The tie rods in your vehicle go a long way in ensuring precise steering. The role of this component in your car is to connect the steering and suspension systems to the front wheels using several joints.
It ensures accurate turning of the wheels when you work on the steering wheel. Therefore, the driver needs to apply a little force to make the vehicle turn.
Therefore, to ensure the precise steering of your car, you need to have the tie rod in good functional conditions. However, this rod would age over time like every other component.
This implies that they would frequently endure wear and tear when you drive over rough roads. So, within a few years, you would find the rods malfunctioning. Once it does, your car would be susceptible to accidents. You won’t be able to turn the vehicle as fast as you want.
How much does a tie rod cost?
Replacing a tie road would require you to shell out anything between $170 and $475 including labor charges. Following the replacement of your tie rod, you need to carry out an alignment for your car. So, be prepared to shell out another $65 to $100 to make your car properly functional.
Now, when you try to replace your tie rod, you might come across other issues with the steering rack that weren’t visible apparently. Along with the cost of finding the mechanic, working on these glitches would take the price anywhere between $1,700 to $2,100.
So, if you simply need to replace the tie rod of your vehicle, the cost won’t hurt your wallet much.
Factors that can impact the price of a tie rod
Now that you know replacing the tie rod of your car wouldn’t be expensive, it makes sense to explore the factors determining the cost of this component.
1. Cost of the tie rods
Even some of the mediocre tie roads are available at prices between $40 and 120. In general, the outer rods tend to be cheaper than the inner ones.
However, in the case of some models, the sellers provide both the inner and outer ones as an assembly. So, you cannot purchase any one of these individually.
2. Labor chargers
The labor charges depend on the tie rod in your vehicle that you are changing. So, you need to factor in another $45 to $85 as the labor charges. Also, we have mentioned that you may have to shell out up to $100 for wheel alignment after changing the tie rods.
The location of your car can influence the cost of replacing the tie rods. In some localities, the labor charges might be high. The location also determines the price of the actual components that need replacement.
4. Make and model
The price of car accessories largely depends on the make and model of the vehicle. so, when it comes to replacing a tie rod, you need to consider these aspects. For high-end and expensive models, the replacement cost of the accessories would be correspondingly high.
Notably, around half the cost you shell out would be necessary for labor charges. So, you should get an OEM and quality parts during the replacement to get the value for your money.
Before replacing the part, compare labor rates by shopping around at the authorized auto stores. Working with a reliable automobile repair shop, you can get the part replaced at a lower labor charge than what the dealerships charge. However, other fees and taxes might remain constant in every case.
What are the symptoms of a bad tie rod?
A malfunctioning tie rod in your vehicle would make the issue evident by showing certain symptoms. These include:
1. Uneven tires wear
You would notice an even wear on the tire surface when the weight remains properly distributed through your car’s steering and suspension systems.
This enhances the lifeline of the tires. However, when the tire rod malfunctions, the tires would go out of alignment. So, you would notice the tires wearing out unevenly. Unless you replace the tie rod, you would end up draining more money on replacing the tires.
2. Improper car alignment
A faulty tie rod can misalign the tires, intensifying the uneven wear and tear. You must be knowing that a properly aligned car makes it fuel-efficient and better-performing. When the settings go out of alignment, it pacifies the tire wear.
Also, the bad alignment of the wheels can prove to be dangerous. At times, it can lead to a complete loss of control of the car. So, if you notice that your steering wheel is pulling in a particular direction or shaking, make sure to seek the support of a mechanic.
3. Shaking and clunking noises
A faulty tie rod usually causes problems in your steering wheel. Particularly, when you drive at low speed, you might notice clunking noises or rubbing sounds. While braking, the noise tends to get louder.
When you hear loud rattling noises while applying the brakes, it implies that the tie rods have worn out. The steering wheel of your vehicle might also vibrate or shake.
4. Unresponsive steering
Old tie rods may wear out and your steering might become loose when this happens. The handling performance would degrade, and you might notice that the steering wheel is playing around excessively. You might also feel that you need to turn the steering harder than before to steer it in the desired direction.
The looseness of the steering wheel can stem from worn-out components of the suspension system as well. However, faulty tie rods continue to be the most common issue.
5. Wheels feeling loose
Well, if you get the feeling that your tie rod is not working to the best mark, here’s a test to carry out. Jack up your car to lift the wheels. Now use your hands to grab a tire.
Try to move the steering wheel using your hands. Repeat the process with both the rear and front wheels. If the tie rod is in good condition, the wheels wouldn’t turn.
However, if you find the wheels loose and easily turning, it points to a problem with the tie rod. They must have gone out of alignment, which makes them move.
Also, you might come across clicking sounds when you turn the wheels or move them at any particular angle. This, too, points to major issues with the tie rod.
The tie rods in your vehicle should be in proper functional conditions to keep the car smoothly running. When these components malfunction, the driving experience deteriorates.
You wouldn’t like to deal with the poor handling of your car. Besides, if you happen to use your vehicle heavily, a bad tie rod can prove to be dangerous indeed. It can lead to frequent breakdowns and accidents.
With a properly functional tie rod and aligned wheels, you can significantly boost the lifeline of your vehicle. When this alignment worsens, you must inspect the tie rod for damage.
With a malfunctioning tie rod, the vehicle would experience a high rate of wear and tear. Simply replacing the tie rod wouldn’t cost you much, but ignoring the issue would mount the associated repair costs.
No wonder why experts recommend inspecting and replacing this component at the right time. This way, you can assure your vehicle’s safety and a comfortable drive. Besides, you need not waste your resources on frequent tire replacements.