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Center/Drag link Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your center/drag link replacement? Use Jerry’s GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your center/drag link replacement.
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John Davis
Expert Automotive Writer
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor
The repair costs of a center/drag link will change depending on your vehicle’s make and model, but generally costs about $302, with automotive parts totalling around $164 and labor cost estimates of $138.
How long does it take to replace a center/drag link? Center/drag links replacements should take around 1.2 hours. As the center/drag link is the main component of your steering system, your scheduled automotive repair, your mechanic will tighten and align all parts to increase safety.
Check out our center/drag link replacement cost table to help you determine fair price repair estimates for different vehicles:
Estimate DateCustomerCarFair Cost EstimateParts CostLabor CostLabor Time
May 22, 2024
Acura CL
$391
$202
$189
1.5 Hours
May 21, 2024
Chevrolet Bolt EV
$380
$202
$179
1.5 Hours
May 17, 2024
Mercedes-Benz E
$377
$202
$176
1.5 Hours
May 15, 2024
Mitsubishi Lancer
$317
$201
$116
1.0 Hours
May 12, 2024
Genesis G80
$364
$202
$162
1.5 Hours
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.
For your upcoming center/drag link replacement, you may need these parts, depending on how much damage has occurred:
  • Tire rod end: The tire rod end is a steel part that is activated each time you turn your steering wheel. They’re located at each front wheel and connect the steering gear to the knuckle. To replace a tire rod end, expect to pay $50-$200, depending on the type of vehicle you own.
  • Drag links: Drag links attach to the steering gear and pitman arm and allow adjustment to help center the steering gear. These parts cost anywhere from $100-$150. 
You can purchase center/drag link parts for your car from auto parts stores like AutoZone, NAPA Auto Parts, and Advance Auto Parts, as well as online retailers such as Amazon and RockAuto. Three brands we recommend for tie rod ends are Moog, ACDelco, and Mevotech, known for their quality and durability in maintaining proper steering linkage. For drag links we recommend brands like Moog, TRW Automotive, and Crown Automotive. Keep in mind that the best parts and brands for your replacement will vary based on your vehicle’s year, make, and model.
Since center/drag links are a vital component of your vehicle’s steering and vary for each vehicle, it’s recommended that you select OEM products rather than aftermarket. OEM products come straight from the manufacturer (like Ford) with warranty, meaning that you can be sure it’ll fit your car and last for a longer period of time.
The center/drag link (also known as a drag link) can be purchased from auto repair shops and auto part stores, including AutoZone, NAPA Auto Parts, and Advance Auto Parts. Center/drag link kits can also be bought through online sellers like Amazon or RockAuto. Refer to your owner’s manual to ensure that you’re getting the right center/drag link for your vehicle.
It’s challenging to find a mechanic—especially with rising costs. That’s where Jerry's
GarageGuard™
comes in. 
Jerry's GarageGuard™ uses real hourly rates from over 2,500 certified mechanics in the US to determine fair price estimates for all your car repair needs. 
To help even further, Jerry's GarageGuard™ also provides information on diagnostic repair fees (and whether they’re included in your service charges) and real reviews, making sure you find the right mechanic at the right price. 
Review a handful of our vetted shops below, and download the app to compare exact costs in your area.
127 Reviews
Ingleside Auto & Tire Care
address
34811 N Wilson Rd, Ingleside, IL
Center Drag Link Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$410
(Parts - $255, Labor - $155)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$0
192 Reviews
Elmwood Certified Auto Service
address
302 Broadway, Alpine, NJ
Center Drag Link Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$380
(Parts - $255, Labor - $125)
105 Reviews
Wrench Inc. - JAN

Center Drag Link Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$380
(Parts - $255, Labor - $125)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$150
126 Reviews
Pep Boys Auto Parts & Service - Bedford Park #822
address
7030 S Cicero Ave, Chicago, IL
Center Drag Link Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$392
(Parts - $255, Labor - $137)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$99.99
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.
When replacing a center/drag link on your vehicle, your mechanic will likely use these steps: 
  1. Raise front of vehicle: Before beginning any work, your vehicle will be raised using a platform so your mechanic can easily access your center/drag link(s). 
  2. Remove tie rod end: Next, your mechanic will mark the position of your tie rod end before removal, as installing a new end or link in the wrong direction can put your front end out of alignment. Then, the center link will be separated from the inner tie rod, pitman arm, ball joint, and idler arm before being taken out completely.
  3. Remove drag link: To begin removing the drag link, your right front wheel will be removed first to expose the knuckle and drag link end. After, the drag link will be separated from the pitman arm and knuckle for easy removal. 
  4. Install new center link: Finally, your new tie rod end (if a tie rod replacement is needed) and center links are installed by completing these steps in reverse order. 
  5. Grease and tighten: Once all these steps are complete, your mechanic will grease your inner and outer tie rod ends, idler arm, pitman arm, control arm, and upper and lower ball joints. Then, they will torque the steering rack components as necessary to ensure optimal performance. 
If you don’t replace your center/drag link as soon as you notice a wiggly or loose steering wheel, then you run the risk of putting yourself and others in immediate danger. The center/drag link is a major component of your steering system, helping your vehicle turn and direct itself. As a result, a disregarded center/drag link can make the vehicle unsafe to drive. 
The center/drag links help dictate your vehicle’s steering capabilities and can be found attached to the pitman arm (or steering arm) and tie rod. It manages the entire car turning process, and enables your vehicle to pivot as necessary. To ensure you get the best performance out of your center/drag link, it’s best to perform routine inspections and maintenance on your car.
A center/drag link replacement should occur if you experience any of the following common symptoms: 
  • Poor handling: If your vehicle is suddenly handling differently, it could be the result of a loose or worn drag link, which is affecting your overall steering. Faulty center/drag links might cause your car to pull in a specific direction and require immediate attention.
  • Vibrating steering wheel: Excessive vibrations in your steering wheel while driving could signify a broken, loose, or worn center/drag link. A more seriously damaged link won’t vibrate, but will create noise and play in your steering. 
  • Uneven tire wear: This symptom is a result of a loose center/drag link and can also shorten the lifespan of your tires. 
Center/drag links don’t need to be replaced often and should last several years with regular maintenance. However, damage can occur due to debris, impact, or accident and either warp, bend, or wear down your center/drag link, resulting in a faulty steering system. As a result, it’s best to have it inspected once per year, or every 50,000 miles.
Yes, if you’re sure of your mechanical knowledge. Be aware that you will need something to raise the front of your vehicle to access the center link—whether that’s a jack or ramp. The center/drag link replacement process is simple and consists of only five crucial steps. However, if you’re not comfortable with repairing your center link, contact a licensed mechanic.

FAQs

No, track rods and drag links aren’t the same. Drag links help to keep your steering system straight and aligned, whereas track rods are a bigger part of the system and connect your two front wheels together. While they are both vital to your car’s steering, they are two different parts.
In modern Jeeps, death wobble refers to the violent and uncontrollable shaking of your vehicle and isn’t typically an alignment issue—it could also be the result of low or over-inflated tire pressure, and a faulty suspension system. However, it is possible that a poor front track bar, ball joint, or drag link are the culprit. If you experience the ‘death wobble’, pull over immediately and call a mechanic.
To determine if you have a faulty drag link, try pushing and pulling on it, or creating movement in any manner. If there is movement in any axial direction—other than rotational—contact your nearest mechanic for further assistance.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.