Looking to upgrade your automotive repair skills? Dive into the world of tie rod end removal! Such an integral component inside a vehicle’s steering system, connecting the steering rack to the wheel, can wear out over time. In other words, it needs replacing. 

If you’re a novice not knowing where to start, this guide from DriveRevolve will help you use a smooth and hassle-free process. Say goodbye to those worn-out tie-rod ends once and for all!

How To Tell If Tie Rods Are Bad While Driving?

If you notice any of the following signs, it could indicate a problem:

  • Unusual clunking or knocking sounds
  • Cracking or popping noises
  • Excessive wheel play
  • Steering feeling less smooth and possibly jerky
  • Steering feeling less responsive or less precise

Should I replace both inner and outer tie rods once noticing such above signs? Long story short: Yes, definitely! But what are all the steps, and how much do I have to pay? Scroll down for answers! 

How To Tell If Tie Rods Are Bad While Driving?
Tie rod end. Source: thedrive

How To Remove Inner and Outer Tie Rod End

Outer Tie Rod End

  • Park your car on a flat surface for sufficient space to work around the vehicle. Put the car in Park or in gear and engage the parking brake. 
  • Secure blocks around the car’s wheels. 
  • Loosen your on-the-wheels lug nuts.
  • Use a jack to lift the auto and place jack stands. 
  • Take off your wheel and set it aside. 
  • Spray PB Blaster or another penetrating oil on the nuts and bolts of the tie rod. 
  • Loosen the nut on the outer/inner tie rod. 
  • Dismantle the castle nut on the outer tie rod end, taking out the cotter pin as well. 
  • Detach the outer tie rod end from the steering knuckle using a hammer,  a tie rod puller tool, or a wedge. Avoid directly hitting the tie rod end bolt. 
  • Set your eyes on the position and unscrew the tie rod end. Track how many rotations it takes to remove it and install the new one.

As a die-hard fan of fun-auto parts, navigate yourself with other hot threads, like the jake brake. Move ahead to it!

Outer Tie Rod End
Meet a mechanic if needed. Source: reviewlution

Inner Tie Rod End

  • After removing the outer tie rod end, take off your inner/outer tie rod nut. 
  • Remove the clamps securing the dust boot of the inner tie rod end. 
  • Detach your breather tube from your dust boot and remove the dust boot itself. 
  • To remove the inner tie rod end, adopt a specialized tool called the inner tie rod removal tool. 
  • This tool can be rented from Autozone, O’Reilly, Advanced, or others alike. It typically pairs with an extension rod and an adapter with a ratchet or pry bar to easily dismantle your inner tie rod end.


  • First, make sure all the new parts have the correct length. If they aren’t, adjust the length to a proper fit. To this end, compare the rotations and original elements’ parts with the new ones.
  • Take note of the torque wrench in the parts section. It’s a must-have to tighten the connecting nut between the outer and inner tie rods. Refer to your owner’s manual for the right torque specs.
  • Tighten your castle nut to the torque specified by the manufacturer.
  • Before attaching the new inner tie rod end to your steering rack, apply thread sealer for a secure connection.
  • Alter the one-time-use clamps on the dust boot, if any.
  • While working in that area, clean up and inspect the surrounding sections, such as the CV axles or ball joints. This helps things in good condition.

How About The Replacement Cost?

Outer Tie Rod Replacement Cost

Depending on the car, tie rod ends might cost a lot of money. Some single outer tie rod ends may cost between $10 and $15, while others could cost far into the triple digits. Yet, since yours will probably be inexpensive, it won’t hurt to replace ones being only a little worn out and outdated. 

Inner Tie Rod Replacement Cost

Replacing an inner tie rod will only set you back between $99 and $211 on average, depending on DIY or mechanic help. This figure is much higher than for outer tie rod expenditure. Don’t break the bank with such a low-cost fix!

Key Takeaways

Now you can say goodbye to costly mechanic fees and take control of your vehicle’s upkeep. Our expert tips and tricks could help you understand the tie rod ends’ role, how to identify a lousy part and when to change one, as well as the whole removal steps.

Of note, do not undermine must-have tools and safety precautions while processing the tie rod end removal. Be like a buff!

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