An Idler Arm Replacement cost in Tuscaloosa in 2024

The average cost for a steering idler arm replacement with CarAdvise is $421 and the range is generally between $207 and $545.

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An Idler Arm Replacement costs by shop in Tuscaloosa.

CarAdvise Customers save an average of $84 on An Idler Arm Replacement.


Average cost of An Idler Arm Replacement for popular vehicle models in Tuscaloosa:

Car Model

Avg. cost


THE IMPORTANCE OF An Idler Arm Replacement

What is an idler arm and how does it work?

A steering idler arm is a part of the steering system on vehicles equipped with a parallelogram style steering setup. The idler arm connects the center link in the steering system to the frame of the vehicle, but still allows the center link to move laterally as the vehicle steering wheel is turned and the center link is moved by the steering box and pitman arm. This is accomplished by the idler arm pivoting on both ends with either ball and cup style joints or bushings.


How do I know if my vehicle needs an idler arm replaced?

Problems with a bad idler arm will affect the function of your steering system and suspension. If the idler arm goes bad, you might notice one or more of the following signs:

The front wheels are out of alignment, particularly the toe angle (the degree to which the tires point inward or outward)

Your steering system feels loose when you are conducting turns

You hear a clanging, clicking, or squeaking noise coming from the front end of your vehicle that gets worse when you turn the steering wheel back and forth

The vehicle has developed a wobble in the steering wheel

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How does a technician perform An Idler Arm Replacement ?

To replace an idler arm, a technician must first raise and support your vehicle in the air for access to the steering and suspension system. Any guards, heat shields, or other items blocking access to the idler arm must be removed. From there, the technician will follow these general steps:

  • Unfasten and dislodge the idler arm from the center link. This usually requires the use of a special puller
  • Detach the idler arm from the vehicle frame
  • Remove the idler arm and insert a new one
  • Reattach the idler arm to both the frame and center link
  • Torque the fasteners to manufacturer’s specifications It should be noted that a wheel alignment is often needed once this procedure is complete.


What happens when your idler arm goes out?
When your idler arm goes bad, your ability to steer will be affected. It is likely that the wheel alignment will be out of specifications as well, causing your tires to wear unevenly. If the idler arm fails completely, you will not be able to steer your vehicle at all.
How important is an idler arm?
An idler arm serves two main functions in a vehicle with a gearbox (as opposed to rack and pinion steering). First, it anchors and supports the steering linkage via the center link. Second, it helps to maintain the proper toe angle of your wheels and tires. Therefore, the idler arm is very important to the function of your steering and suspension, if your vehicle is so equipped.
What's the difference between a pitman arm and an idler arm?
A pitman arm connects the steering gearbox to the center link and drives the center link back and forth when you turn the steering wheel. The idler arm, on the other hand, while it also connects to the center link, does not exert force on it. The idler arm simply guides the center link to remain on the correct lateral path as it is moved by the pitman arm.

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