About Toyota Tie Rod End
The Toyota tie rod ends work with the steering linkage and ball joints to ensure your steering responds appropriately to your input when you drive. Tie rod ends have an inner and an outer end, both which perform different functions. An outer tie rod end connects to a steering knuckle to navigate your front wheels, while the inner rod end acts as a pivot for the steering gear. Your steering will not have slop while driving, and it will be very responsive when to your steering wheel input as long as your tie rods are in tip-top shape.
Signs of a failed or severely worn down tie rod end include very sloppy and erratic steering or abnormal tire wear. You can inspect for a worn outer tie rod end by grabbing it and checking for free play up and down. To check the inner tie rod end, grasp in and push it front and rear, looking for free play there as well. There should be no free play in either inspection. Tie rod ends work closely with the ball joints, so if you are replacing one it is an idea to replace the other to make the most out of your repair.
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