Are you experiencing shaking while driving? Misaligned wheels? Throbbing in steering wheel when increasing speed? Here we have listed the symptoms of malfunctioning control arm bushings so take a look! – Brought to you by PartsAvatar Car Suspension parts online.
Have you ever wondered why you don’t feel bumps or potholes? It is all because of control arm bushings.
For a better car performance and maintenance, it is wise to replace car parts in time and never to skip maintenance schedule. Control arms have a pivotal role in holding both front wheels on the road. Vehicle is not safe to drive if the control arm has been damaged or subject to tear. Control arm bushings should be replaced immediately whenever such thing occurs for a save drive.
Control arm is mostly found in front wheels though some trucks and cars have it in the rear ones too. It connects the front suspension of the vehicle to its frame. There are two control arms in the suspension- upper and lower and they contain rubber bushing at the end.
So, are there any symptoms of bad control arm bushing? How can we know when is the time to replace them for optimum performance of your car? Read on further!
Lost responsiveness of steering
It is easy to notice steering problems. Damaged control bushings may cause car steering to lose its responsiveness and at high speeds it may even start to wander or make the vehicle turn erratically.
Wheels start to vibrate whenever in motion. While taking sharp turns wheels may start to lean to one side. Noticing these symptoms? Time for some replacement job!
A car may feel unstable and wander during braking or when driving over rough surfaces. You can say that control arm bushing is probably the culprit if has worn out or need replacement. This is because the forward and backward oscillation of the control arm is not achieved during the braking due to bushing wear.
Braking can become unstable. You can take chance with car’s braking performance. It is not at all safe to drive with such braking conditions. Immediately take your car to your trusted mechanic for further investigation!
You might hear some popping or clunking noise when driving over bumps. Clucking noise can be heard if there is some potential problem with car’s control bushings.
But why do we hear such noise? In case of extreme damage, when the rubber bushing is completely worn out, the metal sleeves of the control arm will begun to rattle, resulting in unpleasant clunking noise from the front end.
Since the control arm bushings act as a cushion against car bumps, you may even start to feel vibrations throughout your ride. Bad control arm bushing will also affect the wheels!
Problem speeding up
When speeding up or accelerating from idle position, car may experience backward movement in the rear end of the car. Steering may start to tremble, and become erect at some time.
Check out some steps to diagnose control arm bushing issue so that you can take maintenance steps before more auto parts are damaged. Above mentioned problems were that you can feel or hear but these diagnosis checks can be done visually.
A damaged control arm bushing can cause the axle to slip for a small moment during turning motion. You can observe the axle by raising the vehicle on lifting platform or using jacks and then turning the steering wheel left and right. Take assistance for applying brakes to stop the wheels from moving.
While you jack up your car, press the wheel by hand. Does it wobble sideways more than usual? It has probably been misaligned due to damaged control arm bushings.
Disruption to your car’s suspension can cause some components to be knocked off kilter, causing the wheels to sit at improper angles. Wheel alignment ensures that the wheels are set straight again.
In this case, prevention is more affective than cure so regular checks and services are necessary.
Test driving and checking for symptoms
Take your car for a drive and accelerate, de-accelerate, take extreme turns of the wheels to check the problem. Observe the alignment of wheels while taking turns, degree of vibrations that you feel or any weird noise you hear while driving.
If you observe above mentioned symptoms then waste no time in replacement of control arm bushings.
Check the tire wear
Irregular tire wear may occur due to variety of reasons. A misaligned wheel is probably causing the tires to wear prematurely. If the alignment is incorrect, any wear pattern can develop.
A bent wheel in addition causes vibrations along with the wear pattern on tire. Misalignment is probably caused by bad control arms.
Installing control arm bushings
The very first step is to locate the control arm bushings. You can take help from your car’s manual and you can easily find them connected with axle and frame.
Remove the bolts securing one of the control arms and remove one at a time. After fully removing the control arm, clean it and remove the remaining parts.
Now it is time to install new control arm bushings. Align the bushing and control arm side by side and secure them into place by using shop press.
Rotate the handle on the vise slowly to insert new bushing into control arm. Heat the bushings and lubricate them with liquid dish soap and then place them.
Continue closing the vise until bushing is fully installed in the control arm. If the opposite side needs replacement too, then repeat same steps there.
Install all the components back to their place and your job is done!
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