How to Buy a Used Car

How Long Do Inner Tie Rods Last



The inner tie rods are crucial components of a vehicle’s steering system, responsible for connecting the steering rack to the outer tie rods and ultimately controlling the movement of the front wheels. As integral parts of the steering mechanism, inner tie rods play a significant role in maintaining steering stability, responsiveness, and overall vehicle control. However, like any mechanical component, inner tie rods are subject to wear and tear over time. Understanding the expected lifespan of inner tie rods is essential for vehicle maintenance and safety.

How Long Do Inner Tie Rods Last

How often should you replace inner tie rods?

They should be checked at every scheduled maintenance. If a fault is found, it should be repaired. Most tie rods on modern cars should last well over 100,000 miles unless the vehicle is used exceptionally hard or has suffered front end damage. The replacement frequency of inner tie rods largely depends on several factors, such as driving conditions, vehicle maintenance, and the overall quality of the tie rod components. 


Inner tie rods do wear out over time due to constant movement, exposure to road debris, and stress during steering maneuvers. As a general guideline, it is recommended to inspect the tie rods during regular maintenance intervals or if there are any signs of steering issues, such as unusual vibrations, knocking sounds, or uneven tire wear.


However, there isn’t a specific mileage or time frame for replacement, as this can vary between different vehicles and driving conditions. Regular inspections and addressing any signs of wear promptly can help extend the lifespan of inner tie rods and prevent more extensive damage to the steering system.

Do inner tie rods wear out?

If both outer, or inner, tie rods have more or less the same mileage, they probably have a similar amount of wear and tear. If the visual condition of the tie rod(s) show corrosion or other signs of excessive wear, it’s probably a good idea to replace them together. Yes, inner tie rods do wear out over time. Inner tie rods are crucial components of a vehicle’s steering system, connecting the steering rack to the outer tie rods and ultimately influencing the direction of the front wheels. 


As these components are constantly in motion, they are subject to wear and tear. The rubber boots protecting the inner tie rods from dirt and debris can deteriorate over time, allowing contaminants to enter and accelerate the wear process. Additionally, the constant stress and movement during steering maneuvers contribute to the gradual degradation of the tie rod joints.


Regular inspections during routine maintenance checks or when experiencing steering issues can help identify signs of wear, such as excessive play or play in the steering wheel, knocking sounds, or a misalignment of the front wheels. Addressing any wear or damage promptly through replacement can help maintain optimal steering performance and prevent more extensive and costly repairs.

What is the lifespan of tie rods?

Tie rods can last for several years. In fact, you may never have to replace your tie rods. The conditions you drive in play a large role in the lifespan of tie rods. The lifespan of tie rods can vary based on several factors, including the type of driving conditions, vehicle usage, and maintenance practices. 


Typically, tie rods are designed to be durable and withstand the regular stresses of steering and suspension movements. However, factors such as harsh driving conditions, exposure to road salt, and lack of routine maintenance can contribute to premature wear.


In general, tie rods can last anywhere from 70,000 to 150,000 miles or more, but this is a rough estimate, and the actual lifespan can differ based on the factors mentioned. Regular inspections by a qualified mechanic, especially during routine maintenance or if any steering issues are detected, are essential to assess the condition of the tie rods. Replacing worn or damaged tie rods in a timely manner is crucial to ensure the safety and optimal performance of the vehicle’s steering system.

Are inner tie rods expensive?

The price of a tie rod end can vary from $50 to $400 depending upon the model and manufacturer, with inner rods usually being more expensive than the outer rods. The cost of inner tie rods can vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle, the quality of the replacement parts, and whether the repair is performed by a professional mechanic or by the vehicle owner. 


Generally, the price range for a single inner tie rod can be anywhere from $50 to $200, with luxury or performance vehicles potentially having higher costs. While the cost of the tie rod itself is relatively modest, it’s important to consider additional expenses such as labor and alignment fees, as tie rod replacement often requires wheel alignment to ensure proper steering and tire wear. 


Opting for higher-quality tie rod components can sometimes result in a higher upfront cost but may contribute to increased durability and longer service life. As with any automotive repair, obtaining quotes from multiple sources and discussing options with a trusted mechanic can help ensure a fair and accurate estimate for inner tie rod replacement.

How Long Do Inner Tie Rods Last

Is it OK to replace just one tie rod?

Ideally, YES – if the concern is excessive wear. However, sometimes a ball joint which might be otherwise in good condition (that is, not worn) can be damaged as a result of an accident or impact. If the damage does not affect both tie rod ends, you can usually replace just one. Though a thorough inspection is advised. While it’s technically possible to replace just one tie rod, it’s generally not recommended. 


Tie rods play a crucial role in steering and maintaining the alignment of the wheels. If one tie rod is worn or damaged, it’s likely that the other tie rod on the same axle has experienced similar wear and tear. Replacing only one tie rod can result in uneven steering and alignment, leading to premature wear of tires and potential safety hazards. It’s usually more cost-effective and practical to replace both tie rods on the same axle simultaneously to ensure balanced and consistent performance.


 Moreover, a new tie rod paired with an older one may result in different levels of responsiveness, affecting the overall steering performance. While it may seem more cost-effective to replace only the visibly damaged tie rod, the long-term benefits of replacing both far outweigh the short-term savings.

Is inner tie rod bad to drive?

In the worst case scenario when a tie rod completely fails, the wheel will break free of the steering assembly which then causes the vehicle to lose the ability to steer. At the first sign of any wear to the tie rods, steering is already at risk and the vehicle is not safe to drive. Driving with a bad inner tie rod is not advisable, as it poses serious safety risks and can lead to further damage to the vehicle. 


The inner tie rod is a crucial component in the steering system, connecting the rack and pinion to the outer tie rod, facilitating smooth steering control. When an inner tie rod is compromised, it can result in excessive play, vibrations, and difficulty steering. This not only jeopardizes the driver’s ability to control the vehicle but can also lead to uneven tire wear and misalignment. 


Continued driving with a faulty inner tie rod may cause additional damage to surrounding components, leading to more extensive and expensive repairs. If any signs of inner tie rod issues are detected, it is advisable to address the problem promptly to ensure safe and efficient operation of the vehicle.

When should I replace my tie rods?

When your vehicle is parked, turn your steering wheel back and forth, and if you hear a clunking noise, your tie rod ends may be loose or worn. Two other signs of bad tie rods include front-end vibrations and noise. Also, if your steering wheel doesn’t return to center, you should have your tie rods checked. 


Tie rods are essential components of the steering system, and their condition directly affects the vehicle’s handling and safety. Signs of worn or failing tie rods include excessive play or looseness in the steering, uneven tire wear, pulling to one side while driving, and unusual noises such as clunking or knocking sounds when turning. If any of these symptoms are present, it’s crucial to have the tie rods inspected by a qualified mechanic. 


Additionally, tie rods should be replaced as part of routine maintenance or during other steering or suspension repairs to ensure optimal performance and safety. Additionally, if a vehicle undergoes a significant impact, such as hitting a pothole or curb, it is advisable to have the tie rods checked for damage, as such incidents can expedite wear and compromise the integrity of these critical steering components.

Are inner tie rods easy to replace?

Suddenly, you start feeling some vibrations in your steering wheel. Next, you start hearing a knocking sound coming from your front end. Don’t panic, the problem might just be your inner tie rods. The inner tie rod is part of the steering mechanism, and it is not very hard to replace. Replacing inner tie rods can be a challenging and time-consuming task, especially for inexperienced mechanics. 


The inner tie rods are located inside the steering rack, making them difficult to access and requiring specialized tools for removal and installation. In many cases, the steering rack may need to be partially or fully removed from the vehicle to access the inner tie rods, adding to the complexity of the job. Due to the level of difficulty involved, it’s often recommended to have inner tie rods replaced by a professional mechanic with the necessary skills and equipment to ensure the job is done correctly and safely. 


Attempting to replace inner tie rods without proper knowledge and experience can result in damage to the steering system and compromise the vehicle’s safety. An alignment is typically recommended after replacing tie rods to ensure optimal steering performance and tire wear. If uncertain about the process or lacking the necessary tools and expertise, seeking professional assistance is advisable to ensure a safe and effective repair.

How Long Do Inner Tie Rods Last


The lifespan of inner tie rods can vary depending on various factors such as driving habits, road conditions, vehicle maintenance, and the quality of the components. On average, inner tie rods are expected to last between 70,000 to 100,000 miles under normal driving conditions. However, it’s essential for vehicle owners to be vigilant and proactive in monitoring their vehicle’s steering system for any signs of wear or damage. 


Regular inspections by a qualified mechanic, especially during routine maintenance services, can help detect early warning signs of inner tie rod wear and prevent potential steering issues or failures. Ultimately, prioritizing timely maintenance and replacement of worn-out inner tie rods is crucial for ensuring safe and reliable vehicle operation. By staying informed and proactive, vehicle owners can effectively prolong the lifespan of their inner tie rods and maintain optimal steering performance for their vehicles.



Vaishnavi vaish

Vaishnavi is an automotive enthusiast and writer with a passion for all things cars. With years of experience in the automotive industry, Vaishnavi brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Vroom's platform. Whether it's dissecting the latest car models, exploring industry trends, or delving into the intricacies of automotive technology, Vaishnavi is dedicated to providing readers with comprehensive and insightful content. From performance reviews to in-depth car comparisons, Vaishnavi strives to deliver accurate and engaging information to help readers make informed decisions about their next vehicle purchase. Explore the world of automobiles with Vaishnavi on Vroom and stay updated on the latest developments in the automotive world.

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