Return to the Cars Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
1996 Aerostar ... replacing control arm & tie-rods AGAIN ... Why?

Posted by liketolearn (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 25, 07 at 13:58

I took my van in to the tire dealer to buy 2 new tires and get an alignment and they are telling me I need to replace the control arm bushings before they can do an alignment. Decided to wait as this sounds familiar ... check my paperwork and it is exactly one year since my regular mechanic (not tire dealer) replaced the control arm bushings on both sides (along with quite a bit of other work at same time). Should these be wearing out this fast? Or why are they breaking? I'm put about 15,000 miles a year on the van.

And they are recommending I replace the tie rods AGAIN. I think the tie rods have been replaced every year. Is this normal to have to replace tie rods so often? What's causing the tie rods to break?

I expect repairs it just seems as though these parts should not need to be replaced yearly. Wondering what is causing it?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: 1996 Aerostar ... replacing control arm & tie-rods AGAIN ...

"What's causing the tie rods to break?"

Your tie rod is not broken, else you be in a ditch somewhere with your head against the windshield. The tie rod "ties" the right side steering arm to the the left side steering arm. If this rod breaks, there is complete and immediate loss of steering control. The usual failure is for the ball joints that are on the ends of this rod to become so badly worn that one end of the rod comes off the steering arm. What I suspect is that these joints are worn and the easiest way for the technician to replace these is to put in a complete new rod with new joints already on the rod. Its easier to replace the entire assembly than to mess with trying to loosen corroded screws and clamps to remove the old joints, and he should replace all the clamps and screws when intalling a new joint anyway. Remember that shop costs are
$65 or more per hour. Saving a half hour of labor will pay for some of the new parts.

Yes, the alignment tech is correct. He can not perform a proper alignment if the ball joints are worn, and the tie rod ends are only part of the steering system. There are other joints.

I believe that you question really is, "Why are the ball joints wearing out so quickly?"


 o
RE: 1996 Aerostar ... replacing control arm & tie-rods AGAIN ...

Yes, jemdandy I think you are right that I am asking the wrong question!

So care to try the question "Why are the ball joints wearing out so quickly?"? Anyone else?


 o
RE: 1996 Aerostar ... replacing control arm & tie-rods AGAIN ...

One question everyone has to ask is how much do your ball joints cost you when you replace them ? Just the ball joint. $60.00 or over $100.00 ? The cheap joints are " white box " parts and last one year or less, normal. The $100.00 plus one will last MUCH longer. You get what you pay for. If someone puts in cheap parts and replace them every year they just payed the same price as the good ones but don't have to replace them every year. How often do you have the joints greased ? Makes a BIG difference. Even if the wrong grease is used it will kill front end parts or any moving greaseable part. there are too many other things to list that will take out ball joints


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Cars Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here