How Long Does a Center (Drag) Link Last? | YourMechanic Advice

How Long Does a Center (Drag) Link Last?

The center link has ball joints on either end, and connects the pitman arm and idler arm on your car’s suspension. This part is sometimes called the relay rod or the drag link. The main purpose of the center link is to move your front wheels at the same time so your vehicle can turn smoothly. As you turn the wheel on your vehicle, the steering gear pulls and pushes the center link. This push and pull motion is what causes each tie rod to turn together, and therefore the front wheels to turn at the same time. Connected to the steering gear is the idler arm, and holding the entire thing together is the center link. Without the center link, you would have problems with the steering in your vehicle.

Over time, the ball joints and center link can wear out or become damaged. Once the center link is not working properly, you will notice the vehicle starting to vibrate and wobble as you are driving down the road. It will make your car more difficult to handle and will also be a driving hazard. As soon as you notice these vibrations, or the vehicle is wobbling, it is important to have the center link replaced by a professional mechanic. Failing to do so can cause your vehicle to go out of alignment, which can affect the suspension making for a more extensive repair.

Since the center link and the parts around it can become damaged and worn over time, you should be aware of the symptoms that indicate your vehicle needs to be inspected.

Some signs that your center link might need to be replaced include:

  • Wheel alignment is off
  • Vibrations from the wheels while driving your car
  • Your car wobbles while going down the road
  • Car handles poorly while you are driving
  • Steering wheel vibrates

The center link is an important part of your vehicle’s steering, handling, and your overall safety. As soon as you notice any issues, your vehicle should be serviced immediately.


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Alfred

30 years of experience
86 reviews
Alfred
30 years of experience
Chevrolet G20 - Center (Drag) Link - San Diego, California
Alfred was extremely friendly and very competent in dealing with the van. He was able to re-diagnose the van once he drove the van and pulled the wheels off. He realize that the work schedule was not necessary, but that it was something else causing the problem on the van. We appreciate his honesty and want the work necessary to be completed so that the van doesn't have any issues.

Chad

8 years of experience
8 reviews
Chad
8 years of experience
Ford F-250 Super Duty - Center (Drag) Link - Converse, Texas
Quickly assessed the problem made the adjustments and replaced the defective part. Thank you sir.

Peter

42 years of experience
1320 reviews
Peter
42 years of experience
GMC Savana 2500 - Center (Drag) Link - Avondale, Arizona
Wonderful!!! So knowledgeable!! Excellent mechanic!

Joe

14 years of experience
413 reviews
Joe
14 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - ABS Speed Sensor Replacement (Passenger Side Rear) - Nashville, Tennessee
Joe did a great job and a great guy. Explained all the work and taught me several new techniques. I would recommend him anytime! Thanks Joe!

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