Friday, May 16, 2008

What Are Tie-Rod Ends...Do I Need Them?

What are tie rod ends? Your life depends on them!

All vehicles, no matter what make or model have tie rod ends.

On vehicles with Rack and Pinion Steering there are only two, but on others, there are four.

The tie rod end attaches to the steering knuckle on each front wheel on Rack and Pinion Steering.

On non-R&P steering, there is one attached to the steering knuckle on each front wheel and one attached to the long bar that controls both wheels for steering, called a Tie Rod Drag Link.

This link is connected to the pitman arm coming from the steering gear-box and also connected to an idler arm for stability purposes.

The little tie rod ends on non R&P screw into a sleeve with both right-handed threads and left-handed threads.

When you have the toe-in set on your vehicle, the technician can loosen two bolts and nuts and twist this sleeve¡...this makes the tires go out or in.

It is very important to have these tie rod ends greased every time you have the oil and filter changed in the engine.

Why? Well, if you don't grease them then, when will you? :-)

The importance in greasing them is to keep them moving freely.

If they get dry they will wear out quickly.

If they wear out, they can come apart.

If they come apart, you won't be able to steer your vehicle. Not a good thing.

Now, grant you, on some of the newer vehicles the manufacturers decided to leave off the grease fittings.

These tie rods come pre-packed and will last a very long time.

But, you should have them 'checked ' at each oil change.

Some have a threaded hole for the grease fitting, but they have a small cap over them.

You can remove the cap and add a fitting so you can grease it.

Any time you replace a tie rod end, be sure to grease it, and the others if you can.

Take care of your vehicle so it will take care of you and your family!

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