Are you thinking about replacing your car’s tie rods? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Today’s blog post will explain how long do tie rods last and why they might need to be replaced. In addition, we will also provide tips on signs to look for that indicate you should replace your tie rods.
How Long Do Tie Rods Last?
Tie rods can last for several years, and some car owners may never have to replace them. However, their lifespan can be affected by various factors such as driving conditions, road conditions, and accidents.
Driving on rough roads, potholes, and collisions can cause tie rods to wear out faster. Regular inspections and maintenance can help identify issues before they become major problems and prolong the life of tie rods.
How Do Tie Rods Work?
Tie rods have an inner and outer end and work in conjunction with the ball joint to convert the force from the steering center link to the steering knuckle. This results in proper front end alignment and smooth steering.
How Are Tie Rods Designed?
Tie rods are designed as slender cylindrical structures made of high-strength steel, consisting of an inner tie rod and an outer tie rod end. The inner tie rod contains an inline ball joint and connects to the steering rack, while the outer tie rod connects to the steering knuckle to provide optimum wheel control.
What Are The Signs Of A Bad Tie Rod?
Clunking Noises & Shaking
If you start to feel a vibration or shaking in your steering wheel, especially when turning at low speeds, it may be a sign that your tie rods are on their way out. Not only that, but you may also hear clunking or rattling noises as you drive.
These sounds can be a clear indication that your tie rods are starting to wear down and become loose at the joints and linkages. If left unchecked, this can lead to further damage and even a grinding sensation when you steer.
Uneven tire wear
If you notice that your car’s tires are wearing unevenly, it could be a sign of bad tie rods. When the rod starts to wear out, its alignment is affected and can cause one side of the tire to wear at a faster rate than the other. If this happens, you should have your tie rods inspected and replaced if necessary.
Wheel Feels Loose When Car Is Jacked Up
There is a straightforward test that can be performed right in your driveway. It only requires a jack, a quick lift of the front end of your car, and your two hands. Place them on the front tire with one set at 3 and 9 o’clock, and the other at 6 and 12 o’clock. Shake the wheel side to side and up and down. You should only be able to rotate the wheels; otherwise, this indicates that your tie rods or other related components are wearing out and require replacement.
Vibration or looseness in steering wheel
If you feel a noticeable vibration or looseness in the steering wheel, this could be an indication that your tie rods are starting to wear out. This is due to the metal on metal contact of the rod and its components wearing down over time. To prevent further damage, you should have your tie rods inspected and replaced if necessary.
How To Prolong The Lifespan Of Tie Rods?
To ensure that tie rods last as long as possible, it’s important to take proper care of them. Regular maintenance and lubrication are key to prolonging their lifespan.
Be sure to inspect them regularly for signs of wear or damage and replace them promptly if needed. Additionally, keeping all steering components clean and well-lubricated can help prevent rust and corrosion.
FAQs about How Long Do Tie Rods Last
Can I drive with a damaged tie rod?
Yes, you can continue to drive with a damaged tie rod, but it’s not recommended as it can lead to loss of steering control. If the tie rod fails completely, it can cause a serious accident, and you may need a tow to get your vehicle to a service center for repairs.
What Happens If A Tie Rod Fails?
In the worst case scenario, the wheel can break free from the steering assembly, leaving you without the ability to control the vehicle. This is not only dangerous for you and your passengers, but for other drivers on the road as well.
How Long Can You Drive on a Bad Tie Rod?
It’s not recommended to drive with a bad tie rod as it can be dangerous and cause further damage to your vehicle. If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, have your tie rods inspected and replaced immediately.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace Tie Rods?
The cost of replacing tie rods depends on the make and model of your car, as well as the labor costs associated with the job. However, a general rule of thumb is that it usually costs between $200 – $500 for parts and labor. In some cases, a full alignment may also be necessary once the new tie rods are installed, which could add to the total cost.
Tie rods are a vital component of your vehicle’s steering system and can last for several years, typically between 50,000 – 70,000 miles. However, the lifespan of your tie rods can be affected by factors like the condition of the roads and how often they’re used.
To ensure that your car’s steering components remain in optimal condition, be sure to check the condition of your tie rods regularly and have them inspected if necessary. In addition, keep these parts clean and lubricated as well as perform routine wheel alignments to help extend their life expectancy. Thank you for reading! We hope this article was helpful in answering the question how long do tie rods last.
I’m Timothy Ballard, owner of a used car dealership in Springfield. I love just about everything automotive, but I have a special place in my heart for trucks. I’m an ASE Certified Master Technician, so I know my way around a car. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling with my family and hiking new trails.