A few months ago I was in Washington changing a wheel bearing and this guy told me that my idler arms were falling off and I was going to die driving down the freeway. It’s cool that if I jack my van up at a truckstop people will come and wiggle things and give me advice, but it would be even cooler if everyone who did that knew what they were talking about. I wiggled my idler arms. They moved an eensy bit, but it seemed small and normal to me. I consulted my trusty Haynes Manual (every hobostripper needs one) but it didn’t offer any enlightenment about normal idler arm wiggles. So I consulted an email list that I was on. A bunch of people told me that an eensy wiggle probably didn’t mean it was going to fall off, but keep an eye on it. One guy told me that I must have something else mistaken for my idler arms (people with vagina’s obviously can’t tell their idler arms from their tie rods, right?) and my tire was in immediate danger of falling off. He recommended that I find myself a nice guy to fix it and make sure the guy understood alignment. Right.
I proceeded to New Mexico, and nothing fell off. My brake rotors picked up some warp, but it seemed to have worked itself out and now it doesn’t shake at all when I brake. Before I left the desert, a friends husband looked at the idler arms for me. He said one of them might be a little iffy but that it probably wasn’t a problem for several thousand miles. Cool. Driving to Alaska is a couple thousand miles, so I figured I’d visit my friend, Mr. Mechanic, along the way.
So here I am, oh… about ten thousand miles after I was supposed to die on the freeway, at Mr. Mechanic’s place. He says my idler arms are absolutely fine and that the eensy wiggle is normal for when it’s jacked up.