A car's bushing acts as the joints of the automobiles skeleton. Without them, your car would be a single piece of metal that lacks movement and agility. And that just contradicts the whole purpose of a car. So for its numerous parts to twist, turn, and function correctly, your car is fitted with all kinds of bushings. One of the most important types is the tie rod bushing. It is basically what keeps the steering system functioning and the wheels turning. That's why choosing the right tie rod bushing should be done with care and attention.
- Know which type of bushing material to buy. Rubber or synthetic rubber is the most popular choice among manufacturers. Aside from its durability, it also minimizes friction and mitigates vibration in the steering system. This kind of bushing works well with most cars and driving lifestyles. However, rubber could be too soft for high-performance cars. So if you're more of a race car driver and you need better traction on your car's steering system, you should opt for urethane or poly bushings. They are stronger and harder than standard rubber, which is perfect for high-performance applications.
- Decide whether you need to replace all of your tire rod bushings or just one. This will depend on the condition of all the bushings and on your budget. If you're looking for a quick fix and you simply need to replace an already busted bushing, then you can just buy one bushing and locking plate. If the damage has extended to the rest of your tie rod bushings or you want to have a few spares in your garage, go for those that are sold in kits.
- Always make sure that the tie rod bushings you purchase come with both the rubber parts and the lock plates. A common misconception for tie rod bushing is that it's simply a rubber seal that protects the rod. But unlike other bushings in your system, the tie rod bushing needs to have a certain level of manageability to allow the rod to move around. That is where these lock plates come in. The chrome surface allows the bushing to rotate with the movement of the rod. If you install the bushing without the plate, your tie rod-and the rest of the steering system-can get stuck.
- Don't buy tire rod bushings that are made of substandard material. Although the relatively lower price is a tempting factor, never forego price for quality. If you really want to save up on your costs, you can always opt for direct-fit aftermarket parts from trusted brands. They are less expensive than OE replacement parts but are still made from durable rubber.
- Don't just base your decision on the price of the tie rod bushings. Branded bushings tend to be more expensive because they offer superior quality and an unwritten guarantee that the part will work for the long run. But if you really don't want to pay extra for the name, you can still go for lesser-known brands or even aftermarket manufacturers. Just be sure that you've taken the time to research on these brands. You can even check online forums or customer reviews to help you make your decision.