What to Know About Bad Automotive Control Arms

Your vehicle has a control arm that connects the frame to the steering knuckle, which provides support to your vehicle's suspension system. The part has a ball joint on one side that assists with the wheels moving from side to side, and a bushing on the other side that reduces vibrations while on the road. Unfortunately, this part can become damaged over time and require repair or replacement. Here is what you need to know about a bad control arm.  

The Life Expectancy

The good news is that a control arm can last a very long time before it needs to be repaired or replaced. You can expect to get a long life expectancy out of the part that is as long as 100,000 miles. Of course, road and driving conditions can cause the life expectancy of the part to be more or less, but its long life expectancy means that it's a part that may only break down once during the vehicle's lifetime. 

The Sounds

A bad control arm is going to cause some clunking noises as you go over bumps in the road. This is because the bushing of the control arm is damaged and is coming in contact with the metal of the part. A bushing can be replaced with a new one, which will prevent the need for a brand new control arm.

The Drifting

Since that control arm is connected to the wheels and plays into how they move, it's possible that a bad control arm could cause your vehicle to drift. The drifting is not going to happen in one particular direction, since the car could drift in either direction due to the connection not being as solid as it could be. 

The Vibrations

You may feel vibrations through the steering wheel, but they can also be felt in the seats as well. These vibrations are happening because the bushings within the control arm are moving back and forth, which is strong enough where you feel it in other parts of your vehicle. 

The Tire Wear

All that movement in the control arm is going to result in uneven tire wear. This happens because the tires are wobbling and not making the ideal type of contact with the road while you are driving. That's why it is worth looking at the tread wear and your tire to see if it is even across the entire surface. If not, it could be due to that bad control arm. 

Reach out to a professional if you have any more questions about auto parts