How to Tell If Tie Rods Are Bad While Driving

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Estimated reading time: 2 min

As you may be aware, tie rods are very important for your steering in all autos. The tie rod connects the steering system and the suspension to the front wheels of your car with several joints; as a result, when you turn the steering wheel, your front wheels turn accurately. You should not have to exert much effort at all to turn the steering wheel and the auto should move fluidly.

If you spend a lot of time driving over bumps and on rough roads, your tie rods will wear out more quickly. These conditions cause more wear and tear on the tie rods. You will want to pay attention to signs that your tie rods are going bad because this can be dangerous. Take a look at a few ways that you can tell if your tie rods are bad while you are driving.

Your Steering Wheel Shakes and Feels Loose

The tie rod is responsible for holding the different parts of the suspension together tightly. If they start to go bad, they will become loose. You will be able to feel this because the steering wheel will start to shake and vibrate. You will notice that the vibration is worse when the car accelerates or turns.

In addition, you may notice that the steering wheel does more than vibrate; it may actually feel loose. This is a sign that it is dangerous to be driving, and you should repair it before you do. If your steering wheel feels loose, you can very quickly end up with no ability to steer, so you should get the car checked and repaired right away.

Listen for Strange Sounds

Another way to tell if your tie rods are bad is to listen for noises. You might hear a squeaking or squealing sound as you are driving. The sound will have a high pitch and it may worsen when you turn or go around corners. This might indicate that the tie rod end has a rubber boot that has cracked and is lacking lubrication.

You might also hear a rattle or a clunk from the front of the car. Any of these noises are a definite sign that something is wrong; it could be your tie rod going bad. You should take your car to get it checked or check it yourself right away if you notice any of these strange sounds.

Look for Abnormal Tire Wear

Tires always experience wear after use but they should have even wear on both sides. If you inspect your tires, you might notice that one tire wears more than the other. If your tie rod is bad, you will notice that the inner or outer edge of the tire will wear faster than the rest of the tire.

Uneven wear and tear on the tires can also be caused by bad alignment, unbalanced tires, or improper tire pressure. You need to take it seriously or you will have problems down the road. You can inspect the tires by standing in the front of the car and then look at the tires. Check to make sure that the inside and outside edges are wearing evenly.

Having a bad tie rod can be very dangerous and so it is very important to have it checked as soon as you notice. If you check it right away, you may be able to prevent a dangerous situation from occurring. If you feel your steering wheel vibrating, hear strange noises, or notice your tires wearing unevenly, you should have your car checked because this will turn into a dangerous situation. As long as you pay attention to these warning signs, you can get your tire rods repaired and be safe on the road.

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