Steering Column Repair/inner tie rods

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Question
My 2007 Cadillac DTS with 78,000 miles was in the shop for a tire rotation and front end alignment. The mechanic said my inner tie rods had a little play in them and he wanted to replace them. Can I assume that a 6 year old car with 78,000 miles probaly has lots of parts with a little play in them? If not would their be any symtons of a loose inner tie rod when I drove the car?   thanks

Answer
Hello Ernie:

Wow, some things never change.  The folks at the tire store (or the muffler shops) are typically on an incentive based pay schedule.  The more they sell, the more they make.
To answer your question directly, yes, a car with 78000 miles on it will show signs of 'some' wear.  If there truly was a problem with your tie rods (inner or outer), the car would not respond to your steering command precisely.  You would constantly be oversteering to correct the lack of response when you moved the wheel ever so slightly to stay in line.  If you are not experiencing that, then there isn't really a problem that needs a remedy, simply a part you need to monitor for the next 20000 or 30000 miles.
Now with all that said, the inner tie rod is part of the "Rack & Pinion" steering assembly, which, by the way costs $697.00 plus labor. This involves removing the entire steering mechanism from under the car and when all is said & done, you're about $1000 invested.  The inner tie rod is replaceable alone, but not many techs are trained on how to rebuild a rack & pinion assembly and adjust it properly.

My recommendation would be to say thank you for the tire rotation & the information and be on my way, making not to check it in about 6 months again

I hope this helps you understand your system and your car a little better.

Doug

Steering Column Repair

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Douglas Gan

Expertise

My specialties are stolen vehicles, steering column and ignition locks repair, airbag service and installation and diagnosis. My work includes both domestic (USA) vehicles and foreign designs.

Experience

30 years owning a company that specializes in steering columns, ignition & airbag related problems

Education/Credentials
GM certified, ASE certified, 4 yrs college, Mech Tech degree
I own multiple auto repair companies and can help you professionally through any of our websites at:
www.steeringcolumnservices.com ---- we stock many older steering column parts and can rebuild your column if you ship it to us
www.airbagsolutions.com --- we sell airbag replacement information (no parts)
www.autoinformationservices.com -- we perform investigations for many types of vehicle claims
Please feel free to contact us through any of our websites for more information or help

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