Hey guys, ChrisFix here, today I am going
to show you how to tell if your tie rods have gone bad A bad tie rod can cause uneven tire
wear and if it is really bad, it can even disconnect while you are driving, and that
is just a bad situation. Besides tire wear, bad tie rods can cause a clunky feel when
you first turn your steering wheel. It can also squeak when when you use the steering wheel but that can also be a ball joint, so you
have to go and check it out. If you have any
of these symptoms just jack up the front
of the car and I will show you how to test it. With both tires off the ground what you are going to want to do is put your hands at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions on the wheel. With your hands in those positions, move them back and forth and see if there is any play in the wheel. You will feel a clicking or a giving movement And that movement could indicate a bad tie rod. If you think there is some play or you just want to check further, you can take the tire off and inspect the tie rod itself. There are two parts to your tie rods Your inner tie rod, and your outer tie rod. Inspect the inner tie rod visually by looking at the boot and seeing if there are any leaks. I dont see any leaks here… The boot is still intact. There are no holes or rips So that looks good. Now for the outer tie rod, you can see here already, There is a nice big gash on my tie rod boot. and this just happens over time. The boot cracks and goes bad. And inside you can see the grittiness. And that grittiness is not good. That is sand and road grime that gets kicked up and and goes in here… So this is bad. If you catch a boot that was just recently torn sometimes these boots are replaceable. So you can just take the boot off and put a new one on. And then you save yourself a lot of money You dont have to do anything special, you dont have to get an alignment. But if the boot has been ripped for a while and you see grit in there then you are going to have to replace the whole tie rod end. If your boot is good, then what you should do is, you take the tie rod and you try to move it left and right move it, in and out if there is any unwanted movement or it clicks and you can easily move the tie rod from side to side then it needs to be replaced. now this is a new tie rod end and this is what it should look like. Some tie rod ends have a grease fitting and that is what you want if you need to purchase a new one and if you have a grease fitting always grease this every time you do an oil change. It will force the old grease out which carries all of the grit and sand. so this will last a lot longer. but upon visual inspection, you can see there are no tares or gashes on the rubber that covers the inner tie rod end. Also, there is no unwanted movement like I was talking about before. Obviously this is brand new, but I need to give you an example to contrast the bad tie rod now to test the tie rod even more you can take it out and you can see further that this boot is badly ripped and the grease is contaminated with grit. The other thing is you can turn this with your hand and it feels gritty and clunky. Which is not good, you want this to be smooth So the outer tie rod is bad. Now to test the inner tie rod, all you do is move this in and out and you want to feel for any clicking if it clicks then the inner tie rod is bad. Clicking indicates that the ball joint on the inner tie rod is worn out. and it is allowing movement which isnt good. You dont want any movement in there! This one is completely solid, which is good. The other test you can do is move the tie rod around like this and make sure there is no gritty feeling and no grinding. It is fine if the tie rod is easy to move around but it is bad if it move way too easily and feels way too loose. This is relatively easy to move but I still feel some resistance, so that means this is still good. So the outer tie rod is bad but the inner tie rod is good. But that is fine because the outer tie rod is fixed easily. and you can replace this in 10 minutes. with no special tools That video will be up on the screen along with other videos, click the screen or find the link to those videos in the description below. if this video was helpful, if this video was helpful, give it a “thumbs up” also consider subscribing. I publish “how to” videos weekly and I answer all of your questions and comments check out the ChrisFix Facebook and Twitter pages with the link in the description. If you check out your tie rod and have any questions, just leave a comment below and I will try to help you out.