Two of the greatest inventions in the modern driving experience are smooth power steering and suspension. It separates practical, modern mobility from antiques that are meant to be seen rather than driven on the road. In fact, cars that do not have good steering or suspension may be somewhat safe to drive around town or down country roads, but they are probably unfit to drive down the interstate. Both of these innovations depend heavily on the use of a good tie rod. Without a fully-functioning tie rod, you do not have a fully-functioning vehicle.
What is a Tie Rod?
A tie rod is an essential component of the steering function in your Volvo. It has an inside and outside end that translates the rotation of the steering column from your steering wheel, into the steering knuckle. The steering knuckle is what causes the wheels to turn. The outside end of the tie rod fits a sleeve that is adjustable. This adjustment is what sets your Volvo's alignment angle.
The ends of your tie rod are vulnerable to the natural wear and tear of vehicle use. Anything that pulls your wheels outside of their perfect balance with each other, such as loose gravel, potholes, and especially collisions, will cause stress on these ends. If they wear out, you will experience extra slack in the steering, front-end suspension problems, and eventually, your car will no longer be safe to drive. You should have them regularly inspected every time you have your oil changed, by a certified technician.
What are the Warning Signs of Bad Tie Rod Ends?
How will you know when your tie rod ends are going bad? Several signs are easy for you to notice while driving and caring for your vehicle. These include:
- Vehicle pulling to one side when in use
- Tires wearing unevenly
- Shaking and vibration in the steering console
- Looseness, or an erratic wandering feel in the steering wheel
- Squeaking noises originating from the front of the vehicle.
Generally speaking, anytime you notice something off with your steering, you should take caution and get it looked at immediately.
What Should You Do When You First Recognize the Signs of Bad Tie Rod Ends?
Broken tie rods in your Volvo cause it to lose steering control. This effectively makes your vehicle unsafe for the road and undrivable. If you tie rod breaks on the road, you may not even be able to pull your vehicle off to the side, because your tires may not turn properly. This is all the more reason to get your vehicle checked out as soon as you notice the warning signs of bad tie rod ends.
When there are symptoms of excessive wear, it is always best to replace those ends. This task is not impossible to do yourself, so long as you have the right equipment. If you attempt this tie rod repair yourself, be sure you have the proper parts for your Volvo, since many tie rod ends are specific to each model. Once they are replaced, you will need to check the alignment, and it is likely you will need to have your alignment adjusted to compensate for the new parts. If you are unable to adjust the alignment yourself, it is probably safest to let a certified technician handle the whole operation.
Volvo Service at Fast Lane European
Your tie rods are a critical part of your Volvo driving experience. They keep you safe and ensure a smooth ride for you and your passengers. The European automotive technicians at Fast Lane European know how important keeping your tie rods well maintained are, and will gladly inspect them while you have your vehicle serviced and inspected. We are San Jose's leading BMW, Mini & Volvo service center since 2011. Factory certified technicians will quickly diagnose any tie rod damage and waste no time in replacing your ends so you can be back on the road, driving safely as soon as possible.
These kinds of replacements can be expensive, but here at Fast Lane European we have low labor rates, which makes us the best choice for replacing tie rods and adjusting your alignment in San Jose, CA. If you would like find out more about our qualifications or have your Volvo's steering inspected, please contact us today. We stand ready to make you the next satisfied customer of Fast Lane European.