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Weird steering issues on my 99 Ford Taurus

I just recently replaced both inner and outer tie rod ends on my 99 Taurus, and in general the steering feels very solid, but I’ve noticed a weird issue. When I am moving again after sitting at a stop light, the car will want to pull to the left a little bit, and then it almost feels like I roll over a rock or something like that and the steering wheel will turn to a little beyond level to the left. (So the car goes from pulling to the left to pulling to the right.) Once it is there, the steering will stay solid that way with the wheel turned a bit to the left. I already know I need an alignment, so that can account for at least some of the pulling, but the varying of the pull when starting to move again is what is confusing me.

Thanks all!

Sounds like sticky tie rod ends. Specifically the outers as they move much more. It should get better as they break in. Are they grease-able? If so, give the outers a pump or 2 of quality grease.

And get an alignment soon. You don’t want to damage the front tires waiting for an alignment.

They are greasable. I’ll hit them with some grease and see if that helps. And an alignment is first thing on my list once I get paid on Friday! I need to replace my rear struts, and I have the new ones but I haven’t installed them yet. I have the stereotypical taurus rear-end sag. Would you recommend I install those before I get the alignment, or will they not effect it that much?

I would replace struts first but an alignment is important to do soon. I assume you checked your ball joints.

Yeah I had a noise in the front end so I jacked it up and did the 12 & 6 and 3 & 9 test, which led me to my inner tie rods being bad, but the ball joints were still solid.

As long as those struts include new springs, then replace them before an alignment. The cars sag because the springs break.

If you were careful with measurements before changing the tie rods, you should be OK. The car shouldn’t be far off.

Yeah its the whole assembly. I’ll get those put on ASAP. I think my measurements were okay. The tires on now are just cheap Walmart ones anyway (had to get them switched out pretty urgently, and they were the only place around that didn’t have like a 1 week wait), so if I end up needing new tires, it’s not the end of the world (but of course I’m going to avoid that if possible).

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A week wait for tires ? We live in a town of 30000 and there are 4 places to purchase tires. Now directional tires for a Corvette Z06 might take a couple of days.

I’d guess this Taurus has 15 inch tires… That small size is getting much harder to find these days. 16’s are getting scarce as well and don’t even ask for 14 inchers!

Well it wasn’t the tires that had a wait, it was getting an appointment. Mind you this was like a week before Christmas.

Tire places are extremely busy that time of year. Unbelievable. There were people waiting in store at Discount Tire for six hours in December.