Steering Components to keep you going in the right direction
If you notice uneven tire wear, high-pitched shrieks when you're turning and feel that the steering has become shaky or loosened, you want to check if it's a ball joint issue or a more serious tie rod problem as tie rod failure induces steering loss which may lead to accidents.
Tie rod ends connect the steering rack to the steering knuckle on each front wheel. An adjusting sleeve sits between the two tie rod ends so that when you turn the steering wheel, the movement is transmitted until the tie rod ends push or pull the wheel and allow you to turn.
To check if your tie rods are in good shape, jack up the front of your vehicle and once the wheel is entirely off the ground, check for play by placing your hands at the midpoint of the left and right sides of the tire and, starting with your right hand, alternating with a push/pull movement on each side. If you do feel some play, have a look underneath, right behind the brake rotor and hub is where you'll find the tie rod end. Your tie rod needs replacement if it moves easily from side to side when you reach up and grab it, or if the bushing is damaged.
We recommend greasing the tie rod ends at every oil change as a preventive way to delay the tie rod replacement.