Why does the inner and outer tie rods keep failing

Tiny
ILLINOIS1
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 PLYMOUTH VOYAGER
  • 174,000 MILES
I had my inner and outer tie rods replaced a year ago and I have had to have them done three times on warranty. When I got the car back the last time they changed the inners both sides. The car handled ok when you held the wheel firm the car would stay in the lines of the road it would sway a little one way and them come back but all in all it was good that way. If you let go of the wheel the car will pull right. Someone told me it is the axle knuckle that needs replacing.

The car now is starting to loose alignment as before somewhat. I replaced the struts and most all front end parts. Now the Alignment place says we don't know what the problem is and they don't want to work on it any longer it was and still is under warranty. They have done all they can and I can let it be and move on.

How can I be sure if I put out 500.00 like the other mechanic said it will fix the problem with new axle knuckles.

Lets say the alignment shop didn't pick up on it and kept saying it was bad parts. Is it that the axle knuckle is making these parts go bad.


I was told by the other mechanic just let it go till it gets real bad. So the way I'm understanding is let it go and see what happens and when it gets why bad I bring it in.


I would like to know what the problem is and what my options are and what will happen if I just leave it.

At this point I haven't looked into doing it myself but I would like to if I was able. The mechanic said on your own it would be about 125.00 per side for parts.


One last thing I've been out of work so I did opt to put in aftermarket parts on the inner and outer tie rods but I feel its more a problem than bad or inexpensive parts because it is so consistent with it going bad.
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Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 AT 8:46 PM

15 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Aftermarket or not, they should last longer. What I suggest is to have a 3rd mechanic physically inspect the knuckles to confirm they are bad. That way you will feel more confident.
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Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 AT 9:02 PM
Tiny
ILLINOIS1
  • MEMBER
How big a job is it to do oneself or is it better to have done in shop. How can I confirm the knuckle is bad my self. Is there a test or way other than removing them?
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Thursday, October 6th, 2011 AT 2:19 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
It is a big job and will require special tools.
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Thursday, October 6th, 2011 AT 2:29 AM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
I have found that many aftermarket parts are CRAP! Short life especially if you drive alot on bad/rough roads/city driving.
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Thursday, October 6th, 2011 AT 3:07 AM
Tiny
ILLINOIS1
  • MEMBER
How can I check them to confirm they are bad? Is there a way to confirm which side is bad or both?
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Thursday, October 13th, 2011 AT 1:49 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
I dont know why they say knuckle is bad? It's just a holder for the wheel bearing/calipers. Unless they mean tie rod HOLE in knuckle is out of spec/round or something?
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Friday, October 14th, 2011 AT 8:30 AM
Tiny
ILLINOIS1
  • MEMBER
If it were the tie rod hole is out of spec/round would it be detectable with a certain check to the wheel.
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Saturday, October 15th, 2011 AT 8:01 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
I check front end parts by raising wheel off ground and pulling tire side to side and top to bottom. It should not move unless you pull too hard side to side and move steering wheel.
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Saturday, October 15th, 2011 AT 10:23 PM
Tiny
ILLINOIS1
  • MEMBER
I've done what you said previous and with the inner tie-rods being replaced there is no play. The original problem was why are parts always going bad under warranty. The only problem currently with the car is when you don't have your hands on the steering wheel it will at times drift to the side but not always sometimes it is very defined to the right. Like let go one second and it pulls way right. Usually it will stay with the center of road on the left lane. I'm at a lose as to what a problem could be. The guy who is warrantying it said I have done all I can I'm done with it. The second mechanic said axle knuckle I've understood all the info given and checked item as directed but can come to no conclusion why the parts are always going bad. Currently the parts replaced are good and the alignment is good. Maybe the car just pulls right sometimes.

I can't think of what else to do but see what happens with the parts as time goes by. I don't want to pay more money or inconvenience anyone for something I can't really define.

I'm a novice hobby DIY mechanic if you have a suggestion or advice which would resolve situation or precipitate solution. Thanks in advance.
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Monday, October 17th, 2011 AT 9:15 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
The only problem I have seen with knuckles/spindels is they are bent. On some cars they can get bent when you hit a curb or some other obstruction quite hard. I dont think all cars can bend but some can like ford contour. I bought a car that they replaced everything but the spindel and that was it! I just rationalized it was the only thing left! Got 1 cheap at a salvage yard so it was worth a try. It worked! The problem was a little obvious anyway as the tilt of the wheel was off on that side. The car had slid into a curb. So how is your tire wear? And do you have matching front tires with same air pressure?
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Tuesday, October 18th, 2011 AT 12:44 AM
Tiny
ILLINOIS1
  • MEMBER
I think you hit it on the head the car did hit a curb and the wheel is tilted to that side! This puts me in the same spot you were in I'm going to go the same way. Thanks I put in a donation.
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Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 AT 2:45 PM
Tiny
ILLINOIS1
  • MEMBER
I switched the spindle and its the same thing. Any other ideas. You drive and you let go of the steering wheel and it pulls right. Someone said some cars pull a certain way. If I look at the wheels when they are in the straight ahead position it looks like the passenger side is not pointing strait. The alignment is good.

Any other part that could cause the problem of the wheel pointing to the right.
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Sunday, October 30th, 2011 AT 7:22 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
My bent 1 the wheels looked strate but the TILT vertical axis of tire was out more at top relative to other side. And most cars if you have wheels centered they BOTH look like they point out slightly if alignment is correct. To basically check alignment I measure across front from tread groove to other tire tread groove front and back side and compare. Should be within about 1/8 inch same measurement.
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Sunday, October 30th, 2011 AT 7:49 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Have you had any success with this issue?
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Monday, October 31st, 2011 AT 4:27 AM
Tiny
ILLINOIS1
  • MEMBER
I had the alignment checked and they said it was off. They said I might need new struts also. They were just replaced a short time ago. I'm going to go to a mechanic drop it off and let him go over the vehicle. I've had no luck in any of the help or information. The alignment guy who did the inner and outer tie rods says he is done with it even though it is under warranty.

He has no idea why it keeps going bad and I went to another mechanic and switched the spindle but same thing happened.

I've got a lead on a mechanic and I know of another. Its time I differ to an export.
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Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 AT 2:07 AM

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