Ford F-150 Idler Arm
How to Pinpoint the Culprits behind Ford F-150 Idler Arm Problems
Your Ford F-150 idler arm is an essential component that keeps your truck on the right track. It serves as a tiller or a lever that pushes your front wheels to the left, to the right, or to whatever direction you want to go. If one day you suddenly notice that your steering wheel feels stiff, then you know where to look. Check your idler arm for signs of damage that give you steering troubles.
Stiff or hard steering is caused by several things; the first one is due to worn-out bearings in the idler arm's bushings. Over time, these bearings corrode or jam inside the bearing container. This results in extreme stress and damage to every pivot joint. To verify this, you need to inspect the physical condition of the idler arm bushing. To catch a better view of the idler arm bearings, you might need to go under your truck. Locate the idler arm and find the bearing container along the pivot joints. It's best if you have a flashlight so you can see the bearings clearly. If the bearings look old and rusty, replace them immediately.
Poor steering response
Poor response is also known as steering play. It is a condition in which the tires don't react with the steering wheel. This happens when the connection between the idler arm and the tie rods is loose. Check the connections by observing the movement of the wheels. But, in order to do this, you need assistance from a friend or a relative. Ask this person to steer the wheel while you observe the idler arm under your truck. If the arm doesn't move right after your friend turn the steering wheel, the idler arm is defective. Hence, it must be replaced.
A loud, clanking noise coming from your idler arm means that it is not securely attached to the steering box and to the centerlink. The sound that you hear is produced when the idler arm wobbles and bumps with the other metal components. In this case, you need to check the mounting bolts of the idler arm. Usually, there are four bolts that hold the arm in place. When there's a missing bolt, replace it immediately.