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Old 04-24-2008, 05:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tie Rod fell off

Hello

I have a 2004 Epica with 84,000km. I service regularly at the dealer and have had all kinds of warranty repairs. I have the following warranty work done: replace engine gaskets, rocker arms, lifters, fuel sending unit, heater control and some body trims. These were annoying but not necessarily a safety issue.
On the weekend my right outer tie rod end fell off while I was driving. Luckily it fell off on my street and not on the highway where I do 80% of my driving. Had to fight with GM in order for them to cover cost of part under goodwill. I am still out $300 for labour and tow. I could not even bring to another shop because they could not get the part. The parts company was shocked that the part actually fell off already.
My engine ticks and the dealer does not think it is serious enough to repair. (still has power train warranty). The dealer tried to fix once but couldn't. I gave them a bad rating on customer service survey. The dealer called and gave me crap for rating them bad.
I am posting this as a warning. If your car is pulling a bit to the right, have it checked out. You get very little warning before the tie rod pulls and then just falls off.
I am going to get the tick fixed at another dealer and I will trade in as this car will get expensive. There are very few after market parts availabe and GM/Suzuki have you at their mercy.
BTW, GM did send me a $1,000 off any GM/Saturn vehicle if I buy before Jan 8/09. It's some kind of Epica/Optra program.
I doubt I will ever buy another GM. Not so much because of the Epica, but because of the treatment by dealership.
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Have not seen them have trouble in that area yet. Heater controls and wheel bearings (mostly ABS sensors in front bearings) and other stuff but tie rods have been great even for cars near or over 100,000 miles. Have yet to see a bad one other than crash damage.

Always one exception though. I did just built a motor for one of our service writer future son in law's Verona and it still ticked a bit. Would compare to others.

Sorry to hear you had a problem.
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Old 04-25-2008, 06:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't know if this is related or not, I have just started to get an intermittant dull knock in the right wheel well. It doesn't happen in the colder mornings but later in the day when the body heats up from the sun and temperature goes up near 70F. It doesn't happen when the car is travelling or hitting a bump, but when the car first starts off from a stop or or comes slowly to a stop or does a slow turn. In other words, when the cars weight shifts. I can hear the knock if I push down on the rear bumper with my weight when the car is parked. Is this a tie rod getting ready to go or a strut going bad?
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Old 04-26-2008, 07:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I did have that dull knock and I thought that it may be a strut. After the tie rod end repair, the knock is gone. Like your car, it was when I accelerated from a stop or came to a slow stop. I also had a shimmer when accelerating on a right bend.

If your lift your right front end with wheels turned to right, you should be able to play with the wheel and see if there is too much play. Worth looking at.

Last edited by frenz; 04-26-2008 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 04-26-2008, 07:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Ewetho
Thanks for the reply. The tick my engine has compares to tappet noise of an old mazda I once had (808). Although, I am told it is a sticky lifter. GM wants to try an additive first, but I have my doubts it will work.
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Old 04-26-2008, 12:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Was your problem with the right front wheel? My noise is coming from the right rear wheel well. If I jack the right rear side up, would I get any movement in the tire when pulling on it if the tie rod is loose?
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Old 04-26-2008, 02:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My problem was the right front. If it is in the back, could be your struts. I have not had any problems with the back end and don't know much about the suspension.
sorry.
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Old 04-26-2008, 07:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply, yes it might be a strut, the whole temperature thing has me thinking it's that. Today after a spell of about ten days of unseasonably warm weather, it was cooler and the noise was very rarely heard. My full coverage ran out a while ago and I never purchased another...and don't know if I will. I don't know how long I'm going to hold onto it if parts start flying off. It's been a fine car so far with none of the issues I've read about...so far.
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a1aman View Post
Was your problem with the right front wheel? My noise is coming from the right rear wheel well. If I jack the right rear side up, would I get any movement in the tire when pulling on it if the tie rod is loose?
We have seen quite a few rear upper control arms have the spherical bearing start to seize (we assume from road salt and much more prevalent at the end of winter). Get a new control am and install. Actually normally quite easy.

New one move fairly easily by hand and the ones we have had making noist no longer do. So no loose parts just pops and makes noise.
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Old 06-23-2008, 12:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Hey
I think frenz is right. He has good knowledge. I hope above suggestion will help you.
All the best!!
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