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Check the Part, Not Just the Box

This conversation is about Moog tie rods, but the situation lends itself to every part. MVS Forums Contributor and various-Volvo-electronic-parts-servicer Matty warns us DIY’ers to beware the parts swap scam and check the part, not just the box.

Moog tie rods are known for their dependability and performance. Forged steel construction makes them durable and strong. Powdered-metal gusher bearings reduce friction and enhance stability. The list goes on and on, so if you want genuine Moog tie rods, check the part and not just the box.

Like any other mechanical part, a worn out tie rod end will display a few warning signs or indicators that the part is failing and needs to be replaced.  A few of the signs you’ll see when your tie rod ends need replacing are the front end alignment is off, the steering wheel shakes or feels loose, and uneven or excessive tire wear. 

One of the primary jobs of the tie rod end is to keep things tight on the front end of your vehicle. This includes the tie rod, wheels and tires, stabilizer bars, struts, and other components that all factor into the vehicle’s steering capabilities. When a tie rod is worn down, it will become loose and will cause the front end of the vehicle to fall out of alignment.

This is easily noticed by drivers as the vehicle will drift to the left or right when the vehicle is pointed straight. If you notice that your Volvo is pulling in one direction, it may be a loose or worn out tie rod end that is causing the problem. Read on to avoid this common parts mishap:

This is what people do… A lot.

Buy a set of cheap tie rod ends at Autozone and buy a set of moogs at advance auto. Install the moogs, put the cheap tie rod ends in the Moog box and return them. Chain store clerks usually have no idea what is supposed to be in there, they just see parts.

Every Moog part that I’ve seen is stamped MOOG. People switch parts all the time but usually only at advance/autozone/O’Reilly ‘s type of places. They know they can get away with it because the people that work there typically have no idea which is what. The real parts guys usually work at Napa or a mom and pop parts place.

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