Front-wheel alignment is required after you change the Audi tie rod.
To replace the tie rod on your Audi, plan on about one to two hours, depending on your level of experience.
What you will need
Follow these instructions to replace the outer tie rod on your Audi.
- Park the Audi on a flat surface. Place the shifter in the park and engage the parking brakes.
- Before you raise your Audi, you need to break loose the lug nuts. Do not remove them completely.
- Jack up the car and remove the front wheel. Remember to place a wheel chock behind one of the rear wheels.
- Next, jack up the car using a floor jack. Place a jack stand to support the vehicle.
- Locate the out-tie rod. Here is a picture of the tie rod on an Audi A4.
- Remove the cotter pin (split pin) from the tie rod end. This will allow you to remove the castle nut.
- Remove the castle nut from the steering knuckle of your Audi. 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.
- Use a wrench to loosen up the bolt that secures the outer tie rod to the 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.
- 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 the old tie rod by turning it counterclockwise several times. The inner tie rod has many threads, so this can take a while.
- Install the new tie rod in reverse order. Torque the castle and jam nut to specification.
- Drive to an alignment shop to have the front wheels aligned.
These are general instructions on how to change the outer tie rod on Audi A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, Q3, Q5, Q7, TT.
Symptoms of a bad tie rod
Below are some of the most common symptoms of bad tie rods.
- Loose steering,
- Steering wheel shaking when hitting bumps,
- Steering wheel shaking at highway driving,
- Excessive steering wheel play,
- Noise such as clunking or knocking,
- The car pulls to one side due to an alignment issue,
- Steering wheel vibrations