Symptoms of Bad Tie Rod Ends - Byers Airport Subaru in Columbus, OH

You may not hear about them as often as other components like brake pads or tires, but the tie rods in your vehicle are absolutely vital. They connect the steering rack or center link to the steering knuckle, making the wheels turn. Each tie rod is made of two ends, the inner and the outer end. When a tie rod end fails, it can damage your vehicle and put you in danger, so it's important to make sure that you keep watch for symptoms of a tie rod end that's failing. To make sure your Subaru remains in good condition, look out for signs like:

A steering wheel that vibrates or feels loose could indicate worn tie rods

5. A Steering Wheel that Feels Unusual

A steering wheel in your vehicle that feels different than you've become used to is always cause to schedule a service appointment for your Subaru, but there are two particular things that may point to failing tie rod ends. If the wheel shakes or vibrates, and this vibration gets worse when you turn corners, it could be due to a loose tie rod end. A steering wheel that feels like it has a lot of play in it can also be a symptom of a loose tie rod end.

 
Worn tie rod ends can lead to problems with your vehicle and safety

4. Misaligned Front End

A bad tie rod end isn't the only thing that can cause your vehicle to track poorly. In fact, it's much more common to see misalignment from bumping into a curb or going over a pothole. However, loose or worn tie rod ends can cause front-end misalignment. This is one of the reasons it's important to bring your vehicle in for an alignment check about once per year or so.

3. Uneven, Excessive Tire Wear

This one can often be checked on your own with a visual inspection. Compare the inside and outside edges of the tires. If they show excessive wear on one side but little wear on the other, it could be due to tie rod troubles. However, this isn't the only cause; it could be a problem with other parts of the suspension.

Replacing the old tie rods is often the best way to deal with tie rod problems

2. A Squealing Sound When You Turn

Squealing is never a good thing to hear from your car. If you hear a loud, high-pitched squeal that sounds like a shriek whenever you turn your car, it may be a sign that the tie rod ends are worn and need to be replaced. There are other potential causes, including ball joints with bad lubrication or a low level of power steering fluid. Since all of these can be dangerous to you and your vehicle, you should have a squeal looked at immediately.

1. Inability To Steer

If a tie rod end fails completely, you'll lose the ability to steer your car. The good news is that this is unlikely to happen without any of the previous symptoms. As long as you listen to what your Subaru is telling you and don't put off service, this is something that can be avoided. But if your Subaru is giving you any of the above signs and you ignore them, you could be in for trouble.