Tie rod ends are simple parts that connect the steering rack to the steering knuckle on each front wheel. An adjusting sleeve sits between the inner and outer tire rod ends. When you turn the steering wheel, it transmits that movement through various steering components until the tie rod ends push or pull the wheel and make the wheels turn. Having the ability to turn corners is important, so tie rod ends play a large role in any vehicle's safety. Deceptively simple looking, the outer tie rod end hides some internal parts. symptoms of a loose tie rod end include a clunking, rattling or knocking noise in the front end and looseness felt in the steering. The problem is that often, a loose tie rod end may not produce any symptoms. Many mechanics will tell you that when the vehicle comes for an oil change and a tie rod end (or some other part of the front end) is about to fall off, the owner might be very surprised to find this out. For this reason, the steering system, as well as brakes, suspension and other underneath components must be inspected at least once a year.
Symptoms of a loose tie rod end include a clunking, rattling or knocking noise in the front end and looseness felt in the steering. The problem is that often, a loose tie rod end may not produce any symptoms. The only way to properly inspect tie rods and other steering and suspension components is when the vehicle is raised on a lift. Excessively worn tie rod ends cause a looseness in the steering, this might result in shaking in the front end that comes and goes at certain speeds.
Tie rods control steering angles, the tread or clamp connecting inner and outer tie rods is used to adjust steering angles. This means that after the replacement of any of the tie rod ends, the vehicle will need the wheel alignment to bring the steering and suspension angles back to within specifications. If a tie rod is in good shape, there is no need to replace it. Often, however, tie rods on both sides wear out at the same rate. If one tie rod end is bad and the other is starting to go, it makes sense to replace both, so you won't have to do the wheel alignment twice. Another reason to replace a working tie rod end is when the protective boot is damaged. Once the boot is damaged, the tie rod won't last long. In some cars and trucks, tie rod ends have grease fittings and must be greased periodically. In many modern cars, tie rod ends don't need any maintenance as they are filled with grease and sealed at the factory. You can check your owner's manual or ask your mechanic to check if tie rods have grease fittings during a regular service.
Check out this video: