Q: Lower control arm - 2010 Chevrolet HHR

asked by on

I took my car to get an alignment and they told me my lower control arms are bad on both sides. I don't feel any symptoms I looked up. Only when I hit the brakes lightly at a red light or some sort. I'm wondering if it could be the lower control arms or are they just out for my money

My car has 124000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The tolerance in toe setting (for example; there are other alignment angles) in a modern car, including yours, is around .040 inches. That (.040 inches) is the thickness of ten strands of hair piled on each other (I measured my wife’s hair because most of mine has fallen out). That tight tolerance means that to get an "accurate" reading, and result, on modern alignment equipment, that is equipped with lasers nowadays, there has to be essentially zero "play" in the suspension.

If there were any play at all, such would completely eclipse the allowed tolerance, making the alignment useless, at least insofar as what can be achieved (that is, it is possible to do a lousy job with a loose suspension but the best thing to do, of course, is to obtain the alignment "results" specified by Chevrolet, the manufacturer of your car. Your best bet by far is to simply have them demonstrate to you the looseness that they claim exists in the assembly. Such is not rocket science and so all they need do is give you an up close look at their diagnostic and you should be able to judge for yourself whether the Mechanic is giving a reasonable and credible account of himself.

If the arms are bad (it would be the bushings and/or ball joint if on the arm), and you do replace them and proceed with the alignment, make sure you get a print-out of the final alignment settings (if they can’t do that, you got the wrong shop) and additionally, before the alignment is set, do tell the Mechanic that you want the alignment on the car set to the PREFERRED settings published by the car manufacturer.

If you don’t give that instruction, they will simply set the alignment anywhere within a "range" that although "allowed" by the manufacturer is obviously not as good as just setting to the PREFERRED settings. After all, you are paying for the alignment.

If you have any further concerns, don’t hesitate to recontact us. And if you’d like a second opinion on this, have one of our mobile technicians inspect your suspension system firsthand.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Lower control arm - 2010 Chevrolet HHR

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Cooling temperature sensor light on.

Coolant temperature sensors generally will not record fault codes in the engine computer or turn on the Check Engine light unless they completely fail by either a short or open circuit. When the coolant temperature sensor fails completely you will...

Q: i hit a pothole turn and my turn signal doesn't work

Hi and thanks for your question. On the Impala's the speed sensors on the hubs to the vehicles wheels are in the same circuit with the turn signals. This tells the computer that the vehicle is turning with the steering...

Q: My Chevr HHR (2006) has milky oil, and white smoke puffs out of the dipstick tube. The car doesn't overheat,and the heater works.

Check for any change in coolant level in the overflow reservoir. If no change over, say, 500 miles, you simply have a high level of condensation because there is absolutely no other source of water to the engine. You can...

Related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.