A car mechanic at Express Oil Change (which does.

  • 162,000 MILES
A car mechanic at Express Oil Change (which does repairs as well as oil changes) recommended we replace the Pitman arm; which we had him do. When driving home afterwards, the steering wheel was not centered when driving and seemed to have more play in it than before. In order to drive straight the wheel had to be turned off center to the right. They said to bring it back in and it would be an easy fix. Once there, they said that the Pitman arm was so bad that once it was replaced with a new one it had affected the steering wheel and that we should have the front end aligned. Which of course we did. The steering wheel is now more centered when driving (but not as centered as before). I'm just wondering if this was a legitimate diagnosis or if we might have been taken for a ride. I'm concerned about the safety of driving since it deals with the steering and whether I should trust this mechanic with our car again. Thanks so much
Tuesday, February 26th, 2013 AT 11:23 PM

1 Reply

When the pitman arm is changed it can be replaced a couple of splines off from where it was. It is a simple fix. What needs to be done is to have a front end mechanic adjust the toe in/out in order to center the steering wheel. As far as the mechanic goes I don't think he was misleading you into anything. As far as the play goes you have two tie rod ends that will give you play concidering the mileage on the car. He should have checked those, they usually give more slack then the pitman arm, and if you replace those go to a shop that does alignments by a mechanic that almost exclusively does front end work. Let me know if you have any other questions or help. Thanks for letting us help with your car. Hank2349
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Tuesday, February 26th, 2013 AT 11:48 PM

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