Symptoms of a Bad Pitman Arm
- Unable to Steer the Vehicle Accurately
- Steering Wheel is Loose
- Vehicle Wanders While Trying to Drive Straight
What is a Pitman Arm?
The pitman arm is a steering component that converts the circular motion of the steering wheel into the lateral motion that moves the vehicle’s wheels left and right. It is connected to the steering wheel through a steering gearbox, and to the drag link or centre link with a ball joint. It is similar in form and function to the idler arm, however the idler arm is bolted into the vehicle’s frame, whereas the pitman arm is controlled by the steering box.
With extended use, the ball joint on the pitman arm can begin to wear out, causing steering to become loose and inaccurate. This may get worse over time. To restore the steering’s safety and performance, the pitman arm may need to be replaced.
Did You Know? Many modern vehicles do not have a pitman arm, instead using a Rack & Pinion steering system.