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2021 KIA Forte EX
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had my inner and outer tie rods replaced today. I turned the wheel to look at the work they did and noticed that the bellows boot appears to be disconnected from the steering box. You can see they used a zip tie to hold it in place (which I understand is standard practice since the steel clamp is one-time use) but perhaps it slipped out. When I called them, they seemed completely confused about the situation and insisted that I must've done something to cause the boot to slip out (between leaving the repair shop, going to the gas station and then going home, I only went about 3 miles so I'm not sure what happened). Could you review the image below and confirm my observations that the boot is disconnected? I offered to get a steel clamp to re-attach the boot. Would that be a better option than their zip tie method?
 

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Yup, takeit back and there are other types of restraints other than a zip tie, but it will hold if properly installed.
 

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I had my inner and outer tie rods replaced today. I turned the wheel to look at the work they did and noticed that the bellows boot appears to be disconnected from the steering box. You can see they used a zip tie to hold it in place (which I understand is standard practice since the steel clamp is one-time use) but perhaps it slipped out. When I called them, they seemed completely confused about the situation and insisted that I must've done something to cause the boot to slip out (between leaving the repair shop, going to the gas station and then going home, I only went about 3 miles so I'm not sure what happened). Could you review the image below and confirm my observations that the boot is disconnected? I offered to get a steel clamp to re-attach the boot. Would that be a better option than their zip tie method?
You should also check to see if the "mechanic" greased the cv joint. Another thing, do not go there again unless you see his qualifications.
 

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2021 KIA Forte EX
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I think mongo might be referring to the grease fitting on the outer tie rod end? I think you're supposed to top off the grease fitting once it's installed. I have no idea if they did that unfortunately, I'll take a look the next time that I have the car on ramps and see if there's any evidence that they did that properly.

To update the original post, since they failed to properly attach the bellows boot and it was presumably hitting around sharp edges as I was driving around during the week, the boot became torn (see image below) and also had to be replaced, which meant the job got more complicated. When I returned today, they apologized for their poor workmanship, fetched a new boot from a dealer, installed it and I provided them with an OEM steel clamp (57722-3Q000), which I special ordered earlier in the week, to secure the boot. They re-aligned the front end and I wasn't charged for the ordeal.

They said they don't normally use the OEM clamps since it takes some work to get them on correctly (and they are hard to find/order esp. when you need to install on short notice). Also, you can't open the OEM clamp either, but since they had to take everything apart to install the new boot, they were able to use it. Someone at O'Reilly Auto Parts recommended using Design Engineering's Stainless Steel Locking Ties as a backup, in case they couldn't figure out the OEM clamp, so I had those on me as well.

They also determined that the flexible coupling in the MDPS has failed and recommended taking the car to a dealership for that.

I don't know if there's a lesson to be learned here, but I wouldn't recommend cheap plastic zip ties to hold the bellows boot covering the inner tie rod, so if a mechanic suggests using one, recommend they try something else first. I'm glad I noticed the issue before any contamination entered the exposed joint. Luckily, it's been dry all week, otherwise I would've asked them to replace the inner tie rod due to contamination concerns.

Thanks All!
 

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It happens even with good shops. Many years ago a friend had a shop and well thought of, but when they replaced a CV boot on a co-worker's Jeep, the boot twisted and came off the outer housing.
No different than problems that come out of the factory assemble plant, errors happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree, though this is the same the shop that rushed the alignment after installing a new set of tires for me and did not adjust the values to be within spec. However, they've apologized and made things right and that's what's important to me. I was easy on them (though I was pretty mad about the torn boot). I said I was disappointed about having to return so many times and that they didn't test the zip tie to make sure it would hold. It's not good for the customer or their business (taking a loss on repairs). They are definitely in the red for the labor for tie rod ends.
 
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