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            Idler Arm

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            Idler Arm Products

            It's all right if you sometimes wander about (whatever you take that to mean). But if it's your steering system that's doing the wandering, you'd better do something. Steering wander, or the wheels' side-to-side drifting and loss of directional stability, is most likely caused by the malfunctioning of a part in the steering linkage called the idler arm. Although this part has the term "idle" in it, it's not in any way like that, because this arm helps transmit every inch of turn of the steering wheel to your wheels. It functions together with the pitman arm to track down and control the steering links. At one end, it's attached to a frame bracket with a pivot; while at the other, it connects to the center link through a ball joint. Thus, it keeps the center link at its proper height while serving as a steadying support for the whole steering linkage at the same time. Though this arm handles less stress than the Pitman arm, it's the steering component that's most prone to wear and tear. It's got its own assembly of bushings, washers, nuts, and grease seals that you have to watch closely. You must especially keep tabs on tattered bushings, because they're the first to fail in an idler assembly. Regular checkup and maintenance is thus very important in keeping it in good condition. Now, if you need a replacement for this part, you need not wander like your steering system. Get an idler arm replacement from Auto Parts Warehouse and enjoy our affordable prices now!

            Buying Guides

            Steer Your Way to the Perfect Idler Arm

            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.

            Repair Guides

            Replacing a Faulty Idler Arm

            Your steering system's idler arm works the hardest when it comes to twisting and turning your car. So it's only natural for it to become worn over time. Don't let a bad idler arm get in the way of your driving. Replace it immediately when your steering system isn't as responsive as it used to. You don't have to be an expert mechanic to change this particular part. All you need are a few tools and steady hands.

            Difficulty level: Easy to moderate

            Tools you'll need:

            • Hydraulic lift/ jack and jack stand
            • Idler arm replacement
            • Grease gun and grease
            • Wrench
            • 1/2-inch drive ratchet and socket set

            Step 1: Since you idler arm is part of your steering system, you should start with your car's front tires. Loosen the lug nuts on your passenger side's tire before lifting your car.

            Step 2: Using a hydraulic lift, gently raise your car off the ground. If you're using a jack to raise your car, make sure to support it using jack stands.

            Step 3: Completely remove the lug nuts to pull out your passenger side's front tire.

            Step 4: With the front tire out of the way, you should be able to see your idler arm. Your idler arm is the S-shaped part that connects the frame and the center link bar of your steering system. Once you've located the idler arm, remove the cotter pin from the arm using a deep socket.

            Step 5: With your ratchet and socket, remove the castle nut. This part should be found in the ball stud; it is connected to the center link.

            Step 6: Now that your idler arm is free of the castle nut and cotter pin, you can now remove the idler arm by pulling out the bolts holding it.

            Step 7: Install your new idler arm in the same position and orientation as your old one. Secure it with the nuts and bolts carefully, making sure not to push the bolts into the frame. Reassemble the cotter pin and castle nut the same way as instructed in steps 5 and 6.

            Step 8: Using a grease gun, coat the idler arm with grease to ensure a better fit. Put your front tire back in place and tighten the lug bolts.

            Step 9:To test drive your new idler arm, lower your vehicle and take it out for a spin.

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