What is the Pitman Arm Shaft Seal all about?
In order to transmit direction from the steering wheel to the vehicle’s wheels and tires, a complex network of interconnected components is used. The steering wheel connects to two different steering shafts, which connect to the gearbox. The pitman arm connects to the other side of the gearbox, and is responsible for helping to move the wheel in the desired direction.
The pitman arm shaft seal essentially serves the same purpose as the steering shaft seal – it prevents power steering fluid from exiting the gearbox. It is protected by a dust cover, which helps to ensure that dirt and dust don’t compromise the interior seal. Both are held in place by snap rings.
Replacing a pitman arm shaft seal is a little simpler than replacing a steering shaft input seal, and it can be done without removing the gearbox. With that being said, the pitman arm does need to be disconnected and moved out of the way, and there is a significant amount of teardown needed. Have one of our expert mechanics replace the pitman arm shaft seal if required.
Keep in mind:
- The pitman arm shaft seal should be inspected during normal suspension repairs and wheel alignments.
- The seal can be inspected if a problem is noticed – a visual inspection from under the vehicle is possible if car is placed on a lift.
- Like all other seals on your vehicle, pitman arm shaft seals will eventually need to be replaced due to wear and tear.
How it's done:
- The vehicle's front wheels are put straight and the vehicle is lifted and supported on jack stands
- The defective steering pitman arm shaft seal is removed
- The new steering pitman arm shaft seal is installed
- The vehicle is removed from jack stands
- The vehicle is started and checked for steering operation
Without a reliable pitman arm shaft seal, dirt and dust can enter the gearbox, and power steering fluid can leak out. Power steering fluid is both corrosive and flammable, and low fluid levels can damage your steering system. If you suspect you have a leaking seal, we recommend having it diagnosed by one of our expert mechanics.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Pitman Arm Shaft Seal?
- Low power steering fluid in the reservoir (indicative of a leak at some point in the system)
- Power steering fluid on the ground behind one of the front tires
How important is this service?
Having your pitman arm shaft seal replaced is important for maintaining the health and functionality of your system overall. If you have noticed low fluid, or fluid leaks on the ground below the pitman arm, we recommend having one of our expert mechanics diagnose the issue and then repair the system.