Tie Rod Fail = Catastrophic Consequences!
...at least the consequences were catastrophic for the poor tie rod end.
I am REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY lucky that I forgot to bring my lunch to work today! While pulling into a Chipotle, I heard a CLUNK - RUB RUB RUB RUB and basically couldn't steer. Had I not forgotten my lunch, I would have instead been driving on the freeway when this happened! So the car is in my garage because I need to go out and get a 21mm socket.
This is really, really bad because it happened without warning. Even with 72k miles on this car, it is tight and straight. The tie rod end that snapped was the driver's side. I had the car to NTB a few months ago for new tires... they said that the passenger side tie rod end was a bit loose. I verified this when I changed the oil in the car a few weeks after that - indeed the passenger wheel had a little wobble but the driver side was still tight. Needless to say I'm going to replace the passenger side ASAP... and probably replace the tie rod ends at 50k as preventative maintenance here on out.
I am not happy with the anemic front end on this car - the balljoints are smaller than those on my 2001 Chrysler Sebring and in general, the front end on the Charger does not look like it belongs in a 4000 pound, 340+ HP car.