Loose tie rod?

hey Folks,

I have a 1998 subaru impreza outback sport with 118,000 miles, 2.2l engine. I just had new tires put on and I was told that I had a loose tie rod on the left side and that it would cost 50 for the part and 125 for labor to get that fixed. They also said that they could not do the alignment on the car till it was fixed. I have two questions.

1.If this is loose on one side are the rest to follow? I had the axel changed about 10,000 ago and nothing came up at the time.

2.Can this be tightened or does it need to be replaced?


If the tie rod end is worb out it’ll need to be replaced. Frankly, this all sounds perfectly legit and even reasonable to me.

Others may disagree, but IMHO there’s no reason to suspect the other will also go out soon. There’s just no way of predicting. If he’s checked it and it’s in good shape, I’d leave it.

Subarus have been prone to loose tie rods. It’s nothing new.
Usually it’s the right side that goes and if there’s any looseness at all (even a tiny bit) then both should be replaced.
They’re correct that the alignment cannot be done without this repair.

I’ve tightened tie rods on Subarus I’ve owned by removing them, placing them in a hyraulic press with a heavy metal sleeve, and crushing them down a bit. This tightens them right up. However, don’t expect a shop to do this. It’s not a proper repair and it can also be a liability issue for the shop so they should rightfully refuse to do this. A DIY deal is different.