Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Control Arm Assembly

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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 — meaning the underside of the car. 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 can wear out and cause all sorts of problems. Usually, a problematic control arm assembly will produce any of the following 2 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 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.

2. 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 components, as they are they link 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. They will be able to replace your control arm assembly if required.


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Brikk

16 years of experience
369 reviews
Brikk
16 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Brakes, Steering and Suspension System - Matthews, North Carolina
Brikk was early to the appointment and very courteous. Finished within 2 hours and answered any questions I had. I would highly recommend him. The entire process was very smooth, not to mention it was cheaper and more convenient than leaving my car at a mechanic shop.
Mercury Sable - Brakes, Steering and Suspension System - Charlotte, North Carolina
He told me what the problem may be after I told him what all had been done to the car. He was very nice and friendly I definitely would use him again

Chris

20 years of experience
1612 reviews
Chris
20 years of experience
Chevrolet Cobalt - Brakes, Steering and Suspension System - Anaheim, California
Chris is an excellent mechanic. I usually do not place reviews online for service items untill many months after, because it is only then that I know the work is done correctly. I've had many services done by Chris and I am happy to report even a year later I have had no issues with the repairs he has done. My car is ot the most expensive or quality car out there (2006 Chevrolet Cobalt LS), but it runs thanks to Chris's excellent work!! II'm thankful to be able to keep the car running even after an accident. Gives me time to save to buy a new one! Hire Chris he knows his craft!

Luis

7 years of experience
87 reviews
Luis
7 years of experience
Chevrolet Tracker - Brakes, Steering and Suspension System - Clifton, New Jersey
Luis was prompt, professional, knowledgeable and very nice! Would recommend requesting his services!

Chris

14 years of experience
232 reviews
Chris
14 years of experience
Kia Optima - Brakes, Steering and Suspension System - San Diego, California
Chris was friendly and professional. He worked with my instructions to drop the keys off after he was done. He finished the job in the time he quoted upon arrival.

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