99 Taurus Tie Rod

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Old 11-11-05, 05:45 AM
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99 Taurus Tie Rod

I had an oil change done last week, and the service writer came to the waiting room to tell me the tie rods on the car were loose and nneded to be tightened. He said it would not pass NYS Inspection as is, and they could do it right away for about $130.00.

My steering seems pretty good. I have no problems with it. If it's as loose as the Ford shop says it is, shouldn't I be experiencing some steering problems?
 
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Old 11-11-05, 07:19 AM
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Is this a garage you trust? Reason I ask is I've never heard of tie rods that could be "tightened", unless I'm missing something here. I would also question whether the tie rods would be worn out on a vehicle of that age.

Just curious but is the garage also an authorized inspection site (not sure how it's done in NY)? SOunds a little fishy to me.

My $.02 worth.
 
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Old 11-11-05, 07:55 AM
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Towguy,

That's why I'm asking. I'm not sure how this problem with the tie rods came from. It is an authorized inspectin station. It's a Ford Dalership.

I'm having an independepnt garage that I trust look at the problem. Again, I am expreiencing no problem with my steering. It still appears to be crisp and responsive.
 
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Old 11-11-05, 08:11 AM
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I found the receipt with the notation. It says: 'right outer tie rod loose."

Can you tell me if an accident on the right side of the car about 4 years ago could be contributing to this? Just about the entire passenger side was smashed in. I'm thinking this may have been overlooked at the time of the repair, or at least done right but the tie rod was comprimised because of the crash.

Any thoughts? Or is this a completely unrelated problem to the crash?
 
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Old 11-11-05, 03:49 PM
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Doubtful. Things like tierod ends do eventually wear out and, in the case of cars driven where salt is used on the roads, not unusual for one to fail (as in break in two) from corrosion.

At any rate, they are not "adjustable"; the only fix when they are worn is replacement and I'm trying to decide if $130 would cover replacement of tierod ends (you would want to do both), plus the alignment. I would be surprised if that was enough, but it's possible.

Wait and see what the second opinion is and take it from there.
 
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Old 11-12-05, 06:33 AM
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Towguy,

Well, my independent shop said the right tie rod needs to be replaced. They would also do an alignment. The cost is $179.00 + tax.

The owner of the shop said that tie rods can not be tightened, exactly what you said.

Iím just discouraged that this car always seems to have little things like this go wrong. Iím saving the car for my 16-year old, and as soon as we payoff the loan on our Windstar in two years (Yea, another Ford product), Iím looking at either a Camry or an Accord.

Rochester streets do get a nice helping of salt in the winter. Itís worse on the highways rather than the residential areas. The cars always look great with that white salt cloud caked all over them. I try to spray the hose in the undercarriage of the cars as well as in the wheel well on nice days, and in the spring before the warm weather hits.

Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 11-12-05, 10:18 AM
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I always have my inspections done at a quickie lube because they don't normally find anything wrong that they couldn't actually fix themselves and profit from and anything they do find and can fix won't cost too much even if I did decide to pay them $10-$15 to replace a bulb or wiperblade. If they find a bad tie rod or something else that they don't repair, I would trust them that they are being honest about it.

I've heard that tire shops are most likey to reject an inspection for bad tires, shops that do a lot of brake jobs are most likely to reject your brakes, etc. which raises a question of honesty even if the inspector is being truthful.

If you're still not sure about the condition of your tie rods, I would guess that you could get a completely unbiased opinion on the them from a quickie lube inspector. They should be trained in all areas of a state inspection and would be able to tell you if they would pass.
 
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Old 11-12-05, 07:37 PM
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If you're already discouraged you are REALLY not going to like my next statement: The Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable is arguably the worst car that FoMoCo ever produced. They are known far and wide for premature transmission failures (the Sable my father used to own had a tranny failure at less than 40,000 miles) and blown head gaskets (mostly on the 3.8L engine; one in my Dad's Sable went at less than 50,000 miles). There is a long list of other components on these vehicles that are known to fail on a fairly frequent basis.

If it was mine, I would price the difference in cost to do both rod ends at the same time. Will probably not be excessively more than doing just one side.

Good planning on switching to Toyota or Honda (my wife is on her second Camry).
 
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Old 11-14-05, 08:56 AM
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Replace it yourself

Go to autozone and buy a tie rod end. These are super easy to replace.
They even rent you out a tie rod puller for free.
All you have to do is take the tire of. Loosen the lock nuts, pop the tie rod out and unscrew it.
Make sure you mark where the lock nuts were so you can avoid aligmnet also.
 
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Old 11-15-05, 07:11 AM
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Kelly Tire Question

Towguy,

Iím not any more frustrated than I already am with this car. I figure if I just keep replacing everything, Iíll have a new car without having to buy one!


I have another question, and itís about tires. I have the Taurus equipped with Kelly Explorerís, and they make noise. They have about 15,000-20,000 miles. Is anyone familiar with these tires, and should I seriously consider replacing them with a quieter tire? The noise is annoying. I am thinking about either the Regatta 2 or Bridgstone Turanza.
 
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