Your vehicle's tie rod ends are a small but essential portion of your vehicle's steering assembly, and are attached to the front tires of your car. They link the tires to the steering wheel, allowing you to direct your car where you want it to go. A damaged, worn or failing tie rod end needs to be replaced as soon as possible, as they can decrease the overall amount of control that you have over your vehicle and increase the risk of a collision. Thankfully, there are some warning signs that you can watch for so that you can figure out when you need to head into an auto shop to have your tie rod ends replaced.
If the front end of your vehicle is not properly aligned, your tie rod ends may be to blame. This is actually one of the easiest warning signs to notice, since your vehicle will pull to one side even while you are trying to drive straight. You can also test this fairly safely by driving slowly on a straight street to see if your vehicle slowly pulls to one side if you don't adjust the steering wheel.
Shaking Steering Wheel
Another clear indication of damage to your tie rod ends that is fairly easy to notice is if your steering wheel vibrates or shakes while driving, no matter the smoothness of the surface that you are driving on. This can occur at any speed, but will usually become most noticeable if you are travelling quickly. While it may seem minor, a shaking steering wheel can make it harder for you to actually direct your vehicle, and represents shaking and vibrating along the front axle, which can increase tire and suspension wear over time and increase the risk of a breakdown.
Uneven Tire Wear
Finally, the least noticeable but still one of the most important signs of your tie rod ends nearing the end of their lifespan is if your tires have begun to experience uneven wear. You can usually determine this through a simple visual inspection: see if the treads on your tires have become excessively worn on one side of the tire over another, as this can point to a damaged tie rod end. However, it should be noted that uneven tire wear can sometimes be caused by improper alignment and inflation as well, so you should contact a mechanic to have your front end tires looked at straight away.
Contact a center like Terwood Auto Repair for more information.