Tie rod ends

How can the mechanic tell that I need tie rod ends when he could not get the tire off to rotate it?

I think if he puts the car on the hoist, he can easily test the amon tof play in the tie rod ends and tell you when they need replacing. Avoid chans like Sears automotive; they have been convicted a number of times pushing unnecessary front end repairs. Ball joints and tie rod ends have always some play; it needs an expert to determine the replcacement point.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU. That is exactly who told me that I needed tie rods.

Normal way to check tie rod play on most modern cars: With wheel on vehicle, grab tire at 12 O’ clock and 6. Try to wiggle it back and forth. If no play, grab tire at 3 and 9 and shake/wiggle gently. If there’s play now, it would be inner tie rod looseness, outer tie looseness, play or looseness inside steering rack (rack and pinion unit), or maybe looseness where unit is attached to vehicle. Sorry to

get technical, but anyway, it’s easier in most cases to find a bad tie rod with wheel on car than off. Whether or not you trust Sears is up to you. Any type of shop can cheat you. Click here: http://www.cartalk.com/content/mechx/ to find your good local mechanic- don’t assume your tie rods are OK just because Sears said they weren’t. Good luck and post back.

I agree with Karl. While I would not go to Sears for anything other than a battery, it is possible that they are correct about you having bad tie rods.

Get this verified by another mechanic as it is potentially a very serious safety issue.

Agree they could be right, but the first time they tried to sell me unnecessary ball joints was in 1965!!! They are still at it; their service guys are on commission, and just a year or two ago when I had new tires put on the back they had my front wheels off and told me I needed new front brakes! Never mind the brakes had been done only 10,000 miles ago.

Of course OP should get an informed second opinion from an HONEST mechanic.

My suggestion was that uninformed people should stay away from Sears, or always get a second opinion. Having said that, I have a Sears credit card and shop there regularly there. But at the auto shp, I only buy tires and batteries.