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You may have never even heard of them, but the control arms in your vehicle are an essential part of its suspension system. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to steer or even stop your vehicle. That’s why replacing them when they wear out is critical.
In this article, we take a look at what these small components do, why they wear out, and the best control arm replacement you can buy.
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What do the control arms do?
The control arms in your vehicle are an integral part of any car suspension system. They are the direct point of connection between your car’s frame and its front wheel assemblies. These components allow you to steer your vehicle, but they also allow the wheels to travel up and down with bumps and dips in the road, cushioning your ride and making it smooth.
But your vehicle’s control arms are also part of a much larger system. And that suspension system relies on a lot of parts working together. If even one component isn’t working probably, the whole system suffers as a result.
Driving with broken control arms isn’t just annoying and uncomfortable—it’s dangerous. Your vehicle’s suspension system is also part of its safety system. Cars with a bad suspension are harder to steer, take longer to stop, and as a result, are much more likely to be involved in an accident.
How can I tell if my control arm needs replacing?
Your vehicle has a suspension warning light that will tell you when there’s a problem with your suspension. But this light only tells you that your system has a problem, and as we saw earlier, there are a lot of components in your suspension system. The light won’t tell you which component or components are suffering.
A mechanic can tell you when there’s a problem with your control arms. The control arm bushings are easy to spot under the hood and when they’re worn out, you can tell. But even getting your mechanic to pop the hood will set you back. That’s why it’s important to look for indications that a control arm is broken. Early detection can help save you big money on repairs and keep you safe.
Here are some early warning signs of a broken control arm to look for:
- Steering wheel vibration. Under normal conditions, your steering wheel should feel solid and steady. If you can feel vibrations in the wheel when you’re driving, you could have a broken control arm.
- Clunking sounds. When your control arm bushings wear down, the connection between them and your vehicle frame gets loose. That can cause them to “drag” when you accelerate and cause a “clunk” sound in your suspension.
- Steering drift. Your car should respond immediately to your steering. If it doesn’t and instead drifts to one side, this could indicate an issue with one or more control arms.
Why do control arms wear out so often?
Unfortunately, control arms are just one of those components in your vehicle that will wear out. It’s not a matter of “if” but “when.” Here are a few reasons why:
- Moving parts. This component moves to do its job. Like all moving parts, the friction created by this movement eventually causes it to wear down.
- Materials. Car manufacturers often save money by using cheaper materials in small components like control arms. While these often work great for a while, components built with cheaper materials simply don’t last.
- Driving style. When drivers accelerate and stop hard (or just often), it takes a toll on the suspension. For drivers who live in urban or suburban areas and do most of their driving in town, even driving carefully can wear out your control arm bushings.
- Suspension faults. When you drive around on a bad suspension, it puts extra stress on the suspension components. If you have suspension problems, it can lead to the early failure of the control arms.
Why are control arm replacements so expensive?
Most people’s first instinct when something breaks is to take their car to the dealership. If you did this, you may have already realized that a control arm replacement is a very expensive repair. But since this is such a critical component, you may feel pressure to give in and pay the cost to follow your dealership’s advice.
Here’s why that might not be the best idea.
For starters, your dealership mechanic is going to use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) components. These are the same components that came on your vehicle when it was new. They’re also almost always the most expensive control arm replacements you can buy.
In addition to being expensive, isn’t the OEM component the same one that just wore out on your vehicle? Do you really want to put that same component back in your vehicle, knowing it’s just going to fail again?
The dealership repair center is a good way to fix your vehicle if you don’t mind spending the maximum amount of money on repairs. But for most people, this makes it a major financial consideration.
Is there a better control arm replacement?
Fortunately, the dealership and its OEM parts are not your only option. After decades as an industry leader in suspension replacements, Strutmasters has launched its own line of control arm replacements.
These control arms are made to the same standards as our industry-leading suspension conversion kits. Here’s what that means:
- High-quality materials. We use only high-grade steel to ensure robust performance and extreme longevity.
- American manufacturing. These control arm replacements are made right here in the USA under top-notch quality assurance standards.
- Precision engineering. Our engineers work tirelessly to match these control arms exactly the specifications of each vehicle. That means you’ll get the perfect fit every time.
You might be wondering how Strutmasters can produce a superior product for cheaper. It’s simple. While car manufacturers have thousands of components to worry about, our focus has always been on suspensions.
We’ve seen thousands of busted control arms and other suspension problems over the years. By now, we know exactly where and how things go wrong. That knowledge allows us to make our products more robust and reliable without having to worry about making hundreds of other components too. It’s our focus and expertise on suspensions that makes it all possible.
Why a Strutmasters control arm replacement?
Strutmasters is far from the only manufacturer of control arm replacements, but there are few names more trusted in the suspension industry. Since 1999, Strutmasters has been an industry leader in suspension replacement kits and components. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has given Strutmasters an accredited A+ rating, its highest possible certification, due to an outstanding combination of high-quality products and customer service.
With the new control arm replacements from Strutmasters, you can get your vehicle back on the road right away at a price you can afford. Remember: the longer you wait for a control arm replacement, the more at risk you are and the more you’ll have to pay for repairs down the line.
Order your control arm replacements online or by phone. If you have any questions or need help finding the perfect fit, our Suspension Experts are standing by to help with whatever you may need.