Tie rods are an integral part of your car's steering. If your car has excessive steering play, they are the likely cause. Loose steering is a dangerous condition that should be corrected promptly. If you are a DIY mechanical expert, you can take on this task at home and save yourself some money.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Floor jack
- Jack stand
- Inner tie rod end removal tool
- Socket set
- Open end wrench set
- Outer tie rod end removal tool
Chock the rear wheels to ensure the vehicle does not move. Lift the car with the floor jack. Remove the affected wheel and set the jack stand under the vehicle's frame. Lower the floor jack so that the car is securely supported.
Examine the steering knuckle and locate the outer tie rod end. Using the ratchet and a socket, remove the bolt holding the outer tie rod in place. Locate the locknut on the threaded end of the outer tie rod and loosen it with an open end wrench. Release the outer tie rod from the steering knuckle with the removal tool. Unscrew the outer tie rod and remove it.
Inspect the inner end of the tie rod and locate the dust boot. Using the pliers, release both the outer and inner dust boot clamps and slide the dust boot off the rod. Examine the inner tie rod end removal tool and select the attachment which fits your vehicle. Apply the tool and unscrew the inner tie rod. Install the new inner tie rod end using the same tool. Replace the dust boot and secure it with the clamps. Reinstall the outer tie rod end and tighten the locknut. Insert the outer tie rod end into the steering knuckle and tighten the bolt securely. Replace the wheel and lower the vehicle.
Arrange to have the wheel alignment checked and, if necessary, corrected by a competent mechanic.
Tips and warnings
- When removing the outer tie rod, count the number of turns needed to remove it so you can return it to the same position when you reinstall it. This may help you avoid the expense of a wheel alignment.
- Use of the inner tie rod removal tool will allow you to complete the job without removing the rack and pinion assembly.
- The outer tie rod is protected by a grease boot. Take care, when removing it, not to damage the boot.
- Never work under your car unless it is securely supported by a jack stand.
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