Steering & Suspension
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 centre link of the steering linkage.
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.
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.