A broken control arm can cause erratic driving and even car accidents. That’s why replacing control arms right away is always best.
Control arms are an important part of your vehicle's suspension. Typically featuring an A-shaped design, they connect the chassis to the suspension system. Over time, the bushings, joints, and other parts of the control arms can degrade and fail. How do you know that you need to replace this auto part that you can’t see? Here are five signs that your car, truck, or SUV has a broken control arm:
1. Clunking Noise
When your vehicle’s control arm goes bad, this is one of the first things you'll notice. You’ll hear the clunking noise near the wheel with the bad control arm. You’ll hear it more frequently when you drive over hills and uneven surfaces.
2. Vehicle Pulling to the Side
Sure, this can happen if your wheels aren’t properly aligned. But if they are and your car still pulls, then you probably have a broken control arm. If the bushing breaks down, for example, the control arm will dangle in place. This causes the vehicle to pull to the side with the broken control arm. Warning: If you let this go too long, it could lead to you losing control of your vehicle while driving!
3. Uneven Tread Wear on Tires
This is another sign that you have a broken control arm. It’s caused by a poor connection between the spring or strut and your vehicle's chassis. This makes some tires bear more weight, which causes them to wear down more quickly than the others.
4. Vibrations When Driving
Control arms help reduce vibrations to create a smoother (and safer) driving experience. When they go bad, they won't be able to effectively reduce vibrations. As a result, you may feel the bottom of your vehicle's chassis aggressively shaking. You might also experience vibration in your steering wheel.
5. Visual Damage
You won't see the control arms while standing next to your vehicle and looking at the tires. You see the control arms when you jack up your vehicle. If you think your control arms are going bad, lift your vehicle and look at the suspension of each wheel. If the A-shaped component holding the spring or strut is visually damaged, it needs to be replaced.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace Control Arms?
That depends on how many broken control arms there are and what type of vehicle you drive. One thing you can count on is the fact that it’s always cheaper when you do it yourself. To do that, you need the right tools. Here are some of the basic tools you’ll need for control arm replacement:
You probably already have those in your garage. Great! Now let’s look at the specialty tools you might need, such as a lower control arm pulling tool. Shop JB Tools and get the best price on this and other control arm tools.