A few days ago, our customer consulted me about the cause of the control arm break. Today, let me share some important information regarding what causes control arms to break.
1 What is a car control arm?
The control arm, also known as the swing arm, is an essential component of the automobile chassis system. It supports the vehicle’s weight and controls its ride quality, handling abilities, and overall dynamics while in motion.
2 What is the role of the car control arm?
The control arm connects the steering knuckle to the vehicle’s frame elastically by bolts or bushings, dampening the ride and giving the driver the ability to maneuver the vehicle. And transmits various forces acting on the wheel to the body, and at the same time makes for a more substantial assembly, ensuring balanced wheel control and stability while making the vehicle’s ride quality softer and more comfortable.
During the driving process, control arms help achieve coordination between the suspension and steering systems; then maintain the chassis structure stability; stabilize the position of the vehicle and the shock absorber, and ensure balanced wheel control and stability.
Therefore, the control arm (including the bushing and ball joint connected to it) should be made strong and durable and with regular rut and flex. But it is ultimately a wear-and-tear part.
3 What Causes Control Arm Wear?
• Harsh road conditions, like driving over large potholes or bumps, bushings, and ball joints will wear out.
• scratches and sand and gravel strikes;
• Pavement mud and standing water adheres resulting in quick corrosion and wear;
• Rubber parts tend to wear and tear over time;
• metal and plastic parts wear with time, and the gap will gradually increase.
4 How to determine if the control arm is faulty?
• Strange sounds/Noise (squeaks, squeaks, booms);
• Deterioration of drivability;
• Shimmy steering wheel or unresponsive steering;
• Uneven tire tread wear.
5 How to detect if the control arm is damaged?
• Use the crowbar to shake the tire up and down/left and right, and observe the loose clearance of the ball head of the control arm;
• Examine the bushing and dust cover for cracks and damage.
6 What are the common damage cases for the control arm?
• Cracks in the rubber bushing;
• The ball head dust cover is damaged and missing;
• The ball head is loose or broken;
• The arm body is deformed or broken.
7 How Long Does a Control Arm Assembly Last?
Because the bushing of the control arm is prone to aging and cracking, the damaged vehicle will experience a series of failures such as deviation and swaying, and even four-wheel alignment would be ineffective. Damage to the rubber boot is easy to spot if you inspect the chassis carefully. Generally speaking, the control arm is replaced every three years or so.
The service life of automotive suspension control arms of different materials is variable. When we go to the repair shop for maintenance, we might question the machinist about whether should we replace the control arms. In addition, when one control arm fails, additional linkages or control arms are also affected. Therefore, when the wheel has suffered a large bump, you should inspect the control arm and other relevant components in time.
8 Replacement Cost
At MaXpeedingRods.com, aftermarket control arms can range in price from $54 to $153. We provide high-quality and reliable products for the majority of users, and raw material procurement, manufacture,, processing, assembly, and completed products are delivered to high standards.
If you’re unsure about how to replace it, it’s better to have your control arm replaced by a professional.