2003 Toyota Camry tie rod queston

I have a 2003 Camry with 116k miles, 4 cyl, auto trans. I have been starting to feel some popping on my steering wheel whenever I hit a bump or turned the wheels. It happened randomly. Today I rotated my 4 tires and found this on my left front strut. I am attaching 2 pictures. Hope they are good enough for the experts to see. This is on the left strut. I dont know if its a tie rod. And when I shook it to see if it was causing the popping feel…indeed it was loose.

All I know it isnt good to see something like that. I want to know what this is, could I do it myself and what can I do about it? Thanks!!


That thing attached to your strut in the 1st pic is what twists your antiroll bar. nice to have but not safety critical unless you drive that Camry hard. The flat piece of rod with an rubber accordian at the end is your tie rod. keep that thing happy

It’s the sway bar link and they are not too hard to replace. The problem is getting the nut loose without the stud turning.

In the center of the ball’s stud is a hex hole for an allen wrench. Yours will be metric. Since it’s a camry, it’ll probably be 5mm.

The process for removing the link involves holding the stud with an allen wrench (a long-stemmed one is best) while unscrewing the nut. The nut will require a box-end wrench, probbaly 14mm, to allow the allen wrench to go through the center while the box end is on the nut. I recommend a wratcheting box end, as the nut itself is self-locking and will be hard to turn until it’s almost completely off. It won’t loosen and then be able to be readily turned like a regular nut.

removing these links isn’t difficult with the proper tools. and the tool sare not expensive. Trying to do it without the proper tools will be an exercise in frustration.