Tie rods are an important part of your vehicle’s suspension system and form a critical link between the wheels and the steering system. They are designed to take on a load of providing direction to your vehicle, allowing it to move in a straight line without wavering. However, if they become damaged, breakage can occur while driving, leading to losing control over the car. In this article, we will explore what causes tie rod breakage while driving and how to prevent it.
What is a Tie Rod?
The tie rod is an essential component in any vehicular suspension system. It connects the steering arm (attached to the steering wheel) with either side of the wheels’ arms (also known as knuckles) via two ball joints at each end – one in each arm – that allow for rotational movement when turning or cornering – depending on the direction that you turn your wheel. The tie rod helps keep your car moving in a straight line by providing resistance against any side-to-side motion that uneven roads or other factors may inadvertently cause.
Potential Causes of Tie Rod Breakage While Driving
Poor Maintenance and Wear & Tear
One of the most common causes of tie rod breakage while driving is inadequate maintenance, which can lead to corrosion or wear and tear over time. It is important to regularly check your tie rods for any signs of damage or wear and inspect them for rust as well. If left unchecked, this can cause gradual weakening of the tie rod, leading to eventual breakage while in use.
Accidents or Collisions
Another potential cause of tie rod breakage is a collision with another object on the road or a high-speed accident that causes an excessive force on the suspension system and leads to damage in one or more components like the tie rods. This kind of situation may require professional repair work in order to restore your vehicle’s steering performance back to normal.
Excessive Steering Angle
Finally, an often overlooked factor in tie rod breakage is excessive steering angle, i.e., turning your wheel too far in either direction for an extended period of time at high speed (like when racing around a track). This puts additional pressure on your suspension system, leading to a higher risk of breaking certain components, such as the tie rods, over time.
Signs That Your Tie Rod May Be Damaged
If you notice any of the following signs, it may be an indication that your tie rod is damaged and needs to be replaced:
– Strange noises coming from the steering wheel while driving or turning corners
– Uneven tire wear on one side of the car
– Difficulty in maintaining a straight line while driving
– Vibrations in the steering wheel when turning or cornering
– Loose or rattling steering wheel at certain angles
It is important to address any of these symptoms as soon as possible to avoid potential breakage while driving.
How to Avoid Breaking Your Tie Rods
To avoid breaking your tie rods, it is recommended that you regularly inspect them for signs of damage or wear and tear and take action if necessary. Additionally, it is important to maintain your vehicle’s suspension system by checking for proper alignment and replacing worn parts as soon as possible. Finally, try not to make sharp turns at high speed, especially while cornering on a track, since this can lead to excessive stress on various components of your suspension system, including the tie rods.
Tie rods are essential to the suspension system and can cause serious problems if they break while driving. To avoid this, it is important to regularly inspect your tie rods for any signs of damage or wear and tear, maintain proper alignment, and be aware of how much pressure you’re placing on them when cornering at high speed. These tips can help you keep your vehicle safe and in good condition for longer.