Maintenance & Troubleshooting
Signs of Wear & Troubleshooting
- Steering difficulty: loss of steering responsiveness, wandering steering while driving at speed, or a shimmy in the front end of your vehicle may indicate worn steering arms.
- Unexpected noises: clunking noises while turning the steering wheel may signal steering arm wear.
- Uneven tire wear: worn steering arms may result in uneven tire wear.
- Excessive steering play: excessive movement or play in your vehicle's steering linkage may be a sign of steering arm wear.
- Alignment issues: an inability to set the proper alignment for your vehicle may indicate worn steering arms.
Good Maintenance Practices
- Inspect or have your idler and pitman arms inspected for signs of wear. Exposure to dirt, road salt, and other harsh road conditions can cause wear and tear on your steering arms or cause connections to loosen. One way to test your steering arm assemblies is to try to turn the steering wheel while your vehicle is parked. If you can turn the steering wheel a significant amount without resistance, then you may have a worn idler or pitman arm.
- Replace your vehicle's idler and pitman arms at the same time. Since the idler arm and pitman arm are exposed to similar wear conditions you should replace the steering arms at the same time. After your new arms are installed have a professional alignment done.