How to Check Tie Rod Ends

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Check car tie rod ends by drawing a line from the steering knuckle assemble down to the tie rod and seeing how far each side of the tie rod moves. Look for one line of a moving tie rod while the other stays in one place to indicate a problem with information from a certified master mechanic in this free video on auto repair.

Part of the Video Series: Auto Repair & Maintenance
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Video Transcript

Hello my name is Mark Blocker and in this segment we are going to check how to check tie rod ends. O'kay here we have the tie rod and what the tie rod is is a ball joint device that connects the steering mechanism to the steering knuckle and it is designed so that you can have complete suspension movement without effecting the steering and the way to check that is we need to determine if we have got any movement. Any time that you move the steering knuckle or the steering arm assembly the tie rod should move evenly back and forth. If one moves without the other one moving it indicates that there is too much wear and the tie rod needs to be replaced. What I am going to do is draw a chalk line from the steering knuckle assembly down the tie rod itself and then I am going to take two hands and move this back and forth watching those two white lines. Those two white lines should stay in line the whole way through the travel. If I am moving back and forth and one line is moving and not the other line that is an indication of excessive wear and a need for replacement. So what I am going to do is just simply push back and forth and I am going to look for wear and alignment. Those two lines should stay lined through the course of this and they're staying lined just fine not indicating I have any excess movement. That's how you can check a tie rod.

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