How to replace tie rod on BMW 3-Series 2004-2013

Published by YOUCANIC Automotive Experts 
Last Updated Nov 29, 2018 

Learn how to change outer tie rod on BMW 3-Series 2004-2013. Changing the tie rod on your BMW 3-Series is easy and requires very basic tools. The typical cost to change BMW 3-Series tie rod is between $360 and $480 at an auto repair shop or BMW dealer.

You can save money by replacing the tie rod yourself. Note that front wheel alignment is required after you change BMW 3-Series tie rod. To change the tie rod on your BMW plan on about one to two hours. New tie rods for BMW 3-Series cost between $50 to $80 when purchased online.

Follow the step by step instructions below to learn how to replace tie rods on BMW 3-Series manufactured from 2004-2013. This guide applies to BMW E90 E91 E92 E93.

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Symptoms

  • Loose steering,
  • Steering wheel shaking when hitting bumps,
  • Noise such as clunking or knocking,
  • Car pulls to one side due to alignment issue,
  • Steering Wheel Vibrations
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What you will need

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Instructions

Park vehicle

Park your BMW 3-Series on a flat surface. Place the shifter in park and engage the parking brakes.

 

BMW  3-Series E90 E91 E92 E93 Parking Brake Location

 

Loosen lug nuts

Before you raise the BMW you need to break loose the lug nuts.

remove tire to replace tie rod on BMW  3-Series

 

Raise vehicle, remove wheel

Jack up the car and remove the front wheel. First, start by securing at least one of the tires of your 3-Series. Next, jack up the car using a floor jack. Place a jack stand to support the vehicle.

Locate tie rod end

Locate the out tie rod. Here is a picture of the tie rod on 2004-2013 BMW 3-Series.

BMW  3-Series out tie rod replacement 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

 

 

Remove castle nut

Remove the castle nut from the steering knuckle of your BMW 3-Series. If the threads are rusted use a wire brush to clean the threads. Apply penetrating oil and allow it to soak. Counter hold the tie rod end or the castle nut will just sping and refuse to come out.

BMW  3-Series remove castle nut from tie rod 316i, 318i, 320i, 323i, 325i, 328i, 330i, 335i, 325d, 330d,  and M3

 

Remove lock bolt

Use a wrench to loosen up the bolt that secures the outer tie rod to the inner tie rod.

how to replace tie rod on ALLMA years 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

 

Mark inner tie rod

Next, use a marker or chalk to mark the threads at the end of the outer tie rod. This will help with keeping the alignment as close to stock as possible.

Mark BMW  3-Series tie rod before removal

 

Seperate tie rod

Use a tie rod puller or separator to disconnect the tie rod from the steering knuckle. Do not use a fork if you plan on reusing the same tie rod because a fork will damage the boot.

Remove BMW  3-Series tie rod and change it

 

Remove tie rod

Remove the old tie rod by turning it counterclockwise several times. The inner tie rod has many threads, so this can take a while.

Old tie rod BMW  3-Series 2004-2013

 

Install new tie rod

Install the new tie rod in reverse order. Torque the castle and jam nut to specification.

Install new tie rod BMW  3-Series

 

Torque Specifications*

  • Castle Nut
    • 30 ft - lbs ~ 44.1N.m
  • Jam Nut
    •  55 ft. lbs. ~ 75 Nm

Typical values. Verify with your dealer. 

Notes

After you replace the tie rod on your car, you will need to get the front wheel alignment.

If you do not get front end alignment, your tires will wear unevenly and the car may pull to one side.

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