Do It Yourself Tie Rod Replacement

Many things are overlooked when it comes to automobile repairs by the do it yourself person and one of those is tie rods. Tie rods are the arms that attach the wheels to the steering system and give you the power to turn the car one way or another. These rods are a common part to wear out over the life time of a vehicle. When they begin to wear you will notice that the steering system will get loose and not want to react as quickly as it once did. This is caused by the seal inside the ball area going bad or getting hard. As time goes on the seal will give completely out and the rod will break at that point. When this happens you will lose the steering for that tire.

The replacement of tie rods is fairly simple in most cases. It is always best to replace them before they break which keeps you and the family out of danger. If you do not notice that the steering is getting lose then you may want to check the tires on the front of the vehicle. The tires will wear unevenly on the inside and be nearly bald, this is a good sign that the tie rods have worn out and stress is being put on the inner part of the tire. The extra weight that is normally supported by the tie rods is now being supported by the tires and this can cause the belts inside the tire to break. Once this happens the front end of the car will have a shake that gets worse with take off and will get better as the car moves faster and the weight is distributed better.

Tie rods are not all that expensive when it comes to the cost. You can get both sides for about thirty dollars in most cases. The newer the car the higher the price and the more difficult they are too change.

For this project you will need a tie rod fork (available for rent at many auto parts stores), a large socket set, hammer and pipe wrench.

Jack up one side of the car and remove the tire. The tie rod is connected to the wheel with a large nut and cotter pin. Bend the pin straight then remove the bolt. At this point you will need the hammer and the tie rod fork. Place the tines of the fork under the end of the tie rod and start hitting the end of the fork. This will cause it to pop up and then be free.

At this point you will need the pipe wrench. Follow the tie rod arm to a point where it connects to the rod. There is where you will turn it off of the arm itself. Be sure to mark how far it is turned on there and when you put it back on put it at the same place. This will ensure that you are getting the same wheel alignment.

Repeat the steps for the other side and you are all set to go.

WARNING: Make sure to wear the proper safety equipment, such as gloves and goggles, when working on your auto to prevent burns, illnesses, or injuries.  Also, be sure to read and follow all directions for parts and fluids to prevent injuries or illness.