mines were seriously bad after an accident. no grease and very loose. could have popped out..
if the ***** pop from their sockets, you won't be able to steer the car b/c they are what tie the steering rack to the hubs that hold the wheel from going straight. Once you remove one, that whole hub assembly freely swivles.
You would basicly have a wheel try to flip out and turn the car when you wan to go straight.
If the ball joint in the tie rod end were to come apart. It is also causing you a alignment problem and you will get bad tire wear. When they adjust the alignment (toe in/out) they are moving the tie rods.
The tie rod ends (tre) connect the wheel upright to the steering mechanism. So when you turn the steering wheel, the pinion gear turns which the rack converts into a linear motion. The tie rods move side to side, pushing the wheels left or right. If you have a loose feeling steering wheel, it is probably the tie rod ends. If you hear crunchy noises when turning at slow speeds, it could be the tie rod ends (could also be bad control arms, because camber changes as steering increases). If the tre fails at any speed the wheel would be allowed to turn any which way it wanted. Crunchy noises, free play in wheel should be addressed as soon as possible.
Yeah, not good at all...had it happen to me in a work truck
when me and a buddy were out bombing around in places we shouldn't have been. Luckily we were moving slow, so nothing serious happened. It was just really hard to turn around to get out of the spot we were in, because the wheel kept flopping around.