If you keep turning your steering wheel and nothing seems to be responding, this might be a sign of a bad idler arm. Conventional steering systems use this part to "instruct" your wheels during twist and turns. Here are a few tips to help you decide which ones are perfect for your car:
Arm type vs. Bracket type
There are two types of idler arms, the arm type and the bracket type. While both types essentially provide the same pivoting power, they are differentiated by how they are connected to your steering systems. Arm-type idler arms are the most standard types and are commonly used on most cars today. They consist of mounting points on both ends, and they are attached to your steering system's center link and main body. Bracket-type idler arms, on the hand, have a slight modification in their design. Instead of mounting bearings, this type has a built-in housing with a pivot assembly, which is directly bolted to the body.
OEM vs. Aftermarket idler arms
The good thing with OEM parts is you are guaranteed that your idler arm is of good quality and that it ensures a direct fit to your car. But because of this ensured quality, OEM parts tend to be more expensive. So if you're trying to cut down on maintenance costs, installing an aftermarket idler arm is perfectly fine--it will not have any negative side effects on your steering system. However, when buying a name brand or store-branded idler arm, make sure that it is of decent quality. Check the manufacturer online and read reviews; you'll know from there which ones are good. Never settle for white box or bootleg parts online, as these could be of low quality.
Standard idler arms vs. Innovative idler arms
While standard idler arms are cheaper and easier to find, there are a lot of idler arm manufacturers that offer innovations to improve your steering performance. So which technology is legit and which one's all fluff? As a rule of thumb, go for any new technology that enhances the durability and life of your idler arms. Look for ones that have metal designs for your internal components, such as bearings and ball joints. You can also choose one that has protective coating. These innovations are the ones to look for when checking newer idler arms. Not only do they make your idler arm more efficient, but they also make it less susceptible to wear and tear.