A tie rod end consists primarily of two components a hardened threaded-
steel, ball stud and socket enclosed in a steel housing. The tie rod ends connect the center
link to the steering knuckle on cars with conventional suspension systems. On vehicles
with rack-and pinion steering, the tie rod ends connect the end of the rack to the steering
knuckle. A protective boot prevents dirt from entering the tie rod end ball socket
assembly. Tie rod ends are used on the front end of virtually every car and light truck.
The tie rod end ball joint serves as the pivot points at the steering knuckle.
Force from the steering rack or gear box is transferred by the tie rod ends to the steering
knuckle, causing the wheels to turn. The pivot action of the tie rod end allows the
suspension to travel up and down and tires to turn left to right. The outer tie rod end
connects with an adjusting sleeve, which allows the length of the tie rod end to be
adjustable used to change vehicle's toe.
Most AUDI A4 vehicles use permanently
lubed tie rod ends that can not be lubricated. Aftermarket replacement tie rod ends often
come with lubrication fittings. If your car has lubrication fittings, the tie rod end should
be lubricated at every oil change. Tie rod ends, along with other suspension components,
should be inspected annually. AUDI A4 tie rod ends can be checked for play.
Methods to check excessive play and amount of play vary; you should follow the
manufactures procedures and specifications.
With use AUDI A4 tie rod ends wear out causing play
between the ball and socket joint. The most common vehicle symptoms associated with
worn tie rod ends are wandering, uneven tire wear, and erratic steering. On vehicles
equipped with rack and pinion steering worn inner tie rods may cause a clunking noise
that can be felt in the steering wheel.
If a tie rod end fails you can lose your steering.
Inner tie rod, outer tie rod, track rod
Outer tie rod ends are located in the front steering an inch or so behind the
front tire and are connected to the steering knuckle. On a vehicle equipped with a
steering rack the inner tie rod end is attached to the steering rack. On vehicles with
conventional steering the inner tie rod end is to the center link or connecting tie rod end.
Depending on the year and options your AUDI A4 has, the
above information may not apply. Consult with a professional automotive
technician or manufacturer for specifics on your AUDI A4