Tie rods are an essential part of any vehicle’s steering system. In a Volvo, they play a crucial role in connecting the steering rack to the steering knuckle, allowing for smooth and controlled steering. However, like any other component of a vehicle, tie rods can go bad over time, causing safety hazards on the road.
What is a Tie Rod?
A tie rod is a metal rod that connects the steering rack to the steering knuckle. The steering rack is responsible for translating the rotational motion of the steering wheel into lateral motion to steer the vehicle’s wheels. The steering knuckle, on the other hand, is the part of the suspension system that allows the wheels to turn left and right. The tie rod connects these two components, allowing for smooth and precise steering.
What Causes Tie Rods to Go Bad?
Tie rods are subjected to a lot of stress and wear and tear over time, which can cause them to go bad. Some common causes of tie rod failure include:
- Age: Over time, the rubber boots on the tie rods can deteriorate, causing dirt and debris to enter the joint. This can cause the joint to wear out and eventually fail.
- Corrosion: Tie rods can also rust over time, especially in areas with high levels of moisture and salt.
- Misalignment: If the vehicle’s wheels are not properly aligned, it can put extra stress on the tie rods, causing them to wear out more quickly.
- Impact: If the tie rod is hit or bumped by an object, it can cause the joint to become loose or damaged.
Signs of a Bad Tie Rod
There are several signs that your tie rod may be going bad. Some of the most common signs include:
- Steering Wheel Vibrations: If you notice that your steering wheel is vibrating or shaking, especially at higher speeds, it may be a sign of a bad tie rod.
- Uneven Tire Wear: A bad tie rod can cause your tires to wear unevenly, which can be easily detected by looking for signs of wear on the inner or outer edges of the tire.
- Loose Steering: If you feel that your steering is loose or imprecise, it may be a sign of a bad tie rod.
- Clunking Noise: If you hear a clunking noise when you turn the steering wheel, it may be a sign that your tie rod is loose or damaged.
Why Driving with a Bad Tie Rod is Dangerous
Driving with a bad tie rod can be extremely dangerous. A failed tie rod can cause your steering to become loose or unpredictable, which can lead to loss of control of the vehicle. This can be especially dangerous at higher speeds or in emergency situations. Additionally, a failed tie rod can cause uneven tire wear, which can reduce the lifespan of your tires and compromise your vehicle’s handling and stability.
What to Do When You Suspect Your Tie Rod has Failed
If you suspect that your tie rod has failed, it is essential to have it inspected and repaired by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible. Driving with a bad tie rod can be extremely dangerous, and it is not worth risking your safety or the safety of others on the road. A mechanic can inspect your tie rods and determine if they need to be replaced or repaired. In some cases, a tie rod may need to be replaced as part of a larger repair or maintenance job, such as a wheel alignment.
Bring Your Volvo to Kruse Lucas Imports
Driving with a bad tie rod is extremely dangerous, as it can lead to loss of control of the vehicle and compromise your safety on the road. If you suspect that your tie rod has failed, it’s important to take your vehicle to a mechanic right away. A mechanic can inspect your tie rods and determine if they need to be replaced or repaired to ensure that your vehicle is safe to drive.
At Kruse Lucas Imports we strive to provide drivers from Manteca, Oakdale, Ripon, and Turlock with quality service that is second to none. Our highly trained technicians have decades of experience under their belt and use the most up-to-date technology available on the market. We’re committed to keeping your vehicle in its best condition so you can ensure safe travels for years to come. Contact us today for an appointment and get the personalized attention your car deserves!