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Thread: Bad Christmas present

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Houston, TX

    Bad Christmas present

    On Friday, 12.19.08, I took my 2001 Saturn L100 in for some quick maintennace before my trip to the Everglades. Had a garage change the oil, the coolant and ajdust the rear brakes. In addition, they installed a new outer tie rod end.

    The car was behaving kind of funny on the way back from the trip, so I took it in for an alignment and a headlight restoration. My headlights were cloudy due to years of being outside and the natural aging process of the plastic headlights of today.

    The Tires Plus place showed me that the inner and outer tie rods on the passenger side were bad. On the driver's side, they appeared to be okay.

    I am going to try and get a refund on the repair that the shop did on the tie rods, as it turned out to be no good.

    I have gone online and gotten a price quote on inner and outer tie rods. The DISCOUNTED price is $284.00 plus shipping. If I went to the stealership, it would be at least $140.00 more for both sides.

    The question I have is that is it normal practice to replace both sides on tie rod ends? My answer would be yes, but the damned things are so high!

    What ever happened to the $15.00 outer tie rod and the $30.00 inner?

    On a normal car like mine, the prices are what it used to cost for Porsches not too long ago.

    I am beginning to hate modern cars....Nice Christmas gift, eh?

  2. #2
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    FWD cars have all the components doing multiple jobs. On an old Ford Falcon, the tie rods were just the adjustable ends of the steering. On newer cars with the drives axles, suspension struts and such added to the mix, they are a more complex part.

    I had a 1998 Crown Victoria a few years back that had been a police car. The trunk lock had never been used and was shot from rust so I bought a new one. A regular Crown Vic. or Grand Marquis would have been $55 plus tax. The P71 police lock was $125. Sway bar end links also cost twice as much as a non-police car.
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