are bad while driving. You should immediately take the car to any repair shop or go the DIY way if you can handle it on your own.

2. If You Hear That Screeching Sound While Turning

If the steering wheel makes any sound when you rotate it in any direction, it is a sign. A screeching-like sound is a result when there is a problem with the tie rod. Hence, it is one of the tie rod failure symptoms, and by leaving it untreated can make the issue worse where you can lose the ability to steer or control your vehicle. Reading out the Maintenance Tips is always worthy to keep your car functioning at the best level.

3. Unevenly Worn Tires

This is another trick you can make use of to determine if there is a problem with the tie rod. Simply stand in the front side of your vehicle and have a look at the tires. Observe the inner and outer side of the tires and see if they are worn out unevenly. Tires wear with time, but if one side of the tire seems more worn than another, it is an indication that the tie rod is malfunctioning.

tie rod end- what is it and how to make proper use of it?
This is another trick you can make use of to determine if there is a problem with the tie rod


The parts wear out after a fine amount of time due to usages. However, adorning your vehicle with proper maintenance at regular intervals can enhance the life expectancy of any component. The same applies to the tie rod end; it is advised that you keep it clean and grease both ends. It will serve you for longer and keep you from visiting the repair center frequently.