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Symptoms for bad tie rod end Toyota SUV 04

I recently noticed louder than normal road noise coming from he front end of my SUV, which is right at 150K miles. I thought it was bad tires; both front ones had uneven wear. Got new ones and the noise is still there, loudest at 35-45 mph. The tire guys said I need new tie rod ends. From what little I know about those, they don’t make the kind of noise I’m getting, but what do I know. I do know they are safety hazard and plan to get them fixed pronto. But will that fix the noise? I had the left side wheel bearings replaced last year, but this sound is not the same as this. Much less pronounced, but still fairly bothersome. Any suggestions on what this might be are appreciated.

It might. Assuming, of course, that you get it realigned too, as you should. Any shop that would change a tie rod end and not make an alignment part of the job is…well…never mind…nobody would do that.

Anyway, as you drive down the road, your wheels tend to want to pslay outward. The faster you go, the greater the forces are. The tie rods control this, but if the ends are shot, they cannot do so effectively. The wheels will tend to splay outward, “scrubbing” the tires along the surface of the road. That can create noise.

Now I cannot tell you that the bad tie rod ends ARE causing the noise. They might also be another problem. But I can tell you definitively that the bad tie rod ends CAN cause the noise.

I’m taking it to a shop tomorrow to have it checked out. Thanks for the feedback. Very helpful. Hopefully it’s not bearings.

You could life both front tires off the ground, have a helper hold the steering wheel so it doesn’t move, grab the each tire at 3 and 9 o’clock and see if there’s a lot of play.
There shouldn’t be much play at all.

Tie rod ends are really part of the steering mechanism. Loose tie rod ends will mean sloppy steering. They can also affect alignment, or the ability to hold an alignment.

The noise is likely NOT due to the tie rod ends. More likely is a CV joint that is lacking lube and/or going bad. A wheel bearing is also a possible source. Just because it doesn’t sound like your previous bad bearing won’t rule out a bearing problem. You have 4 wheels and all have wheel bearings, if one went bad it is possible you have another one going bad.

Good point. I assumed those repair guys knew what bad tie rods would look like.
I bet you’re on point, uncle.

Sloppy tie rod ends can cause scrubbing at speed, and with aggressive tires noise, however I agree that their being the likely cause is low.

Hopefully I’ll find out soon. Thanks to all.

a quick way to check tie rod ends is to just have someone turn the steering wheel back and forth while you look at them, on the ground. If they have any play, you will see it.

I agree with uncle turbo, loose tie rod ends don’t make any noise. Thats from personal first hand experience.