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Discussion Starter #1
I went in for an alignment yesterday and was told that my tie rods are frozen. They suggested that I take it to a dealer to see if they can unfreeze them. Goodyear said that more than likely the dealer will have to break them.

So my question is...what should I expect from the dealer? How much should I expect to pay? I don't trust the dealer but it looks like I have no choice. All opinions and suggestions appreciated.
 

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WOW :shock: . I don't know exactly what that means - I've had my tie-rod (right side) replaced and it wasn't cheap (at the dealer). If you have to get it replaced, I would recommend going to a site that carries vw parts cheaper than the stealership.
 

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How could you drive it with 'frozen tie rods"? I ask because that implies they don't move, and the car does not steer. Maybe they are starting to bind up, like the grease has dried out, but you'd hear that, probably feel it as well.

Get that checked out, sounds odd.
 

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What year is your car? You might want to purchase one of the Heavy Duty Tie Rod Kits from ECSTuning ($121.00 including bolts) and have them replaced by a local Audi/VW mechanic.

I don't know of any good VW shops in your area! The closest tuners I can think of that does quality work on VW/Audi's are about an hour from you. One in Aberdeen and the other in Gaithersburg. There's a small indy in Colesville, Md. which that does great suspension install work, PM me if you need more information.

Swami
 

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Discussion Starter #5
All I know is the tire place said that they couldn't do the alignment because the tie rod ends were frozen and that I should take it to the dealer to see if they could loosen them without breaking them. Also, to make sure they have the parts on hand so I don't get stranded without a car. Obviously, they weren't telling me everything because I can drive it. Or maybe I just didn't understand what they were telling me.

Since I don't know a lot about cars yet, I thought I'd try to find out a little more about tie rods and what to expect before I take it to the dealer. Everytime I go to a dealer, they try to sell me a bill of BS. Just because I'm a woman and happen to be blonde, they think they can pull one over on me. I just want to be prepared.
 

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Don't go to the dealership!! What year and model of Passat do you own, and where did you take your Passat in for an alignment? Did they use a Hunter Rack?
 

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I wouldnt go to the dealership, the sales thief would be on you in no time trying to make a profit plus they would tell you all kinds of things would be wrong with your car when there wasn't.
 

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passatable said:
I own a 2000 1.8T. Went to Goodyear in Odenton. Not sure if they used a Hunter Rack. What's that?
Hunter is a brand of alignment equipment that use either wheel mounted or camera based sensors to correctly adjust camber/toe settings on our cars. The company also keeps updated information on certain cars, including one's that are lowered in order to correctly align them.
 

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It may be possible to take it to another indy shop, and get a 2nd opinion. Im thinking that with the snow weather up your way that alot of dirt and snow has gotten up in the area the past week during the 6''s you all have gotten up there, in general.

See if you can get your hands on some penetration liquid. Not sure exactly how far you want to pursue this, but Im sure there is a way to get them off without breaking anything.
 

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Don't quite understand that if the tierods are frozen, how do the wheels move? I just had mine replaced due to wear (115K. 1999 V6) as the car began wandering as though it was in high wind. Indie tire place showed me the slop in the joints, cost was about $57 for each part, about $75 labor for both. Never heard of having to "break" them.
 

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I'm sure what they are talking about is that the adjustment threads on the tie rods are corroded and are stuck. They probably need to turn the rods to adjust the alignment and found that they wouldn't move.

This isn't a pic of a B5 tie rod but it illustrates what I'm talking about. 1 and 2 below are adjustment points to lengthen or shorten the rods.

 

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gjd6640 said:
I'm sure what they are talking about is that the adjustment threads on the tie rods are corroded and are stuck. They probably need to turn the rods to adjust the alignment and found that they wouldn't move.

This isn't a pic of a B5 tie rod but it illustrates what I'm talking about. 1 and 2 below are adjustment points to lengthen or shorten the rods.

Nice diagram.. I bet the dealership isn't going to bother to free up the tierod adjustment ends even it they could .. they're gonna make money off this so bet you can expect that they would replace them instead..
on the bright side you'll get new tie rods.. on the downside dealer charge high labor cost and parts mark up is usually high as well. they would then also charge you for alignment.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That's why I was afraid to take it to the dealer. I'm tired of them trying to make money off of me.

I think gjd is right. It must have been the adjustment threads because I can clearly drive it. I have noticed my car drifting lately like it was in a windstorm. So if it's drifting, should I just have the rods replaced anyway?

I've checked out ECStuning.com and they seem to have pretty good prices on heavy duty replacements. There are a couple of shops in the area (non-dealer) that I'm going to check and see if they'll do the work if I bring in my own parts.

p.s. great diagram...thanks
 

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What happened here is I'm sure the lock nut and threaded shaft are probably corroded together. Either they already striped the lock nut, or they KNOW the lock not will strip and they don't want to be responsible.

What I'd do is is go buy two new tie rod ends, (they aren't that expensive) bring it back to the tire shop and tell them to install them and align it. The ECS tuning ones are a good choice for $130 you should be able to have them installed for hour labor total plus your alignment. So $250-300 or so should cover it all.

Not sure how old your car is but if they use salt in MD like they do in MI, some things like this can't be avoided. Bummer I know.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
They definitely use salt in MD...nasty stuff. I hate what it's done to my car in 4 years (MY 2000).

Thanks for the suggestion, I think that's just what I'm going to do.
 

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Go to an indie shop. They know how to use a torch to heat up the metal and break it loose.
 

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I had mind replaced, they were actually trying to replace tie rod end and it was corroded. There was a TSB out about these for 1999 and 2000. It had something to do with the use of different metals reacting and corroding together, similiar to what happens to our alloy wheels on the iron hub, they are sometime a son-of-a gun to remove.
 

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Interesting thread, as this is exactly what happened to me today.

I went in for an alignment to the VW dealership (needed to get my AC lines replaced under warranty at the same time). They pulled me into the shop and showed me that the bolts they need to loosen on the tierods were rusted/frozen. They offered me two choices:

1. Take the car home, along with a can of this bolt unlocking spray. Told me to spray the bolts on each side each day for a week and bring the car back. They should then be able to get the bolts off (they quoted 9 out of 10 times, this works).

or

2. They would need to cut the tierods and replace them (under warranty). They would then have to perform an alignment (under warranty) as that's a part of the process for replacing tierods.

My question is this: Is it wise to have them replace the tierods under warranty, or can they really screw something up in doing so? I don't want something else being affected in doing something that doesn't appear to be imminent.

By picking option two, I wouldn't have to pay for an alignment. Picking option 1, if they can loosen the bolts, I would have to pay for an alignment.

Recommendations?

-Craig
 

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PB blaster- let it soak on the tie rod threads then they be able to rotate-

the alignment shop was just CYA "Covering their ass" so if they broke them the customer(s) wouldnt say "it wasnt like that when I brought it in"

at least they warned you and didnt just break/damage them and go you owe us $xxx
 
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