Track rods transmit to the knuckle the motion of the steering rack forced by turning the driving wheel. In other words, they are responsible for keeping the front wheels together. If they malfunction, have them replaced as soon as possible. You depend on them for your safety and comfort of driving. Play in the steering system resulting from a malfunctioning track rod may result in your car being found road unworthy following the annual technical inspection.
What role does the tie rod play?
The tie rod is an element of the steering system which connects the steering gear and the knuckle, and which transmits the motion of the gear, generated by turning the steering wheel, to the knuckle. It is very important, as it is the only element responsible for the proper positioning of the front wheels of the car. Its technical condition has a huge and direct impact on the safety of driving.
How is the tie rod replaced?
Replacing the tie rod requires lifting the car, detaching the tie rod end from the knuckle, removing the tie rod from the steering gear and separating the tie rod end from the tie rod. The tie rod is equipped with an articulated joint allowing the suspension to move up and down relative to the steering gear. Replacing the tie rod doesn't always require replacing its end; however, it is recommended that both elements be replaced at the same time. Fitting the above-mentioned elements back into place is done in the reverse order.
What else to keep in mind?
The tie rod, at its attachment to the steering gear, is covered by means of a rubber, corrugated housing, which should be checked for potential damages and replaced, if necessary. As the useful life of each steering system element is more or less the same, when changing the tie rod on one side of the car, one should also check the condition of the tie rod on the opposite side. After changing the tie rod, the wheels should be checked and aligned at the suspension alignment station.