National average cost of a Control Arm Replacement for popular vehicles:
Avg. cost $189
Avg. cost $146
Avg. cost $86
What is a control arm and how does it work?
A control arm is one of several parts of a vehicle’s suspension system that allows your wheels to travel up and down in response to bumps in the road and weight shifts when turning. On most modern vehicles, the wheel and tire are connected to a wheel hub that is bolted to an apparatus called a steering knuckle. The control arm connects the steering knuckle to the vehicle body or frame. Some vehicles have both an upper and lower control arm at each wheel; most modern cars and light SUVs have only a lower control arm. The control arm is mounted to the body or frame through one or more rubber bushings and is connected to the knuckle by way of the ball joint.
What are the signs that a control arm needs to be replaced?
The most common reasons that a control arm needs to be replaced are wear and damage. The control arm bushings are subject to an immense amount of twisting every time a tire goes over a bump. Or every time you make a turn. The ball joint that connects the control arm to the knuckle is also under a great amount of stress as it responds to the road along with the bushings and turns with the steering wheel at the same time. Damage resulting from a crash or a pothole will often bend a control arm and throw off the wheel alignment. If a control arm on your vehicle needs to be replaced, you might notice one or more of these signs
Squeaking noise or clunking sound when driving over bumps
Uneven tire tread wear
Vehicle pulls to one side when driving straight
Poor vehicle handling
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The procedure to replace a control arm depends, to some degree, on the type of vehicle, whether it is an upper or lower control arm, and whether it is located at the front or rear of the vehicle. In general, to replace a lower control arm on the front of a typical car or light SUV, a mechanic will do the following
Lift and support your vehicle and remove the wheel and tire for access
Disconnect the sway bar link (if applicable)
Disconnect and separate the ball joint from the steering knuckle (this may require that the knuckle be disconnected from its upper mount)
Unbolt the inner control arm mounts from the body or frame
Remove the old control arm, insert the new component, and start the bolts through the bushings
Connect the ball joint to the steering knuckle
Reattach the sway bar link to the control arm (if applicable)
Load the suspension and torque the inner control arm mounting bolts
Replace the wheel and tire, lower the vehicle, and test drive to verify the repair
OTHER QUESTIONS CUSTOMERS ASK
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