Control arms provide a connection and pivot point between the vehicle’s wheels and the chassis. Also known as an A-arm, they provide a “hinge” that permits the wheels to move up and down. An essential part of the suspension system, they are called upon to retain a vehicle’s alignment while resisting the forces encountered when accelerating, braking, cornering and suspending the vehicle’s weight.
Depending on suspension type (multi-link, MacPherson strut, double wishbone), control arms can be located on the front and rear suspension, in both the upper and lower position.
SYMPTOMS OF A BAD CONTROL ARM
• Steering wheel vibration
• A wandering steering wheel
• Clunking or knocking noises
WHEN CONTROL ARM COMPONENTS FAIL
• A worn or failed control arm bushing will not absorb the shock of road bumps, and the vehicle will continuously vibrate while driving
• Failed bushings will also cause the inner metal bushing sleeves to rattle uncontrollably, creating annoying clunking sounds from the front wheels
• Wheel alignment cannot be maintained and uneven/excessive tire wear will result