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What are the signs of a faulty tie-rod end?
Bad steerability is the first sign of a faulty component. Oversteer or understeer may occur. Roadholding is impaired. The steering wheel wobbles, especially when you drive over bumps and potholes. Crunching and knocking are heard in the front suspension, particularly when turning corners. The steering wheel rotates too far, which means excessive play. In addition, turning it requires more effort than usual.
Can I continue driving with a faulty steering tie-rod end?
Failure of a tie-rod end leads to impaired car handling. In addition, the vehicle behaviour and responsiveness often become unpredictable, which significantly increases the risk of accidents. If you ignore the malfunction for a long time, the ball stud can pop out of its housing. This may result in complete failure of the steering wheel and loss of control of the car, which is very dangerous, especially at high speeds.
Do I need to replace the tie-rod ends in pairs?
Yes, these parts have approximately the same lifespan. Failure of one usually means the other will break down soon, so it makes sense to change both tie-rod ends at once. After replacement, you will also need to have the wheels aligned.