Steering Other Steering Other

Steering Other

What is a steering tie rod and tie rod end?

Steering tie rods and tie rod ends are part of the steering rack system. As the wheel moves up and down over uneven road surfaces the articulated joint in the rod allows that movement so that the rod does not become damaged.

The tie rod end is fitted to the end of the tie rod. The tie rod end provides 2 main functions. It provides adjustment to the wheel being steered so that its track or direction of the wheel can be aligned. The ball joint end of the tie rod end provide articulation so when the wheel is being steered it can move accordingly.

These parts are available in different sets as follows:

  • Single tie rod

  • Single tie rod end

  • Single tie rod and tie end kit

  • Single tie rod and tie end kit with boot kit

How do I choose the correct tie rods and tie rod ends?

Some vehicle manufacturers use different companies (brands) to manufacture the steering system for their vehicles. If this is the case the replacement tie rods and tie rod ends need to match the brand of the steering system.

There can be other factors to note when looking for replacement steering system parts which are listed below:

  • Electric or hydraulic steering gear

  • Length of the rod or diameter of the ball cone mount on the tie end

  • Manufacturer of the steering rack (i.e. TRW, ZF etc)
  • If you need the left hand or right hand side

  • Vehicle manufacture date (this is not the date the vehicle was registered but the date it was made

  • VIN (chassis number) sequence (up to or after as specific number/letter

What brand of tie rods and tie rod ends should I choose?

There are many aftermarket makers of steering tie rods and tie rod ends so the choice of which brand to order can be tricky. Budget is often one of the main criteria when choosing replacement parts. Brands such as Apec, Blue Print, Febi and FAG offer long warranties and offer parts at a low price point too. These brands and others like them that offer long warranties means you can be confident in their parts and not spend a small fortune either.

How can I tell my tie rods or tie rod end need replacing?

The steering system is safety critical and is tested as part of the UK MOT. These parts work under stress and are situated in an exposed part of the vehicle. Time, damage and wear and tear will cause these parts to fail.

We would always recommend that you have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic if you have any safety or performance concerns with your steering system.

Here are some of the symptoms of failing tie rods and tie rod ends:

  • Creaking or some other abnormal sound when steering

  • Tyres are wearing unevenly

  • The vehicle pulls to one side. It's hard to maintain a straight line

  • Vibration while driving more pronounced through the steering wheel

  • Steering feels loose or is not responsive

  • The rubber cover on the tie rod end is split

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