A control arm is one of the many parts of your vehicle’s suspension, which in turn negatively impacts on how smoothly your car drives if it starts failing. If you are concerned that your control arm is about to go bad, you will need to address the issue immediately to avoid further complications and possible damage to other components of the suspension system. There are some obvious signs that you have an issue with your control arm, but knowing what to look for will help you solve the issue immediately.
When you are driving your car and are going over a bump or pothole in the road, you will hear a clunking noise. You might also hear a rattle or a clunk when driving around corners, particularly at low speeds. The control and smoothness of your ride reduces when the control arm is wearing out and you will inevitably experience a reduction in the quality of your driving experience.
Another obvious sign 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 keep your hands on the wheel and push it, you will notice more of a wobble. This is almost the same to the symptoms of a bad CV joint or ball joint. There should be no play in the wheel beyond the required level, so if you feel too much movement, have the car inspected.
Driving at higher speeds of between 45 and 60 miles per hour will indicate control arm failure by showing a wobbling in the steering wheel. This is same as when the tracking and balancing is off and the steering wheel wobbles heavily when you are driving. 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 culprit.
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 making the problem will want you to look into the suspension to more closely inspect each part. Repairing the upper or lower control arms will need a bit more skill, so you may choose to help professional help if you’re unfamiliar with more complex automotive repair.