I bought a set of tires today for my 2003 Elantra GLS (120k miles) and was
told there's play in the tie rod ends. I tried to assess how serious this
was and they said it could cause vibration in the steering system. I
haven't been experiencing any vibration and the tires track straight, tire
wear is even. So, first off is it likely given the mileage that there is
play in the tie rod ends or are they BSing me? Second, if there is play can
I safely wait until I can actually perceive a problem, eg vibration, or
should it be attended to immediately? Thanks for any advice.
I see many worn tie rod ends on 2001-2006 Elantras. I replace many
within the warranty period as well. So it doesn't surprise me that
yours would be worn at 120k. Should the ball-and-socket come apart,
you would lose your steering capabilities and the vehicle would likely
stop abruptly. While a small amount of play isn't likely to become
large overnight, this is still technically a safety concern, and I
suspect it would fail a safety inspection in most jurisdictions.
The 2000-2005 Accent uses the same tie rod end, but for whatever
reason, I see much fewer failures on these vehicles. Perhaps it has
something to do with the weight of the vehicle or size of the tire.
Thanks for the reply. If the tie rod wear were significant enough to be a
safety concern would it be perceivable while driving? Would I notice the
car not tracking straight ahead, or vibration, or something? I will
understand if you can't answer with certainty, but I feel skeptical about
the problem given that the car drives perfectly and they've tried to
"up-sell" other dubious services to me in the past. I will probably have to
take it somewhere else to be looked at, but I still would appreciate your
Before spending big bucks, it may pay you to get a second opinion from a
good independent shop or another dealer. Hard to say from here if you
need the work or not. Some dealers are great and honest, others not so
Agreed, especially if you've had dubious recommendations from this
shop in the past. I'm normally a factory-parts kind of guy, but I
don't see any particular evidence that the factory tie rod ends are
any better than the aftermarkets on this particular application.
Any play at all in a tie rod end is grounds for replacement. At the
onset, it won't be enough for you to notice anything abnormal.
Depending on whether one or both are worn and how much they're worn,
you could experience wandering or vibration.
This is often the case, but not always. There are specific tests for
ball joint play and yours should be checked by a qualified technician.
Most service manuals outline the procedure and it is fairly simple.
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