Toyota Idler Arm
The idler arm is part of the steering linkage in vehicles with parallelogram-steering linkage. Vehicles with rack and pinion steering don’t have idler arms.
When all of the steering linkage components are in good order, it allows the driver to have relatively precise control of the steering over a wide variety of speeds and conditions.
As the idler arm wears, it allows extra play, so that the wheels can wag back and forth-pointing in or out-independently of the driver’s intent.
This causes the car to wander more, and results in the driver to having to more actively manage the steering. In instances of advanced wear, sometimes the steering will start shaking violently after encountering a sharp jolt (as when going over rail road tracks quickly) and will continue to shake until the vehicle is slowed down significantly.
Although in the early stages this wear isn’t an urgent issue, it can become a safety hazard as the wear becomes more severe. Aside from the safety issue it poses, it also encourages premature tire wear, as the wheels are no longer held in proper alignment when they are allowed to wander uncontrolled like this.
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