Symptoms of a Bad Tie Rod End

Updated February 21, 2017

Tie rods are a part of the steering and suspension system of the car. When symptoms of a bad tie rod end begin to show, it is important to have the tie rod fixed as soon as possible. If the tie rod breaks, serious damage can occur to the suspension and the driver will not be able to control the car.


A car that goes out of alignment quickly may have a bad tie rod end. As the tie rod end fails, the toe of the tires will change and the car will not drive in a straight line without the steering being controlled.


A clunking or grinding noise when making a tight turn is a symptom of a bad tie rod end. Determining which side of the vehicle the sound is coming from is a quick way to know which tie rod to check.

Tire wear

Uneven tire wear is an indicator of a bad tie rod. If one tire is wearing out more quickly than the others, or if one side of the tire has more wear, then that tie rod should be inspected.


Steering that feels loose or is unresponsive is another symptom of a bad tie rod. Having to oversteer to control the car is another indication that the tie rod connection is not operating correctly.

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About the Author

Cassandra Tribe has worked in the construction field for over 17 years and has experience in a variety of mechanical, scientific, automotive and mathematical forms. She has been writing and editing for over 10 years. Her areas of interest include culture and society, automotive, computers, business, the Internet, science and structural engineering and implementation.