Should I Replace My Tie Rod Ends With OEM GM Parts?

If your tie rod ends need to be replaced, you're probably wondering if you can save money by going with aftermarket parts. It may surprise you to learn that aftermarket parts may not be the cheapest or best option. We'll explain why in this article, including explaining the differences and what to look for when replacing tie rod ends.

Tie Rod Ends Perform An Important Task

GM tie rod end

Tie rod ends connect the car's tie rods to the steering knuckles and are responsible for transmitting steering inputs to the front wheels. They are made up of some pretty sophisticated components to allow pivoting to accommodate suspension and wheel motion. These should last a long time but occasionally wear out due to age, lack of maintenance, or heavy use on rough roads that continually test your suspension. Using aftermarket tie rod ends could affect the handling of your car and perhaps cause other issues like:

  • Premature wear due to poor quality rubber or polyurethane boots
  • Binding (a problem often encountered with poor quality joints)
  • Damage from potholes and other road hazards (low-quality parts will not handle road wear well)

By using high-quality GM tie rod ends, you reduce the likelihood of those issues and get the peace of mind that comes with knowing they are backed by a GM warranty.

OEM Tie Rod Ends Provide The Correct Fitment

Tie rod end assembly

In addition to poorer quality, aftermarket tie rod ends may not provide the right fit for your GM car or truck. While GM tie rod ends are designed specifically for the make and model of your vehicle, aftermarket tie rod ends are usually built to fit multiple vehicles. Many aftermarket companies utilize a process called 'reverse-engineering' to create OEM-like parts. They model their parts to look as similar as possible to an OEM part at first glance, but are made from low quality, lightweight 'copycat' components that simply won't perform or fit as intended. This may seem like a minor point; however, if the tie rod end doesn't fit your vehicle correctly, it could cause one or more of the following problems:

  • Poor alignment or difficulty aligning the front end
  • Slack or play in the steering
  • Unbalanced or premature wear on your front tires

The Total Cost Matters More Than The Price

Rapair cost

When buying parts it's important to consider the total cost, not just the price. Saving a few dollars on aftermarket tie rod ends up front could lead to costly premature wear on your tires or additional (and major) repairs down the road. The tie rod ends may wear out faster and won't be covered by a GM manufacturer's warranty. Any initial cost-saving is quickly erased when you consider these added espenses - that's why we recommend using OEM parts whenever possible.

Summing Up

If you're looking for the best price on OEM GM tie rod ends, you've come to the right place. Check out our parts catalog to find the right tie rod ends for your GM vehicle. If you've got questions, our FAQ page contains lots of helpful information, or you can contact us.

GM Parts Center is a US-based company that sells genuine GM Accessories and parts for your Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, or Oldsmobile. All of our parts are backed by GM's replacement parts warranty and come with a price match guarantee.