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A vehicle’s suspension is made up of several links, arms, joints, and bushings. Each part is designed and installed to serve a specific purpose based on a need. The torque rod, also known as a radius arm, was designed to fulfill one purpose: to control longitudinal (fore and aft) movement. The torque rod has two ends on it, and is shaped like a dog bone. Each end has a bushing that holds it rigid yet absorbs some vibration. One end of the torque rod is fastened to the wheel knuckle or axle, and the other end is attached to the chassis or unibody of your vehicle. It is almost always mounted in front of the wheel, where the least amount of longitudinal movement occurs. The bushings on the end also allow for the radius arm to travel in a vertical motion while maintaining the fore and aft position of the wheel. Typical failures for the torque rod are a loose or cracked bushing or the arm itself can break. If the torque rod fails, you will notice a clunking noise when accelerating and braking, and you may notice a vibration in the steering.
A loose torque rod should be addressed within a short time, whereas a broken torque rod needs to be replaced immediately. A wheel alignment will also need to be performed after replacement.
The torque rod is part of your vehicle’s suspension, and plays an integral role in the safe operation of your vehicle. Replace a worn torque rod in a timely manner, and replace a broken one immediately.