Should You Replace Both Inner and Outer Tie Rods at the Same Time?

Replacing inner and outer tie rods at the same time can be helpful. Because it will make sure you are getting a proper alignment for both tie rods. And thus you can prevent any further issues. Moreover, you are able to save additional labour cost as well as time and effort in the long run. 

If you are still sweating about this, don’t. In this guide, I will discuss everything in detail so you can understand it better and get it done effortlessly. 

Keep reading. 

Should You Replace Inner and Outer Tie Rods at the Same Time?

Well, it may not be entirely necessary to replace the tie rods at the same time, however,  it can be beneficial. 

If you’re replacing the inner tie rod, keep in mind that the outer tie rod is an original part. So, it’s suggested to change both. 

This is simply because to change an inner tie rod, you’ll have to remove the outer tie rod as well. 

So, having both the inner and outer tie-rods changed at the same time is going to save you money on labor costs. Plus, it is going to aid in preventing any further problems.

However, changing only the outer tie rod can be done without any need for changing the inner tie rod. 

It is totally up to you if you want to replace both at the same time. 


Replacing both inner and outer tie rods at the same time can be helpful as it prevents alignment issues and saves extra labour costs.

Will There Be Any Issue If You Don’t Replace the Inner and Outer Tie Rods at the Same Time?

Both the outer and inner tie rods are likely to have similar wear and tear if they hold around the same mileage. It’s probably a good idea to replace the tie rod(s) at the same time if their visual condition reveals corrosion or other signs of extreme wear. 

Well, you’ll need an alignment to set up the tie rod correctly. But you can’t do an alignment successfully with a failed tie rod. Hence, replacing all faulty tie rods is required before you can execute a proper alignment. 

Otherwise, if there are alignment issues in the tie rods, you are in for some extra hassle. 


Not replacing both tie rods at the same time will cause alignment issues and prevent you from running the vehicle smoothly. 

How Do You Tell If You Need New Inner or Outer Tie Rods?

In this section, I will go over the general signs of tie rod failure. Faulty tie rods can cause the following changes in your car. 

Loss of Steering Control 

Tie rods assist you in steering the car as you travel down the road, as was previously said. You lose that control of the car in severe cases of total tie rod failure.

Fortunately, it’s almost impossible to suddenly lose steering control. You might probably notice some other signs like loose or unresponsive steering as well before this danger sign of failed tie rods appears. That is why you should never ignore them in order to stay safe on the road.

Squealing Sound When Turning 

Any weird sound coming from an automobile is never good news, and this one is no exception. It is a shrieking-like loud, high-pitched screech. Every time you turn, you might hear it, although this isn’t always due to failed tie rods.

Low power steering fluid and failed ball joint lubrication are two additional potential reasons for this unusual noise. However, because they are dangerous to you and to your vehicle, you should never ignore them.

Uneven or Excessive Tire Wear 

Anyone who wants can check uneven tire wear. Regularly inspect the tire and other parts for irregularities. Check the inside and outside edges of your tires for any overly worn areas on either side. If there is, it can be because of worn-out or defective tie rods. (1)

Bad Front Wheel Alignments 

The most likely causes of wheel misalignment include running into curbs or potholes head-on. But faulty or deteriorating tie rods can also be the culprit. The front wheels of your car could pull to one side if they are not correctly aligned.

The tie rods must be adjusted to realign the wheels. The mechanic might advise you to replace them, though, if they are worn out or broken.

Steering Wheel Vibration 

The tie rods may be at blame if your steering wheel feels strange for no apparent reason at all. The wheel may shake or vibrate too much. In specific situations, the steering wheel might be loose and play a lot. The most common cause for this wheel vibration issue is loose or damaged tie rods.(2)

How To Replace Both the Both Inner and Outer Tie Rods in a Set 

Now let’s discuss the method to replace both inner and outer tie rods at the same time. 

I have divided the process in three parts for your better understanding. 

Accessing the Tie Rod   

With a tire iron or impact wrench, slightly loosen the front tires. Utilise a floor jack so you can lift the front. Use jack stands to stabilise the car and block the back tires.

Completely unscrew the wheel’s lug nuts before removing it from the wheelbase. Wheel movement beneath the vehicle.

The steering knuckle can be seen when the wheel is taken off. This knuckle will be connected to a shaft by a castle nut on the bottom and a round head on the top. The outer tie rod is located here.

Under the car, follow the outer tie rod   until it meets with the inner tie rod.

Removing the Tie Rod   

This part is gonna talk all about the process of removing both the inner and outer tie rod  in a step by step manner. 

Step 1: Loosen the Pinch Nut 

This nut secures the outer tie rod   and prevents it from slipping along the inner tie rod’s spindle. You can twist the outer tie rod by loosening it.

Step 2: Move The Pinch Nut Upward

Pinch nut should be raised until it touches the outer tie rod.

By marking the location of your outer tie rod, you will know where to place the replacement and how far to thread it on. 

Step 3: Remove The Cotter Pin

This pin will be situated where the steering knuckle and tie rod meet. To remove the pin, first straighten it out with a pair of needle-nose pliers.

Step 4: Remove the Outer Tie Rod   

Firstly, remove the outer tie rod from the steering knuckle.

The inner tie rod should be separated from the outer tie rod. Remove the inner tie rod’s spindle by twisting the outer tie rod.

Step 5: Remove The Inner Tie Rod  

From the inner tie rod, you need to remove the boot. In case you are replacing both inner as well as outer tie rod, only then you need to do this.

Before turning the rod, some autos require a little pin to be removed. Find the pin, then pry it out with a flathead screwdriver. The tie rod may be taken off once you have taken out the pin.

Replacing the Tie Rod   

In this part, I am gonna discuss the steps to replace both in New and outer tie rod at the same time. 

Step 1: Thread the New Inner Tie Rod   

The steering gear should now have the new inner tie rod. Use the same socket or wrench as before to complete this. To verify that you torque the inner tie rod to the appropriate levels, use a torque wrench.

Step 2: Slide The Boot Back 

The broken clip needs to be replaced because it can only be used once. Fasten the new clip after sliding the boot up the inner tie rod and into position. Reattach the pinch nut using thread.

Step 3: Thread the New Outer Tie Rod  

Now, thread your new outer tie rod through the inner tie rod shaft. It needs to be manually threaded. The outer tie rod is then threaded with the pinch nut. To prevent the outer tie rod from sliding, tighten the pinch nut.

Step 4: Connect the Tie Rod  

In this step, proceed to connect the steering knuckle to the tie rod.

Affix the castle nut firmly. By doing so, the steering knuckle and tie rod will be joined. Put a new cotter pin in.

Step 5: Install the Grease Fitting

Now you need to Install the grease fitting on that tie rod. Use grease to the tie rod assembly well. Then clean up the extra grease.

Step 6: Tighten Pinch Nut 

Finally, now you are gonna be tightening the pinch nut against the tie rod as tight as you can. Use an open wrench for this. By doing this, you may be sure that your car is as close to being aligned as possible.

And just like that, you are done replacing both the inner and outer tie rod   in your vehicle. 

What Is the Cost of Replacing Tie Rods in a set?

Tie rod replacement costs are determined by your vehicle, the part’s quality, and labour rates, which vary by region. Additionally, replacing both the inner and exterior tie rods will cost you extra in replacement parts.

Parts alone are gonna cost you between $20 to $100. If you plan on replacing both tie rods, this value doubles. So that’s between $40 and $200. 

The labour costs for the outer tie rod may be anywhere from $80 to $100. However, Inner tie rods usually take more time to change. Because of this, it may cost you from $150 to $300. 

Keep in mind that you need to remove the outer tie rod for accessing the inner tie rod.

Also, you are gonna need to budget an additional $100 to $200 for wheel alignment. This is needed every time you replace the tie rods.


The total cost of replacing both inner and outer tie rod at the same time can range from $370 to $700.

How Long Does It Take to Replace Your Outer and Inner Tie Rods?

Regardless of the type and model of your car, replacing your inner and outer tie rods should take about the same amount of time. The level of expertise of the mechanic performing the replacement does affect how long it takes. If you wish to perform the task on your own, it might take considerably longer.

On average, it may take 1.5 to 2 hours to replace both the tie rods. Because you must do a new wheel alignment every time you replace the tie rods, add an additional hour to the alignment time. 


If done by mechanics, it can take around 1.5 to 2 hours and longer if you do it on your own. 
Signs of faulty rods Infographic


Is it okay to drive with a broken tie rod?

No, it is not okay to continue driving the vehicle with a worn tie rod. It is not safe. Though, if it totally fails, you’ll be unable to steer and will probably need to be towed either back to your house or to any service centre for its repair. It is never recommended to drive with a broken tie rod. 

How often should tie rods be replaced? 

Tie rods have a long lifespan. Your tie rods could even never need to be replaced. The longevity of tie rods is basically determined by the conditions you drive in.

What happens if my outer tie rod breaks?

In the worst situation, if a tie rod entirely fails, the wheel would come loose from the steering system. This will render the car incapable of steering. The steering is already compromised and the car is unsafe to drive at the first hint of any wear to the tie rods.


Hope I have cleared all your queries on how to replace both tie ends at the same time? 

Now you know the answer. Follow the instructions given very carefully. Otherwise, you may mess the entire thing up. However, If you think you are not able to do it alone, you can always take help from a professional. 

That is all as of now. Have a terrific day.

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William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

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Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.