The steering wheel is the driver’s only tool to get the vehicle heading in the right direction. If any component of the steering system is faulty, the vehicle could end up going horribly off course. Tie rod ends are a safety-critical part of the steering system, connecting the steering rack to the wheels, ensuring synchronised turning of the steering wheel and the car’s front wheels.
Driving a car with worn tie rod ends will effect the car’s steering and wheel alignment, causing uneven tyre wear and poor fuel consumption. Worst-case scenario is a broken tie rod end and total lack of steering ability.Outer tie rod ends are essentially ball and socket joints coated with grease inside a rubber boot and bolted to the hub knuckle. They’re a seriously hard-working moving part situated in an exposed area right above the road surface, which means they need regular servicing and inevitable replacement. Your workshop can offer this service to your customers, promoting safer, more efficient motoring.
Firstly, ascertain whether the tie rod ends need replacing. A worn outer tie rod end will exhibit the following symptoms:
• A clunky steering wheel when the vehicle is stationary.
• Excessive play in the wheels (when the vehicle is jacked up).
• Torn rubber boots.
• A squeaking sound when the wheels are turned.
To replace outer tie rod ends, get the correct OE-quality BETA and RacingTech outer tie rod ends from www.startmycar.co.za, as well as the necessary tools. Follow these guidelines:
• Jack up the front end of the vehicle using jack stands and wheel chocks.
• Remove the front wheels. It is wise to always replace both left and right wheel tie rod ends at the same time.
• Loosen the bolt on the tie rod that joins the inner tie rod end to the outer tie rod end. This bolt is what sets the alignment of the front wheels so once loosened, screw it lightly back to its original position to keep the original alignment setting.
• Remove the split pin and nut from the tie rod end stud. If necessary, use rust penetrating oil to help loosen a seized nut.
• Using a Tie Rod End Lifter from www.sartmycar.co.za, remove the tie rod end from the hub knuckle.
• Now screw off the outer tie rod end from the tie rod. Remember - don’t move the alignment nut!
• Fit the new tie rod end to the tie rod, screwing it in all the way to the alignment nut.
• Give the alignment nut a final tighten to its original position.
• Now slide the tie rod end stud into the hub knuckle and fit the tie rod end nut by hand.
• Torque the tie rod end nut to the specified setting and fit the split pin.
• Give the tie rod end and the alignment nut a final tightening.
Tip – grease tie rod ends during every oil service and let your customers know why it’s important to do so.Important - Professional wheel alignment should follow every tie rod end replacement.Bottom line – replacing outer tie rod ends is easy and with the right quality replacement parts and tools from www.startmycar.co.za, you’ll not only make your customers safer on the road but you’ll do so in a cost-friendly fashion!