Home Diagnosis and TroubleshootingSuspension and Steering Problems Outer Tie Rod Replacement: How To Replace Tie Rod Ends (Costs)

Outer Tie Rod Replacement: How To Replace Tie Rod Ends (Costs)

by Alex Turner
Outer Tie Rod Replacement

What is an Outer Tie Rod and Why Should You Replace It

An outer tie rod is a component of the steering system in a vehicle. It is connected to the steering knuckle and transmits the force from the inner tie rod to the wheel, allowing it to turn. The outer tie rod can become worn over time due to normal wear and tear, or due to an accident or other damage. This is why it’s crucial to consider an outer tie rod replacement, if need be.

Replacing an outer tie rod is important for maintaining safe driving conditions. Worn or damaged components can cause excessive play in the steering wheel, making it difficult for drivers to control their vehicles accurately.

Additionally, worn components can cause vibrations in the steering wheel that may be felt throughout the entire vehicle. Replacing an outer tie rod will help ensure that your vehicle’s steering system remains responsive and accurate, providing you with a safer driving experience overall.

How to Diagnose a Faulty Outer Tie Rod

Diagnosing a broken outer tie rod can be a difficult task, but it is important to do so in order to ensure the safety of your vehicle. An outer tie rod is an essential part of the steering system and helps keep your car stable while driving. If it becomes damaged or worn out, it can cause serious problems with your vehicle’s handling and stability.

Here are some steps you can take to diagnose a faulty outer tie rod:

1. Visually inspect the area around the outer tie rod for any signs of damage or wear, including the symptoms of a bad tie rod. Look for cracks, rust, or other signs that indicate that something may be wrong with the component.

2. Check for any play in the steering wheel when you turn it from side to side while parked on level ground. If there is excessive play in the wheel, this could indicate that there is an issue with one or more of your steering components including your outer tie rods.

3. Jack up each front wheel individually and check for any movement at each end of both inner and outer tie rods when you move them by hand from side to side and up and down as if they were being turned by a steering wheel while driving straight ahead on level ground. Any movement here could indicate that one or more components are loose or worn out which would require replacement before continuing the use of your vehicle safely.

4. Have an alignment done on your car after replacing any parts found to be faulty during the inspection. This will help ensure that all components are properly aligned so as not to cause further issues down the road.

Following these steps should help you diagnose whether or not there is an issue with one or more of your vehicle’s steering components including its outer tie rods, allowing you to make necessary repairs before continuing to use it safely.

The Benefits of Replacing Your Outer Tie Rods

Replacing your outer tie rods is an important part of regular vehicle maintenance. Outer tie rods are a critical component of the steering system, and they can wear out over time due to normal use. Replacing them can help ensure that your vehicle’s steering system remains in good working order and that you have safe, reliable control over your car or truck.

  1. The primary benefit of replacing your outer tie rods is improved handling and control. As these components wear out, they can cause the steering wheel to become loose or sloppy, making it difficult to keep the vehicle on track when driving at higher speeds or around corners.
  2. Replacing them will restore tightness and precision to the steering wheel, allowing for better control over the vehicle’s direction. This will also reduce driver fatigue as it becomes easier to maintain a steady course without having to constantly adjust the wheel back into position.
  3. Another benefit of replacing outer tie rods is improved safety while driving. Worn-out components can cause excessive play in the steering system which could lead to loss of control if you need to make sudden maneuvers such as avoiding an obstacle in the road or swerving around another car unexpectedly.
  4. By replacing these parts regularly, you can help ensure that your car responds quickly and accurately when needed most – potentially preventing accidents from occurring due to poor handling performance from worn-out parts.
  5. Finally, replacing outer tie rods helps extend their lifespan by ensuring that all components are functioning properly with no signs of wear or damage before they become too worn down for repair or replacement altogether.
  6. This helps prevent costly repairs down the line as well as reducing downtime due to unexpected breakdowns caused by worn-out parts failing suddenly while driving on busy roads or highways where stopping may not be possible until reaching a safe location further ahead on your route.

Step-by-Step Guide to Replacing Your Vehicle’s Outer Tie Rods

1. Prepare your vehicle for the repair. Park your vehicle on a flat surface and engage the parking brake. Place wheel chocks behind the rear tires to prevent movement while you are working on the front end of your vehicle.

2. Locate and remove the outer tie rods from your vehicle’s suspension system. The outer tie rods are connected to both sides of the steering knuckle, which is located at each wheel hub assembly in front of each tire. Use a wrench or socket set to loosen and remove both nuts that secure each tie rod end to its respective steering knuckle arm, then pull out both ends of each tie rod from their respective mounting points on either side of the steering knuckle arms.

3. Install new outer tie rods onto your vehicle’s suspension system by reversing steps 2 and 3 above: insert one end of each new outer tie rod into its respective mounting point on either side of the steering knuckle arms, then use a wrench or socket set to tighten both nuts that secure each new tie rod end into place at its respective steering knuckle arm location.

4. Check for proper alignment by turning your wheels all the way left and right several times while observing any play in them as they turn back and forth; if there is any play present, adjust accordingly until it is eliminated completely before continuing with step 5 below:

5. Test drive your vehicle after replacing its outer tie rods; pay attention to how it handles during turns as well as straight-line driving, making sure that there is no excessive vibration or pulling in either direction when you turn or accelerate/decelerate during normal driving conditions before concluding this repair job successfully.

Common Signs That You Need to Replace Your Vehicle’s Outer Tie Rod

If you are experiencing any of the following signs, it is likely time to replace your vehicle’s outer tie rod:

1. Unusual noises when turning the steering wheel – If you hear a clunking or grinding noise when turning your steering wheel, this could be an indication that your outer tie rod is worn out and needs to be replaced.

2. Uneven tire wear – If one side of your tires is wearing down faster than the other, this could be a sign that your outer tie rod has become loose or worn out and needs to be replaced. If you want to learn more, check out our explainers on inner tire wear, inside tire wear, and what causes tire wear on the inside, as well as the outside of front tires wearing.

3. Loose steering wheel – If you feel like there is too much play in the steering wheel when driving, this could mean that the outer tie rod has become loose and needs to be tightened or replaced.

4. Vehicle pulls to one side while driving – If you notice that your vehicle pulls to one side while driving, this could indicate an issue with the alignment of your wheels which can often be caused by a worn-out outer tie rod needing replacement.

5. Steering feels stiff or unresponsive – If you find it difficult to turn the steering wheel or if it feels stiffer than usual, then this may also indicate an issue with the outer tie rod which will need replacing in order for the proper functioning of your vehicle’s suspension system.

Outer Tie Rod Replacement

Tips for Choosing the Right Replacement Parts for Your Vehicle’s Outer Tie Rod

1. Research the right part: Before purchasing a replacement outer tie rod for your vehicle, it is important to research the correct part for your make and model. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications and compare them with the parts you are considering.

2. Consider quality: When selecting a replacement outer tie rod, it is important to consider quality over cost. Look for parts that are made from durable materials and have been tested for performance and reliability.

3. Check compatibility: Make sure that any replacement parts you purchase are compatible with your vehicle’s existing components, such as suspension systems or steering mechanisms. This will ensure that they fit properly and work correctly when installed on your car or truck.

4. Ask an expert: If you are unsure about which part is best suited for your vehicle, consult an experienced mechanic or auto shop technician who can provide advice on which type of outer tie rod would be most suitable for your needs and budget constraints.

5. Read reviews: Before making a purchase, read online reviews from other customers who have purchased similar products in order to get an idea of their experiences with different brands of outer tie rods before making a decision on which one to buy yourself.

Cost Considerations When Replacing an Outer Tie Rod

When replacing an outer tie rod, it is important to consider the cost of the repair. The cost of replacing an outer tie rod can vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle, as well as the type of parts used. Generally speaking, the replacement tie rod will cost between $50 and $150. This price range includes labor costs for installation.

In addition to the cost of a new part, you may also need to purchase additional components such as nuts and bolts or other hardware needed for installation. These items can add up quickly so it is important to factor them into your overall budget when considering a repair job like this one.

If you are looking for ways to save money on this repair job, you may want to consider purchasing used parts from a salvage yard or online retailer instead of buying new ones from an auto parts store.

Used parts are often much cheaper than their brand-new counterparts but they should be inspected carefully before being installed to ensure that they are in good working condition and free from defects or damage that could affect their performance or safety.

Finally, if you decide that you would rather have a professional mechanic handle the replacement job for you, be sure to shop around for quotes from different shops in order to get the best deal possible on labor costs associated with this type of repair work.

DIY or Professional: Which Option Is Best for Replacing an Outer Tie Rod

When it comes to replacing an outer tie rod, the decision between DIY or professional installation can be a difficult one. On one hand, DIY installation can be a cost-effective solution and provide a sense of accomplishment. On the other hand, professional installation may provide peace of mind that the job is done correctly and safely.

  • The first step in deciding which option is best for you is to assess your own skill level and comfort with automotive repair work. If you have experience with car repairs and are confident in your abilities, then DIY installation may be an appropriate choice for you. However, if you lack experience or are unsure of your ability to complete the job correctly, then it may be best to seek out professional help.
  • In addition to assessing your own skillset, it’s important to consider the tools required for the job as well as any potential risks associated with incorrect installation. If you do not have access to all necessary tools or if there is a risk of damaging other components during installation due to inexperience or incorrect technique, then seeking out professional help may be wise.
  • Finally, when considering whether DIY or professional replacement is best for replacing an outer tie rod it’s important to factor in cost savings versus the peace of mind that comes from having a qualified technician perform the work correctly and safely. Professional replacement will likely come at a higher cost than doing it yourself but could save money in the long run by avoiding costly mistakes due to inexperience or incorrect technique during DIY installation.

Ultimately when deciding between DIY or professional replacement for an outer tie rod it’s important that each individual assess their own skill level and comfort with automotive repair work before making their decision so they can choose what works best for them given their particular situation.


Q: What is an outer tie rod?

A: An outer tie rod is a part of the steering system in a vehicle. It connects the steering knuckle to the inner tie rod and helps to transfer force from the steering wheel to the wheels. It also helps keep your vehicle’s alignment in check.

Q: Why would I need to replace my outer tie rod?

A: You may need to replace your outer tie rod if it has become worn or damaged due to age or wear and tear, or if you have recently had an alignment done and it was determined that your outer tie rods were out of spec.

Q: How do I know when my outer tie rods need replacing?

A: If you notice any unusual noises coming from your steering system, such as clunking or grinding sounds when turning, this could be a sign that your outer tie rods are worn and need replacing. Additionally, if you have recently had an alignment done and it was determined that your vehicle’s alignment was off due to worn or damaged components in the steering system, then this could also indicate that you should replace your outer tie rods.

Q: What tools will I need for replacing my outer tie rods?

A: You will likely need a few basic hand tools such as wrenches and sockets for removing old parts and installing new ones. Additionally, depending on what type of car you have, you may also require specialty tools such as ball joint separators for removing certain components from their mounting points on the suspension arms.

Q: How long does it take to replace an Outer Tie Rod?

A: Replacing an outer tie rod typically takes between 1-2 hours depending on the make/model of the car being worked on as well as the experience level of the technician performing work.

Q: Is it difficult to replace an Outer Tie Rod?

A: Replacing an outer tie rod can be challenging depending on the make/model of the car being worked on but with proper knowledge & experience most technicians should be able to complete the job without too much difficulty.

Q: Are there any safety precautions I should take when replacing my Outer Tie Rod?

A: Yes, always use proper safety equipment (gloves, eye protection, etc.) & follow all instructions provided by the manufacturer. Make sure all nuts & bolts are properly tightened before driving away.

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