Bad tie rod ends can negatively impact a vehicle's front end alignment and lead to excessive tire wear and front suspension problems. Tie rod ends are critical to maintaining proper vehicle front suspension alignment. What follows is a brief list of the most common signs of bad tie rod ends.
Loose Tie Rods
When tie rod ends go bad, they normally start to loosen and develop excessive slack, or play. This results in tie rod ends that fail to sufficiently anchor the rest of the tie rod assemblies, which results in a critical weak spot in a vehicle's front suspension system.
Improper Wheel Alignment
Bad tie rod ends can negatively impact a vehicle's front end alignment, causing a vehicle to pull to one side during vehicle operation.
Uneven Tire Wear
Due to their critical link in keeping a vehicle's front tires in proper alignment, tie rods play a pivotal role in the lifespan of a vehicle's front tires. Bad tie rod ends can cause uneven tire wear and/or excessive tire wear if they change the alignment of a vehicle's front tires too much.
Sagging Vehicle Tires
Bad tie rod ends cannot adequately stabilize and keep vehicle tires under proper tension; thus, tire sagging is a common symptom of bad tie rod ends.
Tire Alignment Difficulties
When aligning a vehicle's front end suspension, it is necessary to make adjustments to the tie rod ends to achieve proper tire alignment and angle. If aligning a vehicle's front end to proper specifications is not possible, many times bad tie rod ends are to blame.