Is $1200 a fair price for tie rod replacement on a 2012 Mazda Mazda5?

QuestionsCategory: Ask An ExpertIs $1200 a fair price for tie rod replacement on a 2012 Mazda Mazda5?
John Smith asked 9 months ago
My 2012 Mazda Mazda5 has steering wheel vibrations at medium to high speeds. A local shop I trust couldn't align my car because the tie rods were seized. They recommend replacing both inner and outer tie rods for $1200. Is this a reasonable cost? The mechanic even suggested I could check other garages for quotes. I need opinions before proceeding with the repair.
1 Answers
Zack Norman Staff answered 9 months ago
Hello John, Regarding your question about the $1200 quote for replacing the tie rods on your 2012 Mazda Mazda5, here's our take:
  • Reasonableness of the Price: The quoted price seems on the higher side. Typically, the parts (inner and outer tie rods) would cost significantly less, perhaps around $200-$300. The labor for such a job usually wouldn't exceed a few hundred dollars either. So, a more reasonable total might be in the range of $500-$800, depending on the labor rates in your area.
  • Vibration Issue: It's important to note that the vibration you're experiencing might not be directly related to the tie rod issue. Tire balancing, rotating tires, or even a potential CV axle problem could be the culprits. It's advisable to address these possibilities first, as they are less expensive fixes.
  • Second Opinion: Given the high quote, it would be wise to seek a second opinion. Another mechanic might offer a more reasonable rate or suggest alternative solutions. Sometimes, tie rods can be unseized with the right tools and techniques, potentially avoiding a full replacement.
  • Parts Quality: If you decide to proceed with the replacement, ensure that the parts used are of good quality. Opting for cheaper parts might save money in the short term but could lead to more issues down the line.
  • Written Quote: Ask for a detailed, itemized written quote from the shop. This should break down the costs for parts and labor, allowing you to better understand what you're paying for.
  • DIY Option: If you're handy with car repairs, consider doing it yourself. Tie rod replacement isn't overly complex for someone with basic mechanical skills, and there are plenty of tutorials available.
In summary, while the shop you visited might be trustworthy, their quote for this particular job seems high. It's recommended to get a second opinion and also address the vibration issue separately. And remember, regular maintenance is key to avoiding such issues in the future. I hope that helps :-) Best regards, Zack - Motor Verso Mechanics Team