Dealing with wobbly or shaky rides every time you drive your car? You'd better check the center link of your steering system right away. Also known as the drag link, this component is in charge of controlling your vehicle's steering column. It basically works by changing the rotary or sweeping motion of the steering box into linear motion that is used to pull the tie rod ends and move the vehicle's wheels. Ultimately, your vehicle won't move if this component is missing. And when it gets damaged or busted, you can surely expect nothing but hassles while you're on the road. To find out how you can repair a faulty center or drag link, keep reading the guide below.
What is a center or drag link?
A center or drag link is a major part of a vehicle's four-link steering system. It is in charge of turning rotary motion to linear motion, which helps propel the vehicle to run.
Where can I find my vehicle's center or drag link?
A center link is easy to find because it keeps the two front steering wheels of a car aligned. To find it, just locate the ball joint of the vehicle and you'll find the link bolted to the tie rod ends, which helps control the angles that the front wheels make.
How can I access the center or drag link during my repairs?
To access this particular component, you need to jack up front side of your vehicle and support it with jack stands. You also need to lie on your back and slide underneath your car to get a better view of the part.
How will I know if my center or drag link is broken or damaged?
Testing for a bad center link is quite basic. In fact, you don't need to jack up the vehicle to perform the test. You just need to rock the steering wheel back and forth with the weight of the vehicle on the front wheels. While doing this, you need to observe the drag link joints to see if they wobble or move unnecessarily to any particular direction. If they're stable, then you have nothing to worry about. However, if they move up, down, and sideways, you need to find a replacement ASAP.
What are the symptoms of a faulty drag link?
You'll easily know if your car has drag link issues by observing its handling and steering capabilities. Be careful, though, because some symptoms can be mistaken for tire problems.
When do I need to change my vehicle's center link?
You need to change your vehicle's center or drag link if it's already damaged. However, lifting a truck can also be a good reason because you might need a drag link with a new size and design.
How often should I check my car's drag link?
Doing maintenance on a center link is quite uncommon and often overlooked. However, it would still be best to check it from time to time so that you could grease the component when necessary.