A control arm is one of the many parts of your vehicle’s suspension, which in turn negatively affects how smoothly your car drives if it’s failing. If you are concerned that your control arm is starting to go south, you will need to address the issue as fast as possible to avoid further complications and possible damage to other parts of the suspension system. There are some obvious signs that you have a problem with your control arm, but knowing what to look for will help you solve the problem faster.
When you are driving your car and going over a bump or pothole in the road, you will experience a clunking noise. You might also hear a rattle or a clunk when going around corners, especially at low speeds. The control and smoothness of your ride goes down when the control arm is wearing out and you will inevitably experience a reduction in the quality of your driving experience.
Another obvious signs of a failing control arm is too much wheel movement. Use a floor jack to lift your car so that one of the wheels is fully suspended in the air. If you place your hands on the wheel and push it, you will experience more of a wobble. This is same as symptoms of a bad CV joint or ball joint. There should be no play in the wheel beyond the acceptable point, so if you feel too much movement, have the car checked.
3. Steering Wobble
Driving at higher speeds of between 45 and 60 miles per hour will indicate control arm failure by exhibiting a wobbling in the steering wheel. This is similar to when the tracking and balancing is bad and the steering wheel wobbles heavily when you drive. It is best to check for misalignment, uneven tire wear, or bent wheels first, but if you have recently had these things checked, the control arm is probably the cause.
Note that every car has three or four control arms in the suspension system, including upper and lower control arms. Identifying which control arm is causing the issue will require you to look into the suspension to more closely check each part. replacing the lower control arms can take a bit more skill, so you may choose to seek professional help if you’re unfamiliar with more complex automotive repair.