Signs of a worn Tie Rod

Tie Rods play an essential role in controlling and steering your vehicle. The tie rod connects your steering gear to your steering knuckle, ensuring you turn correctly every single time. Connecting to your front wheels for responsive steering and control is the primary job of the tie rod. Using a ball and socket structure, the tie rod allows you to drive on all types of terrain and all types of structures. Due to the wear and tear of driving, your tie rods will lose grease and may eventually begin to fail. So, what are the signs of a failing tie rod?

One of the first signs there may be issues with your tie rod is a shaky or loose steering wheel. You obviously want a responsive, easily controlled steering wheel. If your steering wheel has play, feels loose, or is unresponsive, this could be a sign it's time for a replacement. 

Tire wear can provide insight into many issues in your car, and the tie rod is no different. The toe of your vehicle can become misaligned over time due to a loose or worn tie rod. Replacing tires because of a suspension issue can be a significant headache so keep an eye on your tires to tackle any potential issues. 

The next sign may not be readily available to every driver, but if you're able to jack up and lift your vehicle, you can gain more information. Once your wheel and tire are off the ground, you can grab them from the sides on the left and right and shake your wheel. The only movement should be the natural rotation motion of your tires if you're able to shake your wheels back and forth easily or hear a clicking sound that may indicate a tie rod issue. Not every symptom you see here means that you need new tie rods, but if you check every box, you should look for professional assistance.

Tie rods provide control and a smooth ride no matter the degree of turn or terrain. Your tie rods may last the entire life of the vehicle, but as a wearable part, it's vital to monitor. Tie rod failure can range in consequences from minor to major, so keeping them well maintained is a must! For the average driver, it can be tough to properly diagnose a worn tie rod, making it critical to find a mechanic you can trust. Look no further than Ferber's Automotive and Body Services for the best service in Ashland, Virginia!