You've probably noticed that the steering response in your car has gotten sloppy lately, and it could be that your center link is to blame. After all, it's getting up there in years. Cars and trucks built with steering linkage components are going to eventually wear out at the ball stud and socket joints if they are not greased often enough. Even the most regular service schedule isn't going to be enough to reverse the effects of old man time. That's why you may have to replace your center link and other components in that system like the tie rod ends, idler arm, or pitman arm. Otherwise, all of the rotational components on these parts will ultimately give out and you will have virtually no steering response at all. At first, perhaps a quarter of a turn on the steering wheel yields no results. While this is a minor inconvenience, it is also a warning sign that the ball studs are wearing loose inside the socket. At this point, locating and purchasing a new center link would be the appropriate move to make. As soon as you have one, get it installed so you don't wander into dangerous territory or off the road.
Center links, or drag links as they are sometimes called, are used to translate the rotation of the steering wheel from the driver into lateral motion. This motion is then sent through the tie rods to the steering knuckles and spindles. The way that the circular rotation of the steering wheel is converted to a lateral move is by way of the multiple ball joints where these links meet up with each other are allowed a little bit of play. And as the center link pivots off the idler arm, all of the tie rods now move in straight lines toward the spindles.
Since the only way to access your steering linkage is by taking the wheels off, it's obvious that your car or truck be lifted up and rested on jack stands. Also, you have to make sure your wheels are pointed straight. Once you've got this under control, you are ready to begin your center link replacement.