Tie rods are a critical component of steering systems.
A loose steering system that prevents your sedan from tracking in a straight line or causes it to wander when traveling over irregular surfaces is a symptom of worn or damaged steering components. Tie rod ends are one of the steering components most likely to produce these symptoms when worn out. Tie rod ends should be replaced at the first sign of wear or damage to prevent excessive tire wear and possible failure of the steering system.
1. Engage the parking brake and place wheel chocks behind the rear wheels of the sedan. Use the lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts of the wheel, but do not remove them.
2. Use the floor jack to raise the vehicle. Place a jack stand underneath the vehicle beneath the frame or a designated lift point and lower the vehicle onto the jack stand. Use the lug wrench to remove the lug nuts from the wheel and remove the wheel from the vehicle.
3. Mark the position of the tie rod end where it enters the tie rod assembly with the yellow marking pencil. This will be the reference point for installing the new tie rod end. Use a box end wrench to loosen the pinch clamp bolts on the tie rod assembly, but do not remove them.
4. Use needle-nose pliers to remove the cotter pin from the castle nut on the tie rod end. Use a box end wrench to loosen the castle nut. Unscrew the castle nut, but leave it threaded halfway onto the tie rod end.
5. Use the two jaw puller to remove the tie rod end from the steering knuckle by bringing the puller up from underneath the tie rod end and hooking the claw ends over the edges of the steering knuckle. Slowly tighten the screw on the puller until the tie rod is freed from the steering knuckle. Remove the castle nut and drop the tie rod end from the steering knuckle. Unscrew the castle nut and remove the tie rod end from the rod.
6. Unscrew the tie rod end from the tie rod. Compare the old tie rod end with the new tie rod end and make matching marks on the new tie rod end with the yellow marking pencil, then screw the new tie rod end into the tie rod until it reaches the marks you made with the pencil.
7. Insert the tie rod end spindle into the steering knuckle and install the castle nut onto the tie rod end. Tighten the nut with a box end wrench to the manufacturer’s recommended torque. Slide the new cotter pin into the tie rod end and bend it around the spindle with needle-nose pliers.
8. Tighten the pinch clamps firmly on the tie rod assembly with a box end wrench. Install the wheel onto the vehicle and install the lug nuts finger tight.
9. Lift the sedan off the jack stand with the floor jack. Remove the jack stand, then lower the vehicle and tighten the lug nuts with the lug wrench. Take the vehicle to a mechanic and have the front-end alignment adjusted.