how to change outer tie rod on a mazda

Mazda Outer Tie Rod Replacement, Cost, Problems, DIY Guide

Updated Friday Sep 08, 2017

mazda tie rod diy Learn how to replace the outer tie rod on a Mazda. Become familiar with symptoms of worn tie rods and the average cost to change Mazda tie rod. Most Mazdas including 3, 5, 6, CX5, CX7, CX9 use what is called a steering system knew as rack and pinion. Tie rods are at the end of the steering rack setup and are used to turn the front wheels left and right. If the tie rods on a Mazda wear out you will notice symptoms described below.

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1. Symptoms of a bad tie rod

Don't ignore replacing the tie rods. If the tie rod breaks while driving you will loose control of the car and end up in an accident.

  • Loose steering
  • Noise when hitting bumps (Can also be caused by worn sway bar bushings.)
  • Shaking in the steering wheel
  • Alignment is off
  • Car pulls to the side at highway speed
  • Uneven tire wear
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2. How to replace Mazda tie rod

What you will need

  • Outer Tie Rod
    • Buying outer tie rods at the dealership costs around $100 per tie rod, and you will need two. Driver and Passenger Side. If you only want to install genuine Mazda parts buy cheap OEM Mazda tie rods online. Also, a great alternative would be MOOG Mazda Tie Rod set. We have had good experience with Moog, they have lots of positive reviews online and are a lot cheaper than the dealer option.
  • Mechanic Tool Set
    • You only need a few basic tools for this DIY. 15mm, 17mm, and 19mm open end wrench are the most commonly used tools for this DIY. 
  • Tie Rod Puller
    • A tie rod puller is required to pull the old tie rod out. You may not have this tool if you are doing this job for the first time. A tie rod fork can be used and they are very inexpensive. 
  • Front Wheel Alignment
    • Once you replace the tie rods you will need to get the front end aligned. Note that if you got quotes to replace the tie rods they typically don't include alignment cost. Find a dependable alignment shop in your area. In average you will pay $100 to get the car aligned. Or you can get your car aligned at the Mazda dealership for around $120. 



Step 1: Park your Mazda

Park your Mazda on a flat surface. Place the shifter in park and engage the parking brakes. Always support your Mazda 5 on jackstands.


Step 2: Loosen the lug nuts

Before you raise the Mazda, you need to brake loose the lug nuts.

remove tire to replace tie rod on Mazda 3 5 7 cx5 cx7 cx9

Step3: Jack Up Your Car

First start by securing at least one of the tires of your Mazda. Next jack up the car using a floor jack. Place a jack stand to support the vehicle. Never depend on the jack alone.

mazda outer tie rod replacement

Step 4: Locate outer tie rod

Locate the out tie rod. Here is a picture of the tie rod on a Mazda 5.

Mazda outer tie rod replacement guide diy 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

Step 5: Remove cotter pin and nut

Use a wrench to loosen up the bolt that secures the tie rod. Next, use a marker or chalk to mark the threads on the inner tie rod.

Mazda  tie rod replacement diy instructions

Step 6: Remove outer tie rod

Remove the cotter pin from the Mazda 5 tie rod. This will allow you remove the castle nut. Use a tie rod puller or separator to disconnect the tie rod from the knuckle.


Step 7: Install new tie rod

Reinstall new tie rod on your Mazda in reverse order.

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3. How much does it cost to replace Mazda tie rod

how much does it cost to change tie rods on a mazda 3 5 6 cx7 cx9 cx5The cost to change Mazda tie rods can vary from $200 at independent auto mechanics up to $480 at Mazda dealership. This doesn't include the cost of alignment. To get the front end aligned you are looking to spend about $100 in average. The diy cost to replace Mazda tie rods is under $100 assuming you have a few basic tools. 

Cost to change tie rod at Mazda dealer

On Sep. 7th, 2017 we called Fitzgerald Mazda of Annapolis to get a quote to replace both outer tie rods on a 2012 Mazda 3 Sport. We were quoted $600. That price included $120 alignment fee. If you wanted the Mazda dealer to only replace the tire rods but not do alignment you will be looking at $480 for just parts and labor. 

Cost to change tie rod at a mechanic

It was difficult to get a quote over the phone from multiple auto repair shops. Several places that we called refused to give us a price over the phone. They wanted us to take the car into the shop and have the mechanic look at it in order to give a price.

Eventually, we were able to get quotes from some independent repair shops. One quote we got on 9/7/2017 was from Desmonds Auto Service located in Maryland. To replace both outer tie rods on a 2012 Mazda 3 Sport was $225 without alignment. 

Cost to change tie rod at home

To change both outer Mazda tie rods yourself it will cost you about $40-80 for parts. If you have a mechanic tool set, jack and jack stands you can replace the tie rods on your driveway.

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4. Frequently Asked Questions

How long do Mazda tie rods last? 

how long do mazda tie rods lastIn average tie rods last anywhere from 50,000 to 150,000 miles. The exact length depends on your driving habits, roads you drive on and the quality of the tie rod.

What happens when you break a Mazda tie rod? 

If your tie rod breaks while you are driving it will be impossible to steer your car. You will lose control of the vehicle. 

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5. Conclusion

New tie rods on a Mazda will not only make your car feel and handle better but you can save a few hundred dollars if you do the repair yourself. If you have ever change the oil on a car, you will be just fine replacing the tie rods on a Mazda. It's a very simple and straight forward process. Rember to get your car front end aligned after you replace the tie rods. 

Replacing Mazda outer tie rods yourself is easy. Definitively worth your time when you consider replacing the two outer tie rods at a Mazda dealership will cost $400+. That's excessive considering that replacing the tie rods will take a good mechanic less than one hour assuming they have a lift and all the tools ready. Replacing the tie rods on a Mazda yourself will take a DIYer about two to three hours. Once you replace the tie rods you will need to get your car aligned at an alignment shop. To get your car aligned you will typically spend about $80-$120. When you get quotes to replace the tie rods it doesn't include the alignment cost. You will need to get the front end aligned regardless of whether you change the tire rods on your Mazda yourself or have a mechanic complete the job.

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