Downside to not replacing worn tie rod ends?

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Old 27 Apr 2006, 08:58 pm   #1 (permalink)
Jon
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Default Downside to not replacing worn tie rod ends?

Hello:

I've got a '99 Camry and have been told it needs new tie rod ends (guys
at alignment place said they couldn't align car until they were
replaced). Car has got 135 k miles on it and I don't notice anything
terribly sloppy with the handling at this point.

Just wondering if someone could give me a sense of what the drawbacks
would be of trying to let this problem go--I hope to get 200k out of
the car, at least.

Thanks in advance,

Jon

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Old 27 Apr 2006, 09:38 pm   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Downside to not replacing worn tie rod ends?


"Jon" <JLPPLJ@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1146189496.078621.162480@j33g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
> Hello:
>
> I've got a '99 Camry and have been told it needs new tie rod ends (guys
> at alignment place said they couldn't align car until they were
> replaced). Car has got 135 k miles on it and I don't notice anything
> terribly sloppy with the handling at this point.
>
> Just wondering if someone could give me a sense of what the drawbacks
> would be of trying to let this problem go--I hope to get 200k out of
> the car, at least.


Worn tires, instability, loss of control, death


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Old 28 Apr 2006, 04:32 am   #3 (permalink)
jg
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Default Re: Downside to not replacing worn tie rod ends?


"Jon" <JLPPLJ@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1146189496.078621.162480@j33g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
> Hello:
>
> I've got a '99 Camry and have been told it needs new tie rod ends (guys
> at alignment place said they couldn't align car until they were
> replaced). Car has got 135 k miles on it and I don't notice anything
> terribly sloppy with the handling at this point.
>
> Just wondering if someone could give me a sense of what the drawbacks
> would be of trying to let this problem go--I hope to get 200k out of
> the car, at least.
>

Sounds odd - mine is a 91 with 200,000km and I think they're still OK. Did
you have a look yourself?


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Old 28 Apr 2006, 07:04 am   #4 (permalink)
S.P.
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Default Re: Downside to not replacing worn tie rod ends?

>> I've got a '99 Camry and have been told it needs new tie rod ends (guys
>> at alignment place said they couldn't align car until they were
>> replaced). Car has got 135 k miles on it and I don't notice anything
>> terribly sloppy with the handling at this point.
>>
>> Just wondering if someone could give me a sense of what the drawbacks
>> would be of trying to let this problem go--I hope to get 200k out of
>> the car, at least.

>
> Worn tires, instability, loss of control, death


But he asked for the drawbacks...


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Old 28 Apr 2006, 07:41 am   #5 (permalink)
Jon
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Default Re: Downside to not replacing worn tie rod ends?

No--is this something a hack could do?

(Also, a steel beam fell on the front end of my car (with enough force
to puncture the radiator) but the guy who did the repairs on that said
it wouldn't have effected the tie rod ends {?}}

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Old 28 Apr 2006, 11:26 am   #6 (permalink)
timbirr@mailcity.com
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Default Re: Downside to not replacing worn tie rod ends?

>>>>got a '99 Camry and have been told it needs new tie rod ends (guys
>>>>at alignment place said they couldn't align car until they were
>>>>replaced). Car has got 135 k miles on it and I don't notice anything
>>>>terribly sloppy with the handling at this point.


Seems a little fishy. If you had 200K and/or the vehicle was 12 or more
years old, I'd be a little more likely to be a believer. Having said
that YOU CAN'T ignore this. It can be very deadly very quickly.

I would find a trusted shop in your area and just ask for a front-end
check and alignment. I would not trust guys "at an alignment place" on
this. If worse comes to worse, take it into the dealer and ask them
for a front-end check and alignment.

See the link below for details about tie rod ends in general
http://www.motoringtv.com/quakerstate/tierodends.php

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Old 28 Apr 2006, 12:07 pm   #7 (permalink)
Daniel
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Default Re: Downside to not replacing worn tie rod ends?

Get a second opinion.
The best thing would be to check for yourself.
Raise the front wheels off the ground, grasp the tire firmly at the
9:00 and 3:00 o'clock positions and move forcefully checking for any
looseness.
The tie rods ends are small rotating joints that simply "tie" the ends
of the steering linkage coming off the steering rack to the steering
knuckle that holds the wheel bearing, strut and ball joint.
The tie rod ends are permanently lubricated. If the rubber seals are
not damaged or leaking grease, generally the tie rod ends should be OK
- but you can check as above.
Another indication of worn tie rod ends would be excessive play in the
steering wheel - but this can develop gradually over time and you may
have just adjusted to it.
If a tie rod end ever let go, you would suffer immediate loss of
steering control on that wheel - so you need to confirm whether you
actually have a problem.

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Old 28 Apr 2006, 01:05 pm   #8 (permalink)
Jon
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Default Re: Downside to not replacing worn tie rod ends?

Thanks--just what I was looking for.

Jon

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Old 28 Apr 2006, 01:39 pm   #9 (permalink)
timbirr@mailcity.com
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Default Re: Downside to not replacing worn tie rod ends?

As noted in the article that I posted a link to, nowadays an average
joe can't safely be sure there is nothing wrong with the system....

Sure, if you go ahead and "check" it yourself and it turns out bad.
Great. You've confirmed it. But as noted in the prior link, what if
your shadetree check undercovers no problems, so you go off happy and
next thing you know you lose it at 55 mph.

I wouldn't want that in the back of my mind.

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Old 28 Apr 2006, 03:59 pm   #10 (permalink)
Daniel
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Default Re: Downside to not replacing worn tie rod ends?

Car's got 135K miles on it - and he hasn't noticed anything unusual,
and he has been advised to get a second opinion.

I suspect the alignment guy trying to sell extra parts before I suspect
the tie rod ends.

Lots of Camrys go well over 250k with original tie rod ends.

Here's my story on a full size Cadillac I used to own. A tire shop told
me the ball joints should be replaced, so I agreed. (I have no idea
whether they were actually faulty)

Months later I was coming out of a shopping center driveway at very low
speed when the whole right front corner of the car came crashing to the
ground. The mechanic had forgotten to install the cotter pin for the
ball joint when he replaced it, and I later learned he had a drug
problem.

One of the reasons I trust my own work more is that I could give you a
long list of experiences where something was lacking following repair
work - usually not this serious thankfully.

I did have the tie rod ends replaced on the 1977 Toyota truck several
years ago and those were truly worn - so it gives you an idea how long
they can be expected to last. The original poster's Camry is a 1999.
The '77 required periodic lubrication service through a grease fitting,
unlike the sealed '99 tie rod end.

If you want to go replacing front end parts - check the sway bar end
link grease seals. In my experience they're more likely to need
attention.

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