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Please help...could it be a broken tie rod?

i was just driving to the store with my children in the car when all of a sudden it sounded like i had a tire blowout & the whole front of my car was vibrating & shaking like crazy. I had to drive home & did about 15 mph. It seemed okay for a few minutes but then it would do the same shaking vibrating all over again & was very scary. When I tried to move in reverse it felt as if my car was coming off the ground in the front…almost like i was driving over something. I leaned on the hood of my car above the driverside wheel well & it makes a creaking noise almost like a broken bed spring? could it be a broken tie rod & is this expensive to repair? I’m a single mom & need my car desperately to get back/forth to work. thanks for any info.

You don’t say what kind of vehicle it is, but if it utilizes struts in the front, it sounds like a broken strut spring.


thanks for your reply. my car is a 95 mazda 626.

…or a ball joint (or a tie rod end). you need to have it diagnosed before you know the cost. It would be best to have it towed to the shop if you can’t drive it safely.

I have a 95 Mazda 626 turbo. And it has struts in the front. And as advised, have it towed to be fixed. If it is a broken strut spring, it can come out and puncture the tire as you’re driving it. And that wouldn’t be good.


thanks so much for your help!

I doubt broken tie rod since you drove it home. A broken tie rod would allow the broken side wheel to turn out and you couldn’t steer the car.

That leaves strut, ball joint, A arm, cvc joint, wheel bearing, or brake rotor.

You should be able to look at the strut to figure out if it’s the culprit. You should be able to see the top of it by opening the hood and the bottom on the back side of the wheel well liner. If it’s broke it should be obvious.

Ball joints and A arms are what holds the spindle in place. They won’t be very obvious at times just looking at them, you can check them by jacking the car up on that side and looking for movement of the spindle. Wheel bearing could do that.

While it’s jacked up see if the wheel tilts up and down or sideways without the spindle moving.

Brake rotor could have busted or cracked. Would be hard to diagnose without pulling the tire off.

CVC joint is another possibility. Did it feel like it had a hitch in it’s step when you turned left if it was on the driver’s side, right on the passenger side? That indicates a failed cvc joint.

In order of expense cheapest to most expensive:

Wheel bearing
Tie Rod
Ball Joint (sometimes the labor is real high depending on vehicle)
Brake Rotor
A arm
CVC Joint.

None of these conditions are drivable, if you can’t figure it out, you need to have it towed to a shop that does front end work.


When the front end raises up in reverse, it means that the front tires are pointing toward each other. You have a broken something for sure and the car should be towed instead of driven. They will find out what is broken in about five minutes.

thanks for your help. I appreciate it! The mechanic who works on it said it sounds like the cvc joint. After 3 days i’m still waiting for them to come tow it :frowning: