Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Pitman Arm

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The pitman arm is part of the steering component in your vehicle. It is connected to the sector shaft and moves in a circular motion with the help of the ball joint. This motion causes the wheels to move left or right, depending on which way the steering wheel is moved. It is important you have your pitman arm in good working condition because poor steering can be hazardous to you and those around you. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms of a bad or failing pitman arm.

1. Poor steering

If you notice your steering has lots of play while you are driving, such as the wheel turns more than it should before the wheels engage, then chances are your pitman arm needs to be looked at. Since this is part of your steering and is critical for proper operation of the steering system, the diagnostics and repair should be done by the professionals at YourMechanic. Contact them as soon as you notice your vehicle is not steering like it used to and have your pitman arm replaced.

2. Wandering to the left or right while on the road

Is your vehicle pulling to one side or the steering seems difficult? It is time to have your pitman arm looked at. A bad or failing pitman arm can cause your vehicle to not respond appropriately when you turn the wheel. Not only can it have lots of play, it can be highly inaccurate or seem to have a mind of its own while you are driving down the road. This can be especially dangerous during hazardous weather conditions or on a busy highway.

3. Inability to steer

When the pitman arm completely fails, you will lose all steering in your vehicle. The pitman arm should be replaced before the problem gets to this point. This is a dangerous situation, so if you notice any of the symptoms above, they should be looked at before the pitman arm completely fails. If you do lose the ability to steer, do not keep driving. Slow down to a stop and call for assistance.

If you have poor steering, your vehicle seems to wander, or you have lost all ability to steer, chances are your pitman arm needs to be replaced. Book a service online 24/7 at YourMechanic to have this completed in a timely manner and before your steering completely fails. In addition, if you drive off-road often, inspect your pitman arm for wear and replace it as needed to keep yourself and others safe.


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This review MOSTLY applies to MYMECHANIC.COM company rather than the mechanic who worked on my car. I’m guessing he followed his company policy... After my first appointment I think MYMECHANIC.COM IS FULL of SURPRISES :-( , although they state on their website that there will be no surprises. I had several surprises and mixed feeling about this company. First of all, do NOT expect your mechanic to knock on your door, or ring your doorbell (You would think that’s a common sense if you are expecting someone). After the mechanic explained it made sense (if someone left their car, but don't live at the actual address) BUT they did NOT mention anything on their website!! However in their email they said to keep your phone with you. I expected someone knock on the door and was away from my phone. The mechanic did not come on time (was late about 20-30 minutes) said the parts store was not open till 9 am and my appointment was scheduled at 9 am. Luckily I was not planning to go anywhere that morning (can’t go far without my car). So I was ok with that. They quoted $182.84, but charged me $185.46. I know they are going to say “Well, you didn’t include your VIN # number”. You DON'T really NEED VIN # TO BUY PARTS! When I was requesting a quote online they could have asked about the Trim of the vehicle, and if it had 2 doors or 4 doors. Two extra questions would have solved this problem. Again, on their website they state there are no surprises, no hidden cost, but I was CHARGED MORE. Another thing I’m not happy about is the mechanic did NOT SAY A WORD ABOUT 2 RECOMMENDATIONS he made!! I only saw it later on report they emailed me. What’s the point of having a mechanic come to your place when he/she does NOT say anything after finding more problems with your vehicle when you are there??? If he said something perhaps I wanted him to show it to me! Now I feel like I need to go to an auto shop so someone can explain/show it to me. That is causing me extra INCONVENIENCE (wasting my time & money) to go to an actual shop. I thought the whole idea of having a mechanic come to you was not to cause any inconvenience & save you some money??? Is this your company policy to notify customers about recommendations after your mechanics leave? If that’s your standard practice at least state on your site so future customers know what to expect. One more thing surprised me is the fact that the mechanic took photos of my car and VIN# (photos were included in the report I received) – I DID NOT ASK FOR ANY PROOF OF EVIDENCE!!! I was there, I know he replaced that part. Why did he take pictures without my approval? Again, you did NOT mention anything on your site!! Now mymechanic.com keeps sending me emails telling me my car needs more work done (the above mentioned 2 recommendations) and I find them quite annoying. To be honest I’m not sure if I want to use mymechanic.com in the future, a company that keeps it’s surprises offline. As a customer I'd like to know upfront what to expect. Unfortunately that was not my experience. Lastly, about the mechanic. He was professional. Answered my question about something else (not his 2 recommendations). He replaced the part and so far I don’t have any problem.

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