What is the Control Arm Assembly all about?
A control arm set (lower and upper) connects the front suspension of the car to the frame of the car. It is connected to the wheels through ball joints, and to the frame of the car through bushings. It is usually found on the front side of the car. (Few cars have control arms in the back.) If the control arm is bent (can happen when you are in an accident or go over a large pothole), or the bushings wear out, you may have to replace the control arm assembly. It is a good idea to replace the bushings and the ball joints while doing this service.
Keep in mind:
The vehicle may need to be taken to a shop for wheel alignment after this service. Mobile mechanics do not have the machinery to align wheels.
How it's done:
- Verify that the control arm or bushings are faulty.
- Remove the control arm.
- Install the new control arm assembly
- Inspect the suspension system for any other worn or damaged components.
- Test drive the vehicle.
Any time your suspension is inspected, you should have your control arm assembly checked. A mechanic can survey an entire suspension system and assess the health of each component. However, if you notice that your suspension is faulty, either through strong vibrations, loud noises, or lose steering, then you should schedule an inspection.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Control Arm Assembly?
- Banging noises when driving over the bumps or turning the car.
- Wheel assembly moves or shakes.
- Steering wheel feels loose.
- Steering wheel or car vibrates when driving.
- The tires are worn.
How important is this service?
The control arm assembly connects the vehicle’s suspension to the wheels via ball joints, and to the frame of the car via bushings. Your vehicle has four control arms – one for each wheel – and they help synchronize all four wheels, while keeping the vehicle and the suspension steady. When the control arm assembly is damaged, the wheels no longer work in harmony with each other or with the suspension. This results in a very uncomfortable ride and can inflict serious damage to the suspension system.