What to know about the Drag Link:
The motion of the steering wheel must be translated into something usable by the tire wheels. In manual steering systems (mostly older ones, although a handful of automakers still use this setup), that is accomplished by using a pitman arm attached to a drag link, which itself attaches to a steering arm. In other designs, it joins between the pitman arm and the tie-rod assembly.
The actual design and motion of the drag link can vary a great deal depending on the automaker, but they serve to translate movement from the steering wheel into movement for the tire wheels. Drag links are either solid or adjustable. If the drag link is worn out, you may have abnormal tire wear or an unsteady feeling in your steering.
Facts to Note:
The drag link itself does not wear out usually; rather, it’s the junction points between the drag link and the pitman arm or tie-rods that do.
Adjustable drag links can wear out over time, and will require adjustments as the vehicle ages.
How to Fix:
The vehicle is raised and placed on jack stands
The defective drag link is taken out from the vehicle steering
The new drag link is fixed and torqued to specifications
The steering is turned left and right to make sure the steering works normally
The vehicle is taken away from jack stands and road tested for proper steering operation
Your steering and suspension system is incredibly complex, and while there is no specified lifespan for a drag link, these parts can be spoilt in accidents or through impact by debris. If you suspect you have a worn, bent drag link, or have similar symptoms, have one of your expert mechanics diagnose your drag link.
SEE ALSO:HOW TO KNOW A WORN SWAY BAR LINK
Common symptoms indicating you may need to change the Drag Link:
Abnormal tire wear
Abnormal play in the steering wheel
Experiencing steering “wobble”
Importance of this service:
Drag links are critical steering parts. While damage or excessive wear won’t stop your car from operating totally, it can cause unsafe conditions, and the links eventually need to be changed. Have it checked by one of your expert mechanics who can give you a recommendation on the severity of your specific instance.