Symptoms of A Bad Control Arm

5 Common Symptoms of A Bad Control Arm


Bad control arms are often overlooked as part of the suspension system, with most attention given to shock absorbers. However, control arms play a similar and important role.

When the control arm goes bad, it can affect the driving experience and safety. These elements are important for safe travel in addition to being important for effective vehicle operation. But each of these parts needs to be kept in top shape to function as planned.

You’ll experience the following symptoms of a bad control arm: unusual road noises, unstable or slack steering, tire wear, regular and excessive vibration, and poor handling.

Now, let’s go deep to explain the 5 common symptoms of a bad control arm!


Unusual Road Noises

Unusual noises coming from under the front end of a car can often be the first sign that control arm tiredness is present.

These sounds, which frequently resemble popping, clacking, or metallic clicking, are usually most noticeable when moving over bumps or uneven terrain. Occasionally, these sounds can be mistaken for CV joint failure noises.

Unstable or slack steering

In severe cases, worn control arms can make a car’s steering erratic or slow, making it difficult to corner and perform poorly in straight lines.

This usually means far more frequent steering corrections than would normally be required by the driver.

Regular and Excessive Vibration

The passengers in a car can also easily sense excessive vibration, which is another sign of a damaged control arm. This vibration is sometimes characterized as a continuous shutter or shudder, which often changes in power with speed.

With increasing control arm wear, this vibration only continues to get worse. Among other things, excessive shaking or vibration may indicate faulty motor mounts.

Poor Handling and Steering Response

The handling and steering response of your car might be greatly affected by worn control arm bushings. Increased body roll—the high leaning of the car to one side while cornering—might be noticeable.

It might also feel less sensitive or loose in the steering, which makes it more difficult to control the vehicle precisely. These problems need to be treated right away because they could endanger your safety while driving.

Uneven or Irregular Tire Wear

Uneven or irregular tire wear is another clear sign of excessive control arm wear. This wear can appear all over the tread surface of a tire, but it usually starts towards the inner or outer surfaces.

When tires need to be replaced too soon, this can result in needless costs.

Finger pointing to damage on tire tread. Tire tread problems by tire pressure improper, Wheel alignment

How To Fix a Bad Control Arm Problems

To extend the control arms’ lifespan and maintain optimal performance, preventive measures are crucial. During maintenance, visually inspect the control arms for cracked or brittle dust covers on the ball joints and check the rubber portion of the bushing for color and elasticity.

Avoid driving on poor road conditions and aggressive driving maneuvers. Drive slowly on bumpy roads and ensure proper wheel alignment to reduce uneven pressure on the control arms.

Consider replacing control arms after 8 years or 80,000 miles, or if significant aging is observed. New control arms can provide a solid and confident chassis feel, similar to the vehicle’s factory condition.

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Bottom Line

For the safety and overall functionality of the vehicle, it is important to recognize the symptoms of a bad control arm. A broken control arm can cause a number of problems, from unstable steering to uneven tire wear to unnerving clunking or rattling noises.

Ignoring these symptoms can lead to additional damage, a higher risk of accidents, weakened vehicle control, and more. As a result, it’s important to handle any symptoms of a bad control arm as soon as possible through testing and any necessary repair, ensuring that your car runs smoothly and safely.

That is all for this article, I hope it was helpful, if so, kindly share with others. Thanks for reading, see you around!


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