5 Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Car’s Control Arms
When it comes to car components, control arms don't get the due attention. Usually, it's all about transmissions and engines. But control arms are important as well. And they can be a real pain if they're seized or rusted in place.
We discuss 5 obvious signs in this article that indicate it’s time to replace your Control Arms. Read on!
Vibrating Steering Wheel
When a control arm bushing starts to wear off in your vehicle, the first sign you'll notice is increased vibrations in your car's steering wheel while driving.
Normally, the vibrations will increase when you accelerate, which can soon become annoying. This is due to the wobbly wheels because of too much play in the system.
When the bushings of your control arm become too worn out or loose, you will begin to hear a clunking sound inside the cabin. This is because the bushing is getting knocked between the control arm and the frame.
This sound gets louder if you drive on rough or rocky terrain, though even normal hard braking or small bumps can cause the banging noise.
A steering wheel that inclines to either left or right while driving can be the effect of misalignment caused by worn bushings.
Since bushings hold the car's frame and control arm firmly in place, bad bushings leave space for unusual and excess motion in the system, which throws the wheels out of alignment.
Even though the deteriorated bushings lead to a misalignment in the suspension, getting the alignment fixed will not work if the bushings don't let the parts to hold the position properly. When the car is up on the jack or lift, make sure to inspect the bushings for unusual movement or damage.
Uneven Tire Wear
Inspect the tire tread on your car regularly to check for uneven tread wear. This problem usually means an issue with the alignment, and as described above, the alignment can be impacted by worn bushings.
The vehicle can also indicate "normal" or "within range" stipulations when being professionally aligned and still have uneven tire wear in this case. Make sure you get this fixed by a professional.
Although control arm bushings do not interfere with the braking system directly, any imbalance in the suspension and steering parts can lead to braking problems.
When braking abruptly, the car's front end may continue to sway back and forth as the car slows.
Replacing Control Arm Bushings
Experts suggest replacing all of the control arm bushings at once. Usually, if one is worn out, the others will follow the same pattern. Inspect the bushings visually for noticeable damage such as hollowing of the rubber or tears.
Make sure the ball joints are checked as the bushing replacement is done, as some of the signs can also indicate a failing ball joint. This can be dangerous as the front wheel can abruptly detach if the ball joint rips off while driving.
Irrespective of lower and upper control A-arms, how you plan to use your car will decide the type of control arm bushings to be replaced. OEM bushings are made of rubber and offer the most comfortable driving experience.
Replace Control Arms
Usually, the control arm fails due to a sudden impact in accidents or gets worn off with time. In such a case, replacing the control arm is your best bet to avoid any mishap.