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99 Camry tie rods replacement?

  #1  
Old 11-12-2012, 02:21 PM
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Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Default 99 Camry tie rods replacement?

Hi,

I just took my 99 camry le v6 to the shop for a service. As part of the inspection they are telling me that both the tie rod ends are worn and the tie rods need to be replaced. They are quoting 600 dlrs for the job. (330 parts, labor, alignment).

The car has 160K miles on it. Before i do anything i wanted to know what the likelihood is of the tie rods coming apart? Would there be excessive play in the steering wheel which i can detect if such a situation is imminent?

Secondly, i feel that the amount being quoted is too high. Especially for the parts since camry parts typically run cheap. Any idea if this price is right for the job. I live in SF bay area.

Thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 11-12-2012, 08:55 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: PTW
Posts: 11,620
Default

What service did you have done on the car?

Does seem high but don't know prices for SFO which have high prices on everything.

The rod has a swivel joint at each end. The swivel joint attaching to the steering knuckle where the tire mounts is called the tie rod end.

Is the shop going to replace the rods and tie rod ends or just the tie rod ends?

Is the shop a Toyota dealer? If so prices will be high.

Tie rods cost between $10 and $35 each, the rod (and other joint) cost between $35 and $55 each. The shop will mark these prices up.

Figure an alignment at around $100.

The time to replace the joints might be 1 hour.

If tie rod ends only and not a Toyota dealer the price seems high.

A tie rod joint coming apart due to wear is uncommon but does happen. It typically needs to be extremely worn out as in very, very loose. For badly worn joints problem signs can be the car wanders, steering wheel free play, unusual tire wear.

YouTube has videos on tie rod inspection such as the one below:

Front Suspension & Steering Inspection - YouTube

The rod ends in the video are loose and should be replaced but they are not going to fall apart with this amount of wear.

Suggest taking the car to another shop for an inspection but don't tell them about the tie rods, let them find the problem assuming the ends really are bad. Tie rod inspection is easy enough.
 
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