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How To Replace Your Idler Arm


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Understanding Your Idler Arm (and Pitman Arm)
This is your new idler arm.

It's often a good idea to replace your Pitman and your idler arms at the same time.

photo by Chuck
Idler Arms and Pitman Arms are part of your steering system that links your steering box to the center link, and then on to the hub assemblies. The Pitman Arm, also known as the "steering arm," is the main player while the idler arm supports the other side and allows the proper movement to take place when you turn the wheel. If your steering has gotten sloppy they may need replacement. Signs of this are your steering wheel moving 2 inches or more from side to side without turning the wheels at all, front end shimmy that can't be attributed to out-of-balance wheels, or lurches to the left or right when you go over a bump. Sometimes only one is bad, but many people say that replacing both of them is easy, good insurance, and doesn't cost much more because the labor is essentially free (since you already have to take everything apart to replace one or the other.)

If you think it's time, read on and you'll be able to get them replaced in no time. And thanks to Chuck for the chance to show you how on his Hummer!

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