Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Control Arm Assembly

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Control Arm Assembly

Control Arm Assembly

A control arm, commonly referred to as an A-arm, is a suspension component found on virtually all road going passenger vehicles. It is a suspension link that connects the wheel hub and steering knuckles to the chassis. They are equipped with bushings and ball joints that allow it to flex and move according to road conditions and steering input from the driver. Over time, the bushings or ball joints on the control arm wear out and can cause all sorts of problems. Usually a problematic control arm assembly will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential problem that should be serviced.

1. Steering wheel vibration

One of the first symptoms commonly associated with bad control arms is steering wheel vibrations. If the bushings or ball joints in the control arm become excessively worn it can cause wheel shimmy, which may cause vibrations that may be felt in the wheel. The vibrations may increase as you accelerate and smoothen out once you are traveling at speed.

2. Steering wandering

Another symptom commonly associated with bad or failing control arm assembly is steering wandering. Excessively worn ball joints or bushings can cause the vehicle’s steering alignment to shift, which may cause the steering to pull to the left or right when traveling down the road. This will require a constant correction from the driver in order to steer the vehicle straight.

3. Clunking noises

Clunking noises are another symptom of possible problems with the control arms on a vehicle. If the bushings or ball joints develop excessive play or looseness, this can cause them to knock during takeoff, or when the vehicle is traveling over rough terrain. The clunking sound will continuously get louder as the component wears or until it eventually breaks.

The control arms on a vehicle are very important suspension component, as they are the component that links the spindle, hubs, and therefore wheel to the vehicle’s chassis. When they become worn it can cause problems for the vehicle that may compromise handling, comfort, and safety. For this reason, if you suspect that your vehicle’s control arms may be bad or worn, have the vehicle’s suspension inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic. They will be able to replace your control arm assembly if required.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How Long Does a Vacuum Brake Booster Check Valve Last?
The braking system on your car requires a lot of pressure. The vacuum booster is one of the main sources of this pressure. This booster will take the pressure that...
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...


Related questions

Q: Sway bar bracket left front side

I would doubt it was done intentionally by anyone. The sway bar goes from one side to the other side of the vehicle and connects to each side lower control arms with the links. It's possible that you may have...

Q: When replacing ball joints can you just replace the ball joints or do you have to replace the whole control arm?

The ball joint on this vehicle can be replaced separately from the lower control arm. However, on this vehicle it is also a known problem where the ball joint becomes loose inside the mounting in the lower control arm and...

Q: how to take the bottom bolt off the water pump?

The power steering lower bolt should be removed and the power steering swung out of the way. Then, using a 10mm swivel socket you can get the back bottom water pump bolts out without removing the front engine mount bracket....