Alignment question

My 2000 ford taurus which has 120,543 miles needs an outer tie rod end. I went to sts for a oil change and asked them about an alignment after i did the tie rod and they told me i need to change my struts. If i only change the front struts could i get an alignment or am i going to need to change the rear also. Also i know i have to get new tires in the front because they are getting bad from the alignment being off so i would have to get tires also.

You can have the wheels aligned after the front strut replacement. If the rear struts are also shot, you should replace them too. The car will drive poorly with nice tight front struts and worn-out rear struts…

+1 to caddyman’s post. I’d recommend getting all four changed at that mileage and then getting a four wheel alignment.

TIP: have them change the spring bushings, the upper mounts, the bumper stops, and all the other rubbery bits associated with the struts too. These bits are not always changed, often the old ones are re-used, but they make a big difference in road noise, ride, and handling. New ones will make the ride far more like-new than just changing the dampers. The added cost in very minimal, as these parts all have to be removed to change the struts anyway. The only added cost is the parts, and they’re just molded rubber. The rubber gets hard as it ages, reducing its ability to absorb vibrations and shocks, sometimes even begins to fall apart.

I understand the need for an alignment after replacing the tie rod end, but is the reason they require the struts be replaced too before they do an alignment, is that b/c you have bad struts? Or that’s just the way it is w/a Taurus, they can only do an alignment with new struts?

They can do an alignment with bad struts, but it may not solve your problems. If the wheels are bouncing around freely they’re gonna carve cups out of the rubber regardless of the alignment. The shop may even refuse to do an alignment if the struts are bad enough, because they know it won’t fix the car. I would.

And yeah, you’ll need new tires too.

Hey guys, which one of you had that great video of the wheel bouncing down the highway? Do you still have it?

If sts is primarily an oil change facility I would recommend a second opinion about the struts. I usually get wheel alignments at the same time I buy tires.

"Or that’s just the way it is w/a Taurus, they can only do an alignment with new struts? " George, you really did not ask that question did you?