When one outer tire rod goes bad do you need to replace a...

Q: When one outer tire rod goes bad do you need to replace all the other 3?

asked by on August 24, 2017

When the outer tie rod goes bad do you need to replace the other 3 tie rods?

My car has 183456 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

There is a test protocol in the factory service manual that is relied on to determine if a tie rod end is "worn out". Per the protocol, if it turns out that only 1 tie rod end is worn out, then only that one need be replaced and the others can be left alone. In practice, though, these parts (particularly the outer tie rod ends) will usually wear in use and so if one is obviously unserviceable, most mechanics will replace tie rod ends as a pair. Technically, such replacement in pairs is not required but the economics are such that if the mechanic is already there, it is cheaper in the long run to replace both particularly as a vehicle wheel alignment is mandatory after each replacement (i.e., imagine replacing one tie rod end, paying for an alignment and then 6 months later replacing the other tie rod and paying for yet another alignment; not economical, of course). Finally, tolerances in alignments these days are extremely small. So, if there is frankly any wear at all in the unreplaced tie rod end, it is quite literally impossible to align the car to the factory settings (we are talking about tolerances on the order of .020 inches, for example). To have the tie rid ends on your steering system evaluated and replaced, as needed, please request tie rod end inspection/replacement and the mechanic will let you know of the best approach for you given your unique circumstances. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic because we want you to make the most of your repair dollars and help you to get the best possible results.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

The transmission seems to be slipping.

I see your note about the color of the transmission fluid, but is the fluid level correct too? Dark or burned fluid along with a low level can cause the transmission to slip and if the fluid smells burned there...

Car powertrain light came on then car cut off and wnt come back on

Hello, thank you for writing in. The first thing we need to do is scan the vehicle for diagnostic codes. When the check engine light illuminates it means to computer has detected a problem, and we can figure out what...

My car is not starting. What might be the problem?

Hi there, thanks for writing in. There could be dozens of potential reasons why your Volkswagen is not starting. In order for us to provide a good recommendation or solution, I recommend having one of our technicians complete a car...

Related articles

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Volvo S80
The The S80 doesn’t just bring subtle elegance and luxury features to the table, it also brings the long-renowned quality and safety ratings of its Swedish maker. While the brand may not rival the names of BMW and Audi, the...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Volvo C70
Volvo Volvo has long been renowned for its safety and reliability, and the C70 takes those highly desirable traits and combines them with the sporty fun of a cabriolet. This convertible, however, comes with a twist – a hard top....
Industry News for Automotive Techs: October 8-14
50 MPG Chevrolet Cruz Diesel, Mazda's G-Vectoring drive system, Uber and Volvo collaborate on autonomous cars, and Hubb's new reusable oil filter.