What is Tie Rod? Definition, Parts, Working, Types, Replace, Buy: Top 10 Tie Rods

Tie rod connects the steering rack to the steering knuckle, making them an essential component of your vehicle’s steering system. It is tie rods that not only help you steer, but they also allow you to turn your vehicle. The steering of your vehicle would be impossible without tie rods.

The tie rods are worn and damaged because they are used every time you steer your vehicle. Damage to a tie rod can also be caused by road hazards such as potholes and accidents.  Damaged and failing tie rods can have mild to severe effects.

Define Tie Rod

Normally, you’ll find tie rods on your car. A tie rod connects your steering wheel and gear to your tires. When you turn the wheel, the tie rod moves and the tires move with it. Ball-in-socket motions in tie rods allow the wheels on your car to move smoothly up and down, side to side, as well as front and rear. When trying to move bellows, tie rod motions accomplish the same motion.

Each ball joint and tie rod end is part of the front suspension and steering system of your car. These components are located between the front wheels.

Functions of Tie Rod

The tie rod plays an important role in the steering system of a vehicle. With a ball socket on one end, the rod is used to connect or tie the steering gear to the wheel. As the wheel turns or moves up and down with the road surface, this ball socket allows for controlled movement. A popular steering design usually involves a tie rod inside the steering gear and an outer tie rod outside the wheel assembly. To adjust the alignment of a car’s front wheels, the thread connecting the inner and outer tie rods is adjustable.

The steering linkages play a crucial role in your car’s mechanism.  Among its important functions is to transfer driving movements from the steering gear to the wheels, which then direct the movement of the vehicle. Because these components directly affect the direction of the vehicle, it is vital that they work properly. Therefore, if any signs of steering linkage failure are observed, don’t ignore them. Have it repaired as soon as possible.

Parts of Tie Rod

Tie rods are cylindrical structures with two sections made of high-strength steel. Tie rod ends consist of an inner and outer section, the outer section being known as the tie rod end.

Tie rod ends commonly come in 7 piece sets that contain all the parts and components needed to assemble the tie rod. 

Sliding Seal

The sliding ring seal is usually a rubber case or rubber cap that acts as a sliding seal, which facilitates an adequate lifetime at high pressures by increasing contact force at the sealing surface.

Socket Body

In the socket body, the spherical bearing resides along with the preload spring and is protected from damage from impacts. The preload spring and bearing are kept in the correct position by the spherical bearings as they are intended.

Threaded Stem

The fatigue strength they provide is also enhanced through proper alignment, which helps prevent fretting. As a result, transverse girders are less subjected to bending stress.

Ball Stud

To enable the wheels to steer, as well as pivot so that the suspension can move up and down, the ball stud and tightening nut are attached to the suspension and steering components.

Spherical Bearing

Whenever the wheel is rotated, the tie rods must rotate as well. This rotation can be performed with precision and control thanks to spherical bearings on rod ends.

Closure Gap

In addition to acting as a seal shield, the closure cap protects the spring from rocks and debris. 

Preload Spring

It is the preload of the spring that forces the tire down and makes the suspension work. 

A large spring preload keeps the tires from rolling down on big bumps at speed, allowing for a more controlled ride. As the spring preload increases, tire contract pressure increases, contributing to improved road traction.

Workflow of Tie Rod

Your vehicle’s steering is dependent on tie rods. Tie rods connect the steering column to the steering arm of your car as suggested by their names. Your steering wheel is connected to the steering arm. Rack-and-pinion steering and or mechanical steering are the two types of steering systems.

In your automobile, the steering linkage is part of the suspension system that connects the front wheels. This linkage connects the gearbox’s transmission to the tie rod’s front wheels. Tie rods are further joined by a ball joint-like socket, known as tie rod ends, which allows the linkage to work freely, so that vehicle motion is not interfered with as the wheels move on the road.

Rack-and-Pinion Steering System

The rack-and-pinion steering system is simple. When you are turning your steering wheel, you will cause your pinion gear, which is attached to your steering shaft, to roll along with the steering rack. When you turn your wheel, the steering rack attached to both front wheels will move accordingly. Tie rods transmit steering rack force to the steering arm, which moves the wheel.  

Mechanical Steering System

Mechanical steering systems are a little more complex than rack-and-pinion systems. These systems typically have a gearbox attached. The steering shaft activates several gears that control the pitman’s arm when you turn your wheel. When you steer, the pitman’s arm moves the steering rack. The steering rack in a rack-and-pinion system is connected from the tie rods to the steering arms. It will make a connection between the steering systems to the wheels. 

These two systems may look complex but contain very simple & important part, which is known as a tie rod.  The tie rod plays an important role in your steering system & without it; the whole steering system will collapse. The steering system & steering arm is connected by the tie rod. There is an outer tie rod end that can be adjusted.  As a result, you can replace the tie rod’s length to fix your vehicle’s alignment. The simple tie rods are very crucial for your wheel’s movement when you steer for making a turn.

Types of Tie Rod


In a single-tied expansion joint, the tie rods prevent axial movement and hold the ends constantly. It is possible for lateral movement to occur in the tie rod.


There are many applications for which universal-tied expansion joints make sense. Each element tilts to accommodate lateral offsets while creating a low lateral spring rate. These joints are widely used across many industries.

Universal-Tied with limit Rod

Combined with limit rods, another expansion joint accessory, universal-tied rods can extend the length of the expansion joint while still accommodating axial compression and angular motion.

Signs of Bad Tie Rod

Front end Alignment error

You steer your vehicle with tie rods, which ensure it tracks straight. The front end of your vehicle can become misaligned for a variety of reasons, including a worn tie rod, which can become loose. You should consult a qualified technician if your vehicle is having trouble handling.

Too much Noise

 When turning at low speeds, you may hear any clanking or knocking sounds from the front of the vehicle due to worn tie rods. The new noises you’re hearing can be caused by loose tie rods that rattle around at the joints and links. Moreover, if the boot that protects the tie rod joint becomes damaged, dirt and debris can get inside the joint and cause the steering wheel to grind. Check in with a qualified technician if you hear new sounds coming from the front of your vehicle.

Vibration Issue in Steering Wheel

A loose or damaged tie rod can lead to steering problems because the tie rod links the steering wheel to the front wheels. The steering wheel may shake or vibrate, as well as be loose or play excessively. As you accelerate or turn, the vibration usually gets worse. As soon as you notice steering problems, take your vehicle to a qualified mechanic.

Uneven Tire Wear

Tires can wear unevenly or excessively if their tie rods are damaged. Examine your tires visually; if one side displays excessive wear and the other side doesn’t, it could be a sign of a failing tie rod. Tie rods that are working properly are indicated by even tire wear. Make an appointment with a qualified technician if you have concerns about uneven tire wear.

Hit a curb or Pothole

Over time, your tie rods can inevitably wear out from normal wear and tear, but a severe strike on a pothole or curb can do irreparable damage. If your car develops a new shake in the steering wheel, noises when you turn or other symptoms after hitting something. With a worn tie rod, you may still be able to drive, but if it fails completely, you will lose steering control and will need a tow home or to our service center.

Loose Wheel Feeling

You can perform an easy and quick test of your vehicle’s tie rods right in your driveway if you’re not sure whether your tie rods are bad and you have a little time and some tools. It just takes a jack to fix the tie rod of that steering system. 

You can grab the front tire with your hands by lifting the front end of your car.

  • Shake the wheel between 3 and 9 o’clock with your hands.
  • Shake the wheel by placing your hands at 6 and 12 o’clock.

Repeat this procedure on both front wheels. All things being equal, you should only be able to rotate the wheels. You should replace your tie rods or other related components if one or both wheels shift a little bit or make a clicking sound.

How to replace Outer Tie Rod?

Safety Check

Your vehicle’s wheels should be chocked. You can park your vehicle on a flat, dry surface & make sure you wear safety goggles and gloves. You can easily access the car if you lift it, place it on jack stands, and remove the wheels.

Inspect the Tie Rod

On the steering knuckle, next to the tire, is the ball with stud and locking nut. It is recommended to spray penetrating oil on the jam nut and its threads as well as the top castle nut, since they are often heavily corroded. It is connected to the steering knuckle on one side by a castle nut and cotter pin in order to prevent it from slipping. Another side of the tie rod is threaded, and connects to either a center link, drag link, or adjustment sleeve. These components are still found in more traditional steering systems, and this feature still exists in some trucks.

Remove & Separate Tie Rod’s Stud Nut

There is a tapered stud and nut on each side of the tie rod that connects it to the steering knuckle of the car. There are sometimes Nylock nuts in place of this castle-style nut with a cotter pin. Remove the cotter pin from a castle nut. 

These can often be corroded and difficult to remove. In order to ensure proper sealing of the nut, flood it with penetrating oil. The next step is to remove the nut. To dislodge the tapered stud from its bore, you will need a tie rod separator. The tie rod must be inserted between the knuckle and the tie rod, and it must be hammered until it drops and separates. Many tie rods are very stubborn, so this process can take time.

Remove the Jam Nut

Hold the inner tie rod steady with a wrench and break the jam nut loose after soaking the jam nut with penetrant. Avoid using a hammer to prevent damage or warping. To remove the lock nut at the other end, move to the other end. There are some outer tie rods that use a castle nut with a cotter pin, which differs from the information provided in this video. Remove the castle nut completely if this is the case for your vehicle. Straighten the pin and pull it out with needle nose pliers.

Remove Completely from Steering Knuckle

Lift the outer tie rod from the steering knuckle using a specialized tool for removing tie rod ends. When removing the old tie rod end from the inner tie rod, count the number of turns, or mark the position before turning. To ensure the replacement part is compatible with the steering system, measure the length, taper, and thread length of the new and old outer tie rods.

New Outer Tie Rod Installation

Count the turns or stop at the mark you recorded earlier when connecting the new tie rod end to the inner tie rod. Be sure to insert the taper all the way into the steering knuckle. When the stud starts to spin, tighten it using your fingers or a light wrench. It is not recommended to use an impact wrench as it will cause unnecessary spinning, which could ruin the new part.

You should tighten the lock nut to the manufacturer’s recommended torque using a ratchet. As soon as you have tightened the castle nut, you should install the cotter pin. Pull the pin through and bend it in combination with needle nose pliers to ensure it is positioned securely around the nut.

Check your car’s alignment

Make sure the other suspension parts are in good working order before reinstalling the wheel. Take the vehicle to an alignment after torqueing the wheel on the ground and going on a short road trip. Reset the steering angle sensor whenever the front end of a vehicle is aligned.

How to Buy the best Tie Rod End?

Unit Weight

It is generally more difficult to carry heavier units and even more difficult to install them in vehicles. The front portion of your vehicle will need to be disassembled in order to install tie rod ends. When installing a heavy unit on the vehicle, it can be difficult to hold everything in place at the same time.

Despite this, stringer units generally weigh more than weaker units. When it comes to selecting tie rod ends for your car, you have to consider the heavyweight options if you want them to last a long time.

Piece Number per Package

Tie rod ends vary greatly by package, as not every package contains the same items. You might have noticed that some packages only include one unit, whereas others include three or even four parts.

There are a lot of parts in a tie rod end, even though it is not a complicated assembly. Most often, only one part in your assembly needs to be replaced if it is damaged. 

It is possible to buy a single unit in this case to get your vehicle moving as soon as possible. In spite of this, buying a four-piece set will certainly be a good investment as a backup.


Among the most exposed parts of an automobile are the tie rod ends. This means that they will continue to be exposed to dust, dirt, and moisture throughout the years, which will wear them down. When a vehicle is on the move, the active damage undergoes a lot of stress as a result of shocks and absorption, which inherently occurs in the front of

As a result, the tie rods fail earlier than expected and have a shorter lifespan. It is necessary for these tie rods to have an assurance in such a case. If the rods get damaged during the warranty period, you can claim a free replacement.

Vehicle Information

If you’re looking for the ideal pair of tie rod ends for your car, you shouldn’t overlook this crucial fact. Check whether your vehicle is compatible with the tie end rods you are considering. 

Tie rods installed improperly will usually cause installation issues. Despite installation, it will not provide optimal power transfer between the steering unit and wheels, resulting in poor handling. The list of vehicles includes tie rod ends that correspond to their compatibility. You should avoid purchasing that option if your vehicle is not on the list.

Merits of Tie Rod

  1. Including pressure thrust in a straightforward design.
  2. The quality of Tie rod is inexpensive.
  3. This design features a low lateral spring rate and high lateral movement ability.
  4. Having a wide range of skills across different industries.
  5. For single-tied designs, there are two degrees of movement.
  6. Universal-tied designs have three degrees of movement.

Top 10 Tie Rod End you should think before Buying

Moog ES3488 Tie Rod End

This tie rod end consists of Belleville preload washers, which eliminate spring binds and prevent shattering when impacted suddenly. For increased strength and smooth motion transfer, the gusher bearing features a metal design.

When this tie rod end is manufactured, its ball studs are heat-treated. The rod is much stronger than ball studs and is less likely to fail prematurely because of this. It is easy to install and align even in the most difficult-to-reach vehicles due to the wrench flat area on the tie rod end housing.

Mevotech Tie Rod End

Durability and ease of installation are at the heart of Mevotech’s engineering process. To ensure that tie rod ends perform and last, they undergo extreme durability testing.

Interested DIYers and technicians can benefit from the brand’s labor-saving features. Regardless of changing weather conditions or road conditions, drivers can safely return to the road with Mevotech tie rod ends.

Suspension Dudes Tie Rod End

Designed exclusively for Chevrolet and GMC Hummer models ES3488 & ES3493, Suspension Dudes Inner & Outer Tie Rod Ends are a 4-piece unit. A uniform torque and smooth operation are also provided by heat-treated precision-finished ball ends.

Even the worst terrain is no problem for these units. As a result, you will notice that these units are of very high quality and strength. It might be time to replace your suspension system if it is clunking during turn and through bumps. Suspension Dudes 4PC Inner or Outer Tie Rod Ends can avoid poor or misaligned handling of the vehicle.

True-Drive Tie Rod End

A full line of premium products at an affordable price has made True-Drive a popular brand quickly. By eliminating the costly supply chain, True-Drive delivers high-quality, low-cost products. Dedicated to providing reliable products, all parts are made in top-tier factories.

There are few better tie rods on the market than True-Drive’s. These products meet SO9001 and QS9000 manufacturing standards for accuracy and reliability. Furthermore, your part is installed-ready with a state-of-the-art design process.

Crown Tie Road End

As a manufacturer of premium Jeep parts, Crown Automotive is best known for its products. The company also manufactures many components for Chrysler and Dodge vehicles that have four-wheel drive.

A 4WD vehicle’s steering system needs to be tough, and the company has extensive experience developing parts for off-road vehicles. In order to withstand rough outdoor conditions and sharp jolts while driving on uneven terrain, Crown tie rod end products use strong materials that can withstand harsh conditions.

ACDelco Tie Rod End

In cooperation with General Motors Company, ACDelco is the official brand of the auto parts business. The company supplies replacement parts for Buick, Chevrolet, and GMC. Professional tie rod ends from ACDelco have double bearings and full ball studs. When driving over uneven road surfaces, they minimize friction and can withstand sharp shocks.

Motorcraft Tie Rod End

The Ford Motor Company’s Motorcraft division specializes in automotive parts. For Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury, it produces both original equipment parts and replacement parts. The tie rod ends manufactured by Motorcraft are subjected to stringent quality tests in order to ensure durability. Getting the most out of your steering system is possible with Motorcraft’s quality tie rod ends.

Fat Dragon Golf Tie Rod End

You can choose Fat Dragon’s GOLF Tie Rod End for Club if you need to replace the tie rod on your golf cart. All models of golf carts available as of the year 2008 that support it. A set of new tie rods ends with a high-quality structure will allow your vehicle to steer correctly. As an added benefit, it also improves suspension performance and increases vehicle balance.

Three different pieces are included in the package, two left-hand threaded ball joints & a right-hand threaded ball joint. 

Detroit Axle Tie Rod End

Detroit Axle manufactures all of these components with high quality and industry-standard technology. With this kit, you can expect high-quality performance since this brand is a leading supplier of automotive parts.

Detroit Axle provides a long 10-year warranty on this product to ensure this performance for a long time. As Detroit Axle has sold a lot of units and received positive user feedback in the past, you would certainly expect such reliability.

Rugged Ridge Tie Rod End

In terms of tie rod end kits, Rugged Ridge is one of the most reliable and efficient brands. The heavy-duty tie rods they work with are specially designed for them.

The tread is right-handed and 7/8 inches thick, ensuring perfect fit. There is no difficulty in installing the system. Even the most difficult terrain can be handled by these units. This means that you will notice these units are extremely strong and high quality.

Wrapping it Up

Tie rod ends should be replaced as soon as possible if you notice symptoms of damage. When the vehicle is moving, a damaged tie rod end can cause severe damage to the tire at any moment. It is possible for a vehicle to lose balance and cause an accident that is hazardous to the driver in extreme cases.

Right now, you need to start looking for tie rod ends to avoid these problems. Regardless of whether your current pair is fine, you should keep one or two tie rod ends on hand just in case. Take care of the following aspects when buying a tie rod end right now.


How much you need to spend for tie rod replacement?

Tie rod replacements are not an expensive repair even though front end work becomes quite frequent as a vehicle ages. The cost of most tie rods is between $40 and $120, with inner tie rods being more expensive than outer tie rods. It is possible on some cars to buy a tie rod in which inner and outer tie rods are sold together. Depending on whether the inner or outer tie rod needs to be replaced, labor costs will range from $45 to $85 for a tie rod replacement. Wheel alignment will be required to replace the tie rods, adding to the final bill $80 to $100.

Is it right to drive with faulty tie rod?

In the absence of a regular oil change and basic maintenance, your state inspection surely will detect a worn tie rod. Getting the tie rod repaired as soon as possible is best, as a tow will be necessary if the tie rod breaks. It is important to find a good mechanic who specializes in front end and steering repairs, and to schedule an appointment. It should take less than one day for your car to be repaired, since these are fairly common repairs.

Is it ok to replace tire rod at home?

The factory service manual specifies a test protocol for determining if a tie rod end is worn out. Only one tie rod end needs to be replaced if it turns out only one is worn out, and the rest can be left alone. As a result, most mechanics replace tie rod ends as a pair if one end is obvious unserviceable. Although such pairs of replacements are technically not required, economics dictate that if the mechanic is already there, it is less expensive in the long run to replace both, particularly because wheel alignments must be performed after every replacement.

Last but not least, alignment tolerances are extremely small these days. It is literally impossible to align the car to factory settings if there is any wear at all on the nonreplicable tie rod end.


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