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Tie rod ends

If a car was inspected for safety and passed, could tie rod end be “shot” in less than 800 miles?

Only if you drive it on a cross country desert race against dune buggies. Either the inspection was sloppy or the shop is trying to sell you something you don’t need. The shop manager might have decided this is “tie rod end” month and is telling his staff to push these parts. I’m not exaggerating here; these shops often have a shock absorber or other campaign.

Get a second opinion from a reputable mechanic; this type of thing is easy to diagnose correctly!

Could be either of the above or it could be that sometime in the last 800 miles it was it’s time to go. My toilet flushed fine when I went to bed last night, this morning it didn’t. Oh well time to visit the plumbing store, Yipee ! ! !

I had a tie rod break on me. It was a quality Moog part and less than a year old. The only thing an inspection could detect is a worn joint and looseness.

The inspector’s criteria for “passes” might overlap the mechanics criteria for “shot.” Have the mechanic show you what he’s seeing.

Visual inspection? Rubber dust cap intact? It’s good. Worn or loose inside? It’s shot.

Yes, it could have worn enough in 800 miles to go from “worn, but still ok to us” to “no good, unsafe to use”. As mentioned above if you have doubts about needing this replaced or not, you might want to consider the option of getting a second opinion from a different well recommended inde mechanic. Tie rod ends are well known by the manufacturer to wear out over miles driven so they are specifically designed to be easily replaced.

One of three things has occurred here:

  1. The mechanic does not know how to inspect for a bad tie rod end.

  2. The tie rod end was bad from the manufacturer.

  3. The mechanic was trying to rip you off and didn’t know the tie rod ends only had 800 miles on them.

This situation just screams for a second opinion.


The tie rods were not new 800 mile ago. They “passed” some “inspect[ion] for safety” 800 miles ago. We don’t know how old they are, or what that safety inspection was.

(But I agree that a second opinion would be wise.)

Thanks @art1966 … for some reason that thought was lost on me. Now it’s a whole different ballgame. The tie rod ends could very well be shot in 800 miles. They may have been on their last legs when they were inspected earlier. One inspector might pass what another would fail. It’s a very subjective matter (personal opinion). I would never pass a tire with worn tread of 2/32 when others would pass it. My safe tread depth is 4/32 and that’s iffy sometimes. If you have ever spun out on the road because of hydroplaning then you know what I’m talking about.