|Mistake by mechanic?
I sent my car for alignment and asked the
mechanic to ensure that the locknut at the
steering tie rods was tightened properly after
adjustment of the tie rod end/threads. But I
am now worried he could have mistakenly
tightened the tie rod joint (the rotating joint
that connects the tie rod to the wheel hub).
1. Is it possible to tighten this joint with a
spanner or a similar tool?
2. Will this cause any adverse effect such as
over-tightening, preventing the joint from moving as intended or loosening of the joint
and other components, resulting in damage or
loss of traction, especially when driving at high
3. A metal pin below the joint seems to move
about freely. is this normal or a sign of
What are the signs and how do I detect a
loose and worn-out tie rod joint and other
I think you are talking about two different things
-- the nut that secures the ball joint to the steering
arm and the nut that locks the steering rod to the
ball joint 1. The nut that secures the ball joint to
the steering arm usually uses what is called a castellated nut that has slots cut in the nut and when
it is fully tightened, a cotter pin is put through one
of the slots and a hole in the threaded part of the
ball joint and the pin splayed out. You may find
the pin to be able to move around but that does
not mean the nut is loose. The pin prevents the
nut from unscrewing itself.
2. The nut that locks itself against the ball joint
on the steering rod is actually acting as a locking
nut to prevent the steering rod from unscrewing
itself. It is usually tightened by using two open-
ended wrenches to lock the nut securely.
3. A worn ball joint can usually be felt if some-
one moves the wheel left and right while you hold
the ball joint. If you can feel any movement in the
joint, it is worn and should be replaced.