The directional input from the Mazda tie rods is what will steers your vehicle down the road. There are two outer, and sometimes two inner, tie rods on the front end of your Mazda. They can be found by looking under the front of the vehicle near the wheel assemblies. These are the steering components that connect the center link or steering rack to the spindles on your vehicle. On rack and pinion steering systems, Mazda tie rods have threads at one end that are screwed into the end of the rack. The other end is a ball joint with a stud protruding from it. It is this ball joint and the socket it is placed in that will wear out in time and require the Mazda owner to replace it. If you have a center link, then two tie rods with ball joints on each end thread together and connect the center link to the steering knuckle. By grasping the end of the tie rod with the ball joint and noticing the amount of play it has in the socket is how a determination can be made if excessive wear of this part is present. If the amount of play in it permits the inspector to move the joint up and down or excessively from side to side, it has to be replaced for the Mazda to be safe when driving on the road. Not only do worn out tie rods negatively affect the driver's ability to control the vehicle as it is moving down the road, but this excessive play will also create excessive wear on the front tires. When these steering components are replaced, the front end alignment of the wheels should also be done. It is the threaded end of this steering component that is the adjustment for the toe for the front wheels. This will prevent the premature wearing of the front tires.