Toyota Tie Rod
The ball joint end of the Toyota tie rod is the section of this steering component that will show signs of wear over time. It is this ball that fits firmly into a socket that moves when input from the steering wheel is exerted on the system.
As part of the routine maintenance schedule, the tie rod along with all the other steering components in the front of your Toyota should be greased. This periodic maintenance procedure is generally accomplished when the vehicle is getting its oil changed every three thousand miles. If this is never or rarely done, then wear will begin to occur to the Toyota tie rod and in time will require this steering component to be replaced.
An inspection of the tie rod can be accomplished with your Toyota vehicle on the ground. By firmly grasping this component, the play of the ball in the socket has to be noted. It should rotate but any looseness in the socket is a danger sign and this steering component should be immediately replaced. If the ball comes out of the socket when the vehicle is on the road, control over the direction of the wheel will no longer be under the guidance of the driver.
The other end of the tie rod on your Toyota will never wear out. This is the threaded end that screws into the steering rack. The threads are there so the toe of the front wheels can be easily set. This is the in and outward direction of the front wheel setting. If the tie rods are set wrong and the toe is too great or not enough, the tires will experience premature wearing on the treads.