Well I took the car in to my dad's mechanic and he said the drivers side tie rod does have some minor signs of wear and very little 'play'. Of course it was like he was speaking Greek to me, but he was great about breaking it down in less than laymans terms for me understand a little better. He said while I should eventually replace the outer tie rod and lower control arm w/ball joint, but that it's nowhere near as urgent as the tire place made it seem a while back, and that I'm fine driving it for now.
I mentioned how it drives a little rough once I get up to higher speeds, and he said that's probably because it's out of alignment, but I shouldn't get that taken care of until after I get the tie rod issue resolved.
My engine light was on and he checked the code for that, it was "P00100, Intake A Camshaft Position", they're researching it to find out exactly what it is, he said it could be a sensor, waiting to hear back from them to find out for sure. Brake pads have about 1/3 left.
Oneandonly, I'll have to take a look, but to the best of my recollection I don't remember seeing a power steering fluid tank. So the power steering message could be a crack in the rack and pinion bushing? I'm just taking notes so next time I take it in I can bring these things up (and sound a little like I know what I am talking about!) That power steering message shows up just upon starting the engine, then just goes away when I turn the wheel slightly. Sometimes it comes up everytime I drive it, then it might not show up again for weeks or longer.