Replacing the tie rod end: Here’s how! | How is it done?


The steering is spongy? Do you hear a clicking sound coming from the tire area? Then you should change the tie rod ends as soon as possible! Of course, you can find out from us why this is so important and what other symptoms occur with a tie rod end defect. We also tell you how you can change the tie rod ends yourself. When you’re ready, it starts right away – let’s go!

Tie rod end worn out? Time to change!

Frequently driving over cobblestones or other rough roads puts a lot of strain on your car’s tie rod ends. However, since this is difficult to avoid, the tie rod ends are also among the wearing parts on the car. Although they do not have a change interval like some other car parts, there are still clear signs that a tie rod end is defective:

  • If you turn on while driving Clacking in the wheel area hear, this indicates a worn out tie rod end.
  • Also a metallic cracking during the steering process stands for a tie rod end defect.
  • Should you greater maneuverability when steering If you notice this, it can also be a sign of a broken tie rod end.
  • Your Car pulls to the left or right when driving straight ahead? Then you should check whether a tie rod end has worn out.
  • Last also indicates unusually high tire wear indicates a tie rod end defect.
Good to know: The tie rod ends are safety-relevant and therefore TÜV-relevant components. If the main inspection reveals that a tie rod end is defective, your vehicle’s operating license may expire. So keep that in mind when reading the TÜV sticker and fix the problem before the appointment is due.

Have you noticed one or more of these signs in your car? Then you should quickly check whether the tie rod end is worn out. If this is not the case, you should contact a workshop to find out the cause of the above symptoms – perhaps there is a wishbone defect. A worn out tie rod end is to blame? Then we will help you straight away – with step-by-step instructions on how to change the tie rod end! Just read on to find out more!

Tie rod end worn out? Then you should change it!

Replacing the tie rod end – instructions

Even if only one tie rod end is worn out, you should always change the tie rod ends by axle. Why? If one is already broken, the defect on the other side is not far away. If you change both tie rod ends at the same time, you save yourself a second wheel alignment and thus additional costs.

Important: One wheel alignment is essential after changing the tie rod end. After you have replaced the tie rod ends, you will probably have to have the track adjusted. This allows you to avoid problems and dangers while driving, as the lane is often blocked after changing lanes.

You need this to change the tie rod end

As always, when you want to change parts, you also need the right tools and equipment. We have made a list for you:

tie rod end_change_with_car jack
Safety first: Jack up the car to change the tie rod end!
Our tip: The easiest and above all safest way to work is with a lifting platform. You don’t have any in your own workshop? That’s no problem at all – you can rent a lifting platform in a rental workshop! Not only that: Learn more about the advantages of a rental workshop by clicking on the appropriate link!

Have you now prepared everything you need for the change? Very good – then let’s get started right away!

Replacing the tie rod end – Step 1: Remove the wheel

The tie rod ends are behind the wheels. That means you have to remove the corresponding tire to get to the tie rod end. This is how you do it:

  • Jack up your car – either with a lifting platform, a pit or even a jack (don’t forget to secure the car with jack stands if you use the latter).
  • Then you loosen the wheel bolts and remove the tire.

Now that you’ve removed the tire, you should also see the tie rod end – this connects the tie rod to the wishbone. Then it’s on to the next step. Are you ready? Let’s go!

Replacing the tie rod end – Step 2: Clean the connections

Now it’s time to remove the tie rod end – but before that you should clean the connections to the wheel suspension and the tie rod so that you can loosen it more easily:

  • It’s best for you to use it rust remover or a appropriate lubricant.
    • You can also use a wire brush to remove coarse dirt.
  • But if all that doesn’t work either and the tie rod end Farther stuckyou should change complete tie rod.
tie rod end change
When changing the tie rod end, do you find that it is dirty and rusted? Clean it to be able to expand it better.

Have you done that so far? Then we move on to Step 3 – Remove tie rod end.

Replacing the tie rod end – Step 3: Remove the tie rod end

To remove the tie rod end, loosen the nut – but please only slightly at first! Before you unscrew the nut completely, you should mark the seat with the chalk.

Pro tip: Alternatively, you can use a caliper gauge to measure the distance from the end of the nut to the end of the tie rod thread. This ensures that the track is at least somewhat correct after the change.

Now use the puller to get the tie rod end out of the wheel suspension – but be careful not to damage anything.

Important: It’s often recommended to use a hammer if you don’t have an ejector handy. We advise against it. Why? Because you can ruin a lot of things with it. A new tie rod end puller is a lot more affordable than repairing it if something gets damaged.

Then you can completely unscrew the tie rod end from the tie rod – count every full turn. This makes it easier to get the new tie rod end back in place after the change. Now the tie rod end change is almost done. How it goes on? You will find out now!

Replacing the tie rod end – Step 4: Install a new tie rod end

Before you install the new head, you should clean the tie rod and the mounting of the steering knuckle again. In this way you avoid increased wear on the new part.

Tip: Grease the steering knuckle a little more – this prevents the boot of the tie rod end from being damaged during installation.

The rest of the tie rod end change is as follows:

  • Thread the tie rod end back onto the tie rod the same number of turns.
  • Then you put the head back into the steering knuckle – don’t forget to remove the protective cover.
  • Screw the nut back on on the control arm side, but do not fully tighten.
  • Check the distance between the lock nut and the tie rod thread again.
  • Finally, all you have to do is tighten the lower nut on the steering knuckle.
    • Use the torque wrench and that torque specified by the manufacturer!

Now all you have to do is remount the wheel and definitely go to the wheel alignment! Why? We’ll explain that to you next! But before that, we have a little extra for you: To make the change easier for you, we have video instructions up our sleeve! A professional shows you how to change the tie rod ends on a VW Golf 5 GTI:

Would you like to have these instructions with you just in case? No problem! We have created a checklist for you to download and print out:

Replacing the tie rod end without wheel alignment – better not!

Wheel alignment is always necessary after working on axle parts. Even by counting the revolutions and despite being careful, the track can be blocked. This means that you can no longer steer the vehicle properly and have to countersteer even when driving straight ahead. In addition, an incorrect setting can result in increased tire wear. There are always costs associated with wheel alignment – which ones do you incur when changing the tie rod end? Of course we will tell you that too!

Cost of changing the tie rod end

You can probably already imagine: depending on whether you change the tie rod ends yourself or leave the change to the workshop, you will incur different costs. In contrast to a repair in the workshop, you only pay the material costs and the subsequent wheel alignment if you carry out the change yourself. In a specialist workshop, there are additional costs for the work involved – by the way, you can save a little there if you get the necessary part yourself (but please clarify this with the workshop of your choice beforehand). Here is a breakdown of the cost of replacing the tie rod end:

  • There are already new tie rod ends from €4.59 – in workshops there is usually an additional charge.
  • One wheel alignment costs depending on the type between €30 and €150.
  • A specialist workshop then calculates this additionally between €70 and €200 for the workload – depending on the model and condition of the vehicle.

In the worst case, changing the tie rod end in a workshop can even cost you over €300. As with any repair, however, the following still applies: If you do not trust yourself to change it, you should rather contact a specialist workshop.

tie rod end_change_costs
The greater the number of parts to be removed for the repair, the higher the cost of changing the tie rod end.

But that was enough from our side. How about you? Do you trust yourself to make the change? Or have you perhaps already changed the tie rod end yourself? How did it go for you? Tell us about it in the comments!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.