If your vehicle does not respond to minor movements of the steering wheel, then you must have a busted steering linkage component in your system. The first thing that you need to check is the idler arm.the component that connects the tie rod ends to the front wheels of the vehicle. Every time you turn your steering wheel, a chain reaction happens to the gears and levers in your vehicle's steering, which causes your tires to move to the direction that you want. Idler arms are mounted opposite to chassis and they support the centerlink by pivoting to allow the link to move to the left and right as a response to your steering. If you want to know more about this important linkage, keep reading this guide below.
How to Diagnose Busted Idler Arms
Busted idler arms tend to have only one symptom.a vehicle developing .play.. To check if your car needs a replacement arm, you can follow these simple steps below.
Step 1: Before you begin, park your car on a flat-level surface and engage the parking brake. After that, place wheel chocks at the back of the rear wheels.
Step 2: Once it's secure, start your vehicle and make the front wheels point forward.
Step 3: After that, get an assistant who can move the steering wheel back and forth a few inches while you watch the idler arm from the front side of the car.
Step 4: Next, look at the end of the arm or the part where the shaft connects to the bushing near the wheel while the steering wheel is being turned.
Step 5: If the shaft on the arm moves even before the wheels turn, then chances are you have a bad bushing or you need to change your idler arm already.
How to Replace Broken Idler Arms
Broken idler arms are relatively easy to repair. You just need to have the right set of tools and the right amount of patience.
Step 1: Start by raising the vehicle using a jack and supporting it with jack stands. As soon as the vehicle is secure, use needle-nose pliers to straighten and remove the cotter pin from the idler arm shaft to be able to unscrew the nut from the shaft.
Step 2: Next, use a tie rod end remover to take the drag link out from the arm.
Step 3: Then, use a socket and ratchet to remove the bolts that hold the arm against the frame. The size of the socket will depend on your ride's specs.year, make, and model. To be sure, consult your vehicle's owner's manual. To keep the nuts from turning while you unscrew the bolts, use a wrench to hold them in.
Step 4: After removing the bolts, you should be able to pull the busted idler arm. After that, install the new one, making sure that it is oriented the same way as the old one.
Step 5: Next, push the drag link onto the shaft of the arm before securing the new component in place using the right mounting hardware.