Description: A pitman arm is used on vehicles with conventional suspension systems and parallelogram steering. This type of suspension and steering arrangement is used on virtually all rear-wheel-drive vehicles and many light trucks. The pitman arm consists of a splined arm that connects with the steering gear and a threaded bearing stud and seat. The lower part of the threaded bearing stud is covered with a protective dust boot that prevents dirt entry into the bearing and seat. The upper part of the bearing stud connects to the center link of the steering linkage.
Purpose: The steering gear shaft turns in direct relation to input from the driver. The pitman arm attaches to the steering gear shaft and acts as a lever, converting torque from the steering gear to mechanical force for movement of the steering linkage.
Maintenance Tips/Suggestions: The pitman arm should be lubricated at every oil change. The pitman arm, along with other suspension components, should be inspected annually along with a complete wheel alignment. The most common vehicle symptoms associated with a worn pitman arm include play in the steering wheel, wandering, tire edge wear, and loose or erratic steering. Idler arm inspection techniques and specifications vary; have your vehicle inspected by a qualified service professional.