In the world of auto body repair, there is always plenty to fix, most of which is necessary to keep the car moving. Tie rods, for example, are needed to keep the wheels connected to the axles and the steering column. Without the tie rods, you would not be able to turn the wheels in the direction you want them to go, nor would the tires stay in place on the vehicle. If you are currently experiencing unusual sounds or steering problems, it could be that the tie rods are giving out. Here are three signs that your tie rods are going to bust or have busted (if your vehicle suddenly stops and flops in the road).
Grinding When You Turn the Wheels
Grinding sounds when you turn the wheels is indicative of tie rod issues. It should not be confused with grinding sounds you hear when you apply your brake, as these sounds are directly related to bad brakes. The sounds emanating from your bad tie rods will only be heard when you are in motion and/or turning quickly. You should get an auto repair technician to check out your tie rods soon if you hear this sound, or they may bust and drop your vehicle in an unsafe location.
Spinning Scraping Noises
Also, bad tie rods will make spinning scraping noises, similar to scraping nails on a chalk board but in a circular and rapid fashion. The noises usually stop when you apply the brakes, further accentuating the fact that the sounds are not coming from your brakes. This is because the tie rods rotate and roll with your wheels, so when the vehicle is in motion, so are the bad tie rods. Applying the brakes stops the motion of the tires and the tie rods, thereby silencing this particular sound.
When Your Tie Rods Are Most Definitely Busted
An experienced mechanic can spot broken tie rods quickly. Anyone who has experienced this particular problem with their cars also know what it looks like. When your tie rods bust (and they will if they are making the above sounds), your tires will bust right off and drop the weight of your vehicle right on top of the tires. This can result in flat tires because of the weight of the vehicle suddenly dropping on them, tires busting off and rolling down the road behind you, and/or serious automobile accidents because the tie rods drop your vehicle in a busy intersection or on the highway. None of that is good, so you should see an auto body repair mechanic as soon as you hear the signs of an imminent tie rod break