The Control Arm is a rod that connects the wheels of the car to the steering mechanism while managing the ups and downs of the road conditions. It is sometimes called a “wishbone” because of its shape. The upper control arm and lower control arm work together to stabilize steering as your wheels adapt to any irregularities on the road surface.
When should I replace the Control Arms?
If you find the steering of your vehicle seems “loose” or unpredictable, you may need to replace the control arms or the bushings that cushion the connection between the wheel and the control arms. You may hear a “clunking” sound when you brake or accelerate or notice uneven tire wear.
What happens if I don’t?
If you don’t replace worn out bushings and/or failing control arm, the steering can become erratic. Eventually, the control arms could break and one or both of the wheels may turn in or out and could even fall off. This is a dangerous loss of control and could cause an accident.
How to do it: Replacing your Control Arms:
- Park your vehicle on a safe, level surface and apply the parking brake. Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheel, but don’t remove it.
- Safely raise your vehicle and stabilize (do not rely solely on a jack).
- Then remove the front wheel by loosening the lug nuts.
- Release the tension on the torsion bar (if you have torsion bar suspension). If you have a coil spring suspension, support the lower control arm and make sure the compressed spring will not be released – this is a potentially dangerous situation -- before removing the lower control arm.
- Loosen the ball joint nut by removing the cotter pin or pinch bolt.
- Pull the ball joint away from the knuckle, remove the nut and hold the knuckle out of the way.
- At this point, unbolt any parts that are connected to the lower control arm car.
- Remove the control arm by taking out the mounting bolts.
- Put the new control arm replacement in its place and tighten the bolts. IMPORTANT: Wait until the vehicle is on the ground before torqueing the bolts.
- Replace the knuckle on the new control arm and torque the castle nut to required specs.
- Install a new cotter pin and re-position all the components on the car control arm.
- Put the front wheel back on and tighten the lug nuts. Lower the vehicle to the ground and torque down the lug nuts and control arm bolts.
Anything else I need to know?
Your suspension control arm should be lubricated every time you change your oil. These parts are important to the safe operation of your vehicle and a comfortable ride. Inspect sway bar links and bushings, as well as ball joints, struts and mounts and replace if necessary.
Choose the right Control Arm replacement parts online from our wide selection at Car Part Kings. Our Live Support is ready to answer your questions and make sure you get the part that fits.