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Chris (aka- Moose)
Chris (aka- Moose), Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 33695
Experience:  16 years experience with Ford.
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2001 Ford Escort: door coupe, automatic)..repair shop..passenger side

Resolved Question:

I have a 2001 Ford Escort (2-door coupe, automatic). The repair shop said they replaced my passenger side tie rod.   Would it be obvious when looking that a new one was installed - - what does that look like, both off the car as a part, and on the car with the wheel off ? The car continues to have a loud knocking sound and vibration. They said "give it a couple days to settle in". Only one side was replaced. Is there merit to their suggestion that it takes a few days to notice a difference ? How would I know it is not my shocks, coil spring, struts, or any other mechanical failure ? Thank you.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 6 years ago.

Hello, I'm Chris, a current Ford Lincoln Mercury employee.

Thanks for coming to our website Just Answer. I will do my best to help you resolve your concerns. I try my hardest to respond in a timely matter and I will respond to any reply anytime I am online. If you choose to reply after an answer is posted to say Thanks. Please include "I accept the answer" in your text

NO it does not have to settle in, this is poor advice from a mechanic. A vibration concern where the tire is going up and down is a tire or tire balance related concern. A concern where the steering wheel vibrates is a steering concern with the steering rack or inner or outer tie rod ends or alignment.

Other causes of vibration can be a bad spring or shock (strut) You test your springs by checking ride height and you check the shocks by bouncing the car and seeing if it continues to bounce.

Knocking noises can come from the steering components or the strut components or mounts or the lower control arm mount or lower ball joint.

A replaced tie rod end should look like new metal or freshly painted metal with barely any surface rust.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I should have explained the vibration and knocking sound. It is knocking on the front driver side, and I can feel the vibration with my feet through the floor. The steering wheel itself does vibrate in unison with that. The mechanic said they replaced the passenger side tie rod, so that was confusing - wouldn't you feel it on the same side the problem is occuring ? Actually, after the supposed fix from the mechanic, it seems worse - knocking a little louder than it did before. The knocking is not new - - it has existed for the entire 1-1/2 years we have had the car, and it has only gotten slightly worse over that time period, so the increase in vibration and knocking after the "fix" makes me suspicious the work was not done, or not done properly.   

I like your answers so far - so I think this is my final clarification: my original question was also, what does this "tie rod" look like, as a replacement part, as well as when I take the tire off ? I don't know the difference between the axle or tie rod - if I'm confident I know what this is (and you answered that it should look new) I should be ready to "accept".   When I go back to the mechanic and say, "there are no new tie rods" - he might say, "well, we replaced just the end, the part under the boot" or some similar misleading answer, how would I know ? thanks for your help.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 6 years ago.

WHen you take the tire off you will see the brake assembly and hub. This is all mounted on the knukle. Between the knuckle and the rear of the wheel opening is where the tie rod mounts to the knuckle. It should look new if replaced. I recommend you take it back and have them point to the part they replaced and prove its new.

Since you have had this knocking noise for so long you might also want to look in to a concern with a damaged axle halfshaft CV joint.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Are you able to post a picture of the tie rod, and indicate the knuckle, and ball joint, and boot, so I can pretend I know what I am asking them, so that they can't trick me by naming some other part on the car ? The area you describe as far as where to look makes sense in my mind, how long is the tie rod so that I know what I'm looking for ? Sorry I am this stupid.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 6 years ago.
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Chris (aka- Moose), Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 33695
Experience: 16 years experience with Ford.
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