What Are The Symptoms of a Bad Idler Arm?

Being the component that really helps you maneuver and control your vehicle, your car’s steering wheel is indeed the most important one in your cockpit. Given its functions, there’s a great possibility that you’d experience one or more issues with one of your steering wheel’s components. And among all those problematic parts, it’s the idler arm that should constantly be checked and maintained well.

Now for those with little to no knowledge about cars, here’s a thing or two about the idler arm. Most of the vehicles we use today have a parallelogram steering linkage system – it’s the most common and traditional type of car steering racks. The idler arm is the pivoting support for the steering linkage. It supports the end of the center link (the one found on the passenger side) and even bolts to the vehicle’s frame. When you look at it, you’ll find the idler arm attached between the opposite side of the center link from the Pitman arm and the vehicle’s frame. It is the one that transfers steering motion to the passenger side of the vehicle. In a nutshell, the idler arm is more vulnerable to wear and tear due to its pivoting function.

Just imagine a metal component holding other parts and constantly pivoting to fulfill its other function – no doubt that at some point in time, your car’s idler arm can wear out and go bad. Because of that, as your trusted auto spares Melbourne supplier, Advance Auto Parts is here to help you find out early if your idler arm is malfunctioning or already damaged. With our two long decades of experience in the used car parts Melbourne industry, our team of expert auto parts recyclers and mechanics ought to help you with this situation.

Should any or all of these signs and symptoms happen as you drive and handle your vehicle, it could definitely point out a worn or damaged idler arm:


When you car keeps wandering or weaving back and forth on its own, that is what you call road walking. Even if you are attentive, even if you have a steady and strong control on your steering wheel, but you’re still experience road walking, it’s mostly caused by an idler arm. It’s quite scary because you will have a really hard time keeping your vehicle straight while on the road. So when this happens, don’t dilly dallying and just go right ahead and replace your car’s idler arm to avoid any kind of unfortunate scenario.


You could also test if the idler arm is in poor condition even if your vehicle is just sitting still – plus, it’s easier and safer than that of road walking. While at a complete stop, try to move the steering wheel. If you would be able to move the wheel so easily without so much resistance, then it means your steering wheel has great play. Control is indeed a great factor in safely driving any kind of vehicle; as no one would want his/her car to be significantly unresponsive when you do maneuvers. Hence, a steering wheel that gives you poor to no resistance at all is dangerous. It’s a sign that your idler arm could be the culprit.


If you can check a bad idler arm when your car is running and when it’s still, you may also do a test while your ride is in your garage or at your trusted car parts and repair shop. Make sure that if you are going to do this without the assistance of a professional, always use safety gear and equipment. Now you must raise your car so that the front wheels are suspended off the ground. Once your car is raised high enough, go underneath your car to where your front wheels are. See if it’s possible to move its front wheels from side to side without you having to touch the steering wheel at all. If the wheels easily move back and forth, then it’s a clear sign that you should look into your idler arm.

Because the car’s steering wheel assembly is comprised of numerous interconnected parts, there are also other problems that could come up because they are liked and dependent to your idler arm. Hence, (as with all the other components of your car) it’s really helpful if you would be able to diagnose the problems on your own, as early as possible. This will save yourself from more serious car problems as well as a couple of dollars on repairs and replacements. And even if you see no problem with your idler arm, you may give it a well-deserved TLC by simply lubricating it with a grease gun every now and then.

Is your car’s idler arm already due for replacing? Then don’t stress yourself out with the unexpected expense and let Advance Auto Parts help you out. As we are one of the leading providers of quality car components and cheap auto spares Melbourne, your bad idler arm is never a problem! Just head over to our shop or our online auto parts inventory so you could find the idler arm that fits your vehicle. With us, you’re guaranteed that you’ll only get auto parts that are of high quality and at a budget-friendly price tag.