Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Pitman Arm

pitman arm

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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...

Related questions

Q: Steering Wheel Lock Malfunction light on

Hi there. On a vehicle, such as yours it is common for certain components to not receive adequate voltage. This is due to the added accessories a BMW vehicle has. Also, a possibility is that it will need a software...

Q: Squeaking in suspension, 2005 Dodge Ram 1500

Hello. Squeaking in the front suspension is usually caused by worn, dry, or unlubricated suspension bushings or components. If the noise is coming from a control arm bushing it may be possible that the bushing just needs to be greased...

Q: Power steering not working.

It does not sound very fun to drive your vehicle right now! Your Fusion uses an electrically assisted power steering system, rather the standard hydraulic power steering system that is found on most cars. After doing some research on the...