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Is it Tire Rod vs. Tie Rod? How Do I Know It Needs Repair?

At Zima Automotive in Springfield, OH, we take an infinite amount of pride in educating our customers and answering their questions. Recently, we had a customer who experienced a shaking wheel, among other things. 

Upon further inspection, we noticed her tie rods needed to be replaced. Like many of our customers, she knew very little about “tie rods” and even less about their purpose, and why they are critical to your safety and driving experience. 

Check out our recent “What’s That?” video above, where Max Zima explains the role of tie rods. 

Continue reading for a deeper exploration into tire rods and signs you may need tire rod repair.

Is It Tire Rods or Tie Rods?

This is easy: it’s a “tie rod” or “tie rods.”

Okay… What Are Tie Rods?

While often overlooked, tie rods are integral to your steering system. Tie rods are suspension components that connect your vehicle’s steering knuckle—or rack and pinion—to the steering rack on the front wheel. 

Simply put, the rods are responsible for pushing or pulling the wheel to make it turn. Every time you turn your steering wheel, it activates movement throughout the tie rods. It would be virtually impossible to drive your vehicle effectively without the tie rods maneuvering to move the tires.

Top 4 Signs You May Need Tie Rod Repair

As with most vehicle components, you may eventually need a tie rod replacement or tie rod repair. Fortunately, you will usually notice distinct signs that you need tie rod repair before it completely wears out. 

Four of the most common signs you need tie rod repair are listed below.

1. Do You Hear Strange Noises?

Very rarely (if ever) are strange noises a good thing, especially when it comes to your vehicle. If you hear a thud or a quick, sharp sound emanating from your front wheels when you turn, it may be bad tie rods. Because of the importance and critical role your tie rods play, you need to have them checked out by the mechanics at Zima Automotive.

2. Are You Noticing Uneven or Unusual Tire Wear?

As long as your tires are rotated regularly, they should wear relatively evenly. 

However, if you notice uneven wear on your tires, it could indicate your vehicle needs a wheel alignment. It could also mean that loose tie rods should be addressed before wheel alignment.

3. Do You Notice a Shaky or Unstable Steering Wheel?

For the most part, your steering wheel should be responsive to any and every movement you make. 

If you do notice a wandering steering wheel or it feels a little out of control, it’s a good idea to have your front-end parts inspected by the mechanic at Zima Automotive. This may also indicate you need a tie rod repair.

4. Can You Feel the Vibration?

Another sign of bad tie rods is if your vehicle is vibrating. When your steering wheel loses the ability to control the wheels, your tires will start to move uncontrollably, leading to excessive shaking. 

You are more likely to notice this excessive vibration when you’re turning corners, slowing down, or speeding up.

Contact Zima Automotive in Springfield, OH for Tie Rod Repair

Being able to steer your vehicle correctly isn’t a luxury. It’s essential. However, failing tie rods can make this extremely difficult or impossible, which can put you, your passengers, and others at risk. 

If you notice any of these symptoms, reach out to Zima Automotive in Springfield, OH for an inspection. Contact us today for tie rod repair.

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