Tie or track rod?

MBWill

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So leaving work yesterday evening, turning a corner to go down the down (exit) ramp in a very narrow multi-storey car park at work, hear a horrible crunching sound coming from the underside of the vehicle, I stop and can't see any visible damage, nor have I run anything over.

Upon then trying to turn the next corner, to go down to the next level, it became apparent only one wheel was actually turning, indeed, I got out to check, and sure enough on the front offside tyre there is a rod connecting to the hub which has snapped horribly, the question is, is it the track rod of the tie rod?

I'm no mechanic but my mate reckons it's a track rod, that said similar diagrams online would seem to suggest it's a tie rod that has broken.

He's seen the same photo shown here, and that's what he reckons it is.

Unfortunately I cannot call recovery out as the multi-storey has a very low ceiling, you wouldn't get a flatbed truck in there, let alone back out again with a car on the back.

Additionally they can't tow it out as it has VERY narrow exit ramps going both up and down, and with cars parked on both sides you would struggle to get a van around one ramp and down and around the corner to the next one, let alone towing a vehicle behind it, it simply wouldn't work.

My only realistic option is to have a mobile mechanic come out and repair it.

Issue is I work in a police station, and it's a secure locked, gated area, so i'd have to remain present with the mechanic on site for the duration of the repair, which is estimated at 1/2 hours.

Anyhow, here's the photo.

car damage.JPG

In case you can't see it, which is unlikely, it's the part immediately to the right of the tyre closest to the left side of the image, with the exposed white part which appears to have snapped.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Inner track rod is the part you need.
 

rayhennig

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That's two lessons to us all:

Check those steering components regularly and replace if in doubt. They're not expensive if you don't have control arms with welded in ball joints.

And DON'T skimp on the quality of replacement parts.

RayH
 

XJ600

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Never seen a track rod break like that.
 
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MBWill

MBWill

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Hit a pothole a few weeks ago, after this there was a slight wheel wobble and steering wheel vibration, however it wasn't massively noticeable, in hindsight I should have got it checked out.

Mechanic is coming out at 4PM today to repair it, he's quoted £210 for inner and outer track rod plus labour, and I imagine a bit of driving time as he's based 15 miles away in UB7 postcode.
 

Taffy7hfa

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Scary stuff, ditto EmilysDad, would have been a very different outcome on a motorway :shock:
 
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MBWill

MBWill

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Update:

Mechanics came out and repaired it, clean snap as they said, see below photo, additionally however they stated the right arm was bent "like a banana".

As a result, even using the nut to adjust the tracking, moving it to the maximum point, the right wheel is still pointing slightly outwards to the right, I had to take it home as it had been sat there for 4 days (the mechanics also barely got their van into the multi-storey, perhaps an inch of headroom).

During the slow and steady drive home I had to turn the wheel about 45 degrees to the left just to keep it driving in a straight line.

Also if you full lock right the wheel goes very close at the back to touching the wall at the back of the wheel arch housing.

Been quoted £94 for a new arm and £80 in labour. My dad happens to work for SMF (Car parts provider and delivery firm) so can get significant discounts, around 50% or more.

Then it's just a case of getting someone he knows out to fit it, i'd do it myself, but aside from not having ever done anything more than change a wheel, I don't feel confident in doing so, and the fact I don't have half the tools required.

Thanks for all responses.

car tie rod.JPG
car repair.JPG
 

LostKiwi

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To bend an arm like that it's hit something very hard.
 
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MBWill

MBWill

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To bend an arm like that it's hit something very hard.

Don't understand it either, it's not been involved in any collision or anything, and i'm the only one who drives it, it was bought 2 years ago in used condition (early 2014 reg car on a private plate).
 

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You can see the threads distorted, I cannot see how the car drove straight with steering wheel level after hitting pot hole or how it passed an mot if it was there before.
 

Flyinspanner

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I imagine that hitting the pothole must have bent it - possibly the subsequent vibration you felt has given rise to metal fatigue, and failure. If the other side is also bent, get it done and ask your indie to give it a good looking at - are the bushes etc ok, wishbones, etc.
 

Flyinspanner

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Ps, get your rims checked for buckles, cracks, and the tyres for any sidewall bulges / damage.
 
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MBWill

MBWill

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Ps, get your rims checked for buckles, cracks, and the tyres for any sidewall bulges / damage.

Mechanic said the front offside tyre had a "cut" in the inside wall, however I hit the pothole weeks ago and if it was that bad you'd have expected it to be flat by now.

On the way home yesterday a warning message popped up on the dash stating "vehicle inoperable" "run flat indicator active" with two yellow lights illuminated on the dashboard, the wheel didn't feel flat at all, the only issue I noticed was the obvious tendency for the car to want to turn right, due to the tracking not being correct, and the right arm being buckled.

Again, having checked this morning both front tyres are inflated.

Regardless, until the arm is sorted I will not be using the car, and once it is I will get the tracking/alignment done the same time, and in any event I need 3 new tyres soon anyway so i'll get those replaced afterwards.
 
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MBWill

MBWill

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You can see the threads distorted, I cannot see how the car drove straight with steering wheel level after hitting pot hole or how it passed an mot if it was there before.

It makes no sense to me either, after the incident the car drove in a straight line, the only issue was very slight vibrations and steering wheel wobble, only slight, nothing alarming or major.

I didn't have to turn the steering wheel 45 degrees to the left to keep the car going in a straight line like I had to after the track rod was replaced.
 

Flyinspanner

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Probably micro stress fractures where it was bent. So still drove, albeit with vibration, as it was then a bit misaligned.
The vibration induced further stresses, which fatigued the item until it failed.

Stress fatigue fractures led to sinking of many of the Liberty ships in WW2, and the crashes of the early Comet aircraft.
 


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