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FAQs Concerning Suspension Control Arms
How many control arms does my vehicle have?
Usually two or four. Vehicles with double-wishbone suspension have upper and lower arms. Most front-wheel drive vehicles have just two.
How often should I replace the car control arm assemblies?
Most suspension control arms will last up to 100,000 miles. However, if you notice problems with steering or the ride, immediate replacement may be necessary.
Read More: Car Shocks: How They’ve Gotten Better Over the Yearshttps://shop.advanceautoparts.com/r/car-culture/history-of-cars/car-shocks-how-theyve-gotten-better-over-years
Once the work is done, is there something else I should have checked?
Yes. A wheel alignment is usually necessary. A mechanic will adjust the toe, thrust, camber and caster, which affect tire movement and position. Don’t neglect this step as your tires may wear out prematurely.
Signs You Need New Suspension Control Arms
- Uneven tire wear - If you’ve been rotating your tires regularly and still notice uneven wear, then one or more suspension controls arms may need replacing.
- Steering wheel vibration - Wheel shimmy, caused by worn bushings or ball joints, strongly suggest a bad control arm.
- Clunking noises - Turn the steering wheel hard to either side and you may hear a clunking noise. If so, a suspension control arm likely needs replacing.
- Uneven steering - Your car should drive on a straight line, every time. If you notice it pulling to the left or to the right, then a control arm may be worn.
Suspension Control Arm Types
There are four types of control arms, each named for where you’ll find them on a vehicle:
- Front upper control arm
- Front lower control arm
- Back upper control arm
- Back lower control arm
Control arms may be of equal or unequal length. Some are specific to the side of the vehicle they are placed on, i.e., right or left. In this case, you may see one listed as front lower control arm left.
How to Install Suspension Control Arms
Installing suspension control arms require removing the current unit.
- First, raise the vehicle with jack stands or a floor jack and secure in place with wheel chocks.
- Second, assemble your materials. You’ll need new parts, including suspension control arms and possibly ball joints and bushings. A hammer, ball joint separator tool, wrenches and a ratchet set are required.
- Third, remove the wheel at the location where the new arm will be installed. Set it aside.
- Fourth, separate the ball joint from the suspension hub, then remove the ball joint itself.
- Fifth, separate the control arm from the cradle. A nut and bolt holds the arm in place and must be removed to separate the control arm.
- Sixth, install the new car control arm by reversing these steps. Apply this same process to whatever other arms you need to replace.
How to Solve Common Suspension Control Arm Problems
Common suspension control arm problems are typically handled by replacing the worn arm. Besides arm replacement, other suspension parts should be examined, such as bearings, bushings, shock absorbers and springs. Replace as necessary.
Buy suspension control arms online or visit your local Advance Auto Parts store and have one of our knowledgeable Team Members help you.
Does it make sense to modify a car’s suspension?
If you value improved cornering, there are three car suspension modifications to consider.
What is the best way to maintain my car’s chassis?
Lubrication is the key to keeping both steering and suspension parts in optimum condition.
What is a tie rod end and what does it do?
Find out more about tie rod ends.
How often should shocks be changed?
If you observe fluid leaking or you’ve driven at least 50,000 miles. Consult your owner’s manual for the correct maintenance interval.