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  • How to Tell if Control Arm Bushings Are Worn Out

    Control Arms

    The details in car mechanics are endless, and to the average car owner can become daunting to attempt to understand. It is important to grasp the concept, however, that all the little bits and pieces of a vehicle serve a purpose in the overall function; usually one piece connects to another piece, and when one is damaged it causes a chain reaction of problems that can add up to a significantly gigantic mechanic bill. Luckily, when you take the time to research and find the best auto mechanic shop, they can help you prevent issues that may occur by being thorough in the inspection of your vehicle with each service trip. One of the parts of a vehicle that is crucial to repair when broken is the control arm bushings. Now, you may be asking yourself, what the heck is a control arm bushing? Rightfully so—mechanical jargon can be lost on most of us. Control arms are what hold the wheels of the car in place and help dictate the steering movement of the vehicle. The bushings are what connect the control arms to the frame of the vehicle and help the wheels stay on the road through rough terrain. Ultimately, control arms and the bushings are associated with the suspension and steering.

    Control arms are often damaged in car crashes

    Your ears may be ringing when you hear suspension and steering, because when things go wrong in this area, they are usually not inexpensive to fix. With that being said, it is important to know when these bushings are worn and must be replaced, because the bushings themselves may be able to be individually replaced, costing you less money than if you had to replace the entire control arm. The control arm may need to be replaced if the bushings are worn and cannot be replaced independently. When the control arm bushings fail, it can cost a lot of money in labor expenses, and even more so when the entire control arm needs replacement. Generally speaking, control arms are often damaged in car crashes because they become bent or distorted when the car rapidly brakes and the wheels turn, or if the wheels hit a hard surface during the collision. While the part is easily replaced, it comes at a cost.

    Rattling noise or vibration from wheel area

    The best thing you can to do detect a worn out control arm bushing is to look for the most common signs and symptoms. Depending on how often you drive, how far you drive, and in what conditions you generally drive, you may experience the control arm bushings to fail sooner than later. Some of the signs of this type of failure can be alarming, and rightfully so. Strange noises involving the car’s suspension may occur when you go over bumps or potholes in the road. You may also mistakenly detect an issue with your car’s alignment because it may be slightly more difficult to control under certain circumstances like driving over loose gravel. Furthermore, when you accelerate or decelerate you may also hear a rattling noise or a vibration coming from the wheel area. In any of these instances, it is imperative that you take no chances and bring your car into a trusted mechanic for inspection.

    Auto Parts

    Take to a qualified mechanic for inspection

    Control arm bushings are meant to provide the suspension with a rubbery cushion that absorbs some of the road vibrations. That is why it is not particularly surprising that one of the symptoms of bad control arm bushings is intensified feeling of vibration during your commute. It is also likely that you may notice rattling of the suspension components when you go over a bump. It is normal for bushings to wear out over time; because they are made of rubber, they can tear and crack from the heavy amount of impact absorption they deal with regularly. If you usually drive on rough terrain or your suspension has never been replaced or inspected, now might be the time to get one step ahead of the game. Your suspension is critical in the overall function of your car, and if the problem is overlooked, it will only get worse with time until your car becomes crippled and unable to move. When you suspect an issue with the control arm bushings, or the suspension in general, take your car in for inspection immediately to avoid further damage.

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