Symptoms of a Bad Tie Rod End (and Replacement Cost)

Do you experience challenges maintaining the accuracy of your vehicle’s steering sometimes? It could be an indication of a damaged tie rod end. 

Tie rods are crucial components that connect suspension and steering systems. The result is easy and precise steering on different roads. The use of excessive force to steer vehicles makes driving hectic. 

Drivers should replace the tie rod end when they age or get damaged due to unconventional driving behavior. What is the average cost for replacing tie rods? How can a driver identify a bad tie rod? Here are the common signs of a bad tie rod end and associated replacement costs.

Shaking or vibration of the steering wheel

Tie rods secure front suspension systems in place. A bad tie rod is incapable of holding the components of the vehicle’s suspension system tight. It causes the entire suspension system to loosen. The loose connections result in vibrations or shaking that is transferred to the steering wheel. The vibrations become strong when accelerating or negotiating corners.

Poor wheel alignment

The tire rod is instrumental in sustaining the alignment of the front wheels. When the tie rod is damaged, the wheels manifest poor alignment. Poor wheel alignment complicates driving, making it difficult for drivers to maintain proper steering. The car veers off if the steering wheel is not firmly held.

Excessive play on the steering wheel

A damaged tie rod leaves loose ends in front of the vehicle. Drivers experience excessive play on the steering wheel, making the vehicle unresponsive to steering controls. Excessive wheel play is a safety concern that requires immediate rectification.

Squealing sounds

Damage on the tie rod end rubber boot increases metal-to-metal contact. As a result, drivers hear squealing or squeaking sounds. The noises are louder when cornering. The loud noises could also indicate poor lubrication of the tie rod end.

Uneven tire wear

We’ve mentioned that wheel misalignment is among the indicators of damaged tie rods. There are several effects of misalignment on the vehicle. The most popular is uneven tire wear. The inner or outer edges of the tire begin wearing faster than the middle sections. 

Car vibration

Severely damaged tie rods cause vehement vibration of the vehicle. The uneven tire wear reduces the uniformity of tire wear. Loose suspensions mean that the car cannot sustain road surface shocks.

Cost of replacing tie rods

The cost of replacing damaged tie rods ranges between $100 and $400. It includes the cost of purchasing new components and labor. Parts cost approximately $20-$100. Drivers pay an extra amount to cater to wheel alignment after replacement.


Replace damaged tie rods within the shortest time possible. The risks of driving with bad tie rods are immense. Drivers can individually check for signs of tie rod damage or consult an experienced mechanic. 


What are the common signs of a bad tie rod?

If you have a bad tie rod, you are likely to experience shaking or the vibration of the steering wheel, loud squeaking noises, poor handling or uneven front tire wear.

What is the average cost for replacing bad tie rods?

The average cost for replacing tie rods is in the range of $100 to $400. The price caters to labor and replacement parts.