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The control arm on your car is a crucial component of the steering and suspension system, and it’s important that it’s kept in good working order. They are susceptible to wear and tear, as it’s constantly in use as you drive your vehicle. The control arm should be repaired or replaced as soon as there’s any sign of damage, and control arm replacements costs are typically $117 – $306 for the majority of vehicles. The part itself will normally cost between $42 – $103, with labor time usually an hour or two. There shouldn’t be much difference between lower control arm replacement costs and the upper control arm replacement costs.
Control Arm Replacement Cost Comparison
Below are some sample costs for replacing the control arm. This will vary depending on your location and the car you own, but serve as a good estimate of what you can expect to pay.
|Parts & labor||12 months||$121 – $242|
|Parts & labor||12 months||$117 – $239|
|Parts & labor||12 months||$110 – $255|
|Parts & labor||6 Months||$110 – $255|
|Parts||Limited||$110 – $255|
|Parts||Limited||$110 – $255|
What Is The Control Arm?
In very simple terms, control arms help to connect a vehicle’s suspension to the frame of the car. The control arm connects the steering knuckle, which holds the front wheel, to either the frame or body of the vehicle. They are therefore very important components that help keep the wheels of your vehicle safely attached to the rest of the car.
The car’s suspension travels up and down as it travels over the surface of a road and it is therefore necessary for the control arm to allow this movement to take place. This is achieved through the use of flexible control arm bushings which are made of rubber. To allow the wheels to rotate, control arms are connected to the steering knuckles of the wheels by ball joints.
Most control arms are made in the shape of either the letter A or L. In most cars, two ends of the control arm are attached to the chassis, but some will have a different kind in the shape of a single shaft with a ball joint at one end and a rubber bushing at the other.
Some cars have two control arms per wheel and when this is the case the suspension spring is mounted between them.
Benefits Of Control Arm Replacement?
Apart from the obvious benefit of preventing accidents or damage to other parts of your vehicle, replacing control arms can help to preserve and extend the life of your vehicle. They are major components to the assembly that holds the front wheels to the car and are linked to the steering and suspension.
Replacing control arms when necessary can extend the life of your tares and will help your vehicle to perform the way it was designed to; this in turn will enhance performance and handling which could even lead to a reduction in fuel use.
Control arms are subject to wear and tear as are any other components of your vehicle and regular maintenance is necessary to ensure that they are replaced before wear causes damage or worse.
It is recommended that control arms, as with other vital components, are checked at least once a year and replaced when any wear or damage is identified.
When Should You Have The Control Arm Replaced?
It is vital that you have the control arms of your vehicle replaced at the first sign of any wear or damage; failure to do so could lead to further damage not only to that specific component of your vehicle, but to others. Remember the control arms are subject to a great deal of movement and wear as they are a major part of the assembly that keeps the wheels in place and allows you to steer the vehicle.
The control arms help hold the front wheels of a vehicle to the rest of the vehicle and if they are in any way damaged or worn they can render the vehicle undriveable. They are vulnerable to damage through collision with another vehicle or object, such as a curb. A damaged control arm can cause a number of problems, affecting steering, handling, performance and obviously accidents.
The rubber bushings can wear out or become damaged; when this happens it is usually necessary to replace the whole of the control arm.
Another of the reasons for needing to have a control arm replaced can be that the ball joint has worn; this is usually an integral part of the control arm and therefore cannot be replaced separately, necessitating the replacement of the whole control arm. A worn ball joint can cause the suspension to fail and the wheel can separate from it.
There are a number of symptoms you may notice that will indicate that the control arms of your vehicle are worn or damaged: the vehicle may vibrate, or you may feel vibration through the steering wheel, when travelling. The steering itself may feel loose, or the vehicle may pull to one side. You may notice odd noises whilst driving or braking. Another very obvious symptom may be that there is too much ‘play’ in the wheel when it is moved.
Any wear or damage to one or more control arms will affect the handling and performance of your vehicle. All of the wheels need to work in unison to allow the vehicle to travel safely and efficiently; worn or damaged control arms will affect the way in which a wheel performs its task and this in turn can affect the overall handling and performance of the vehicle.
Control arm replacement cost is not prohibitive. The costs will, of course, depend on the type of vehicle you have and the garage that you use to have the work done, but when you consider that replacing worn or damaged control arms will greatly contribute to the safety and life of your vehicle it’s well worth the investment.
What Is Done During Control Arm Replacement?
The vehicle must be raised from ground level in order to allow for the control arm to be removed and a new one fitted. Whilst it is possible to do the work without one, it is obviously very much easier and safer if the vehicle is suspended on a purpose built lift or hoist whilst the work is undertaken. The actual performance of the task is not overly lengthy and if undertaken in a professional garage with the correct equipment it is not even a day’s work.
- The vehicle is raised on a lift
- The front wheels are removed
- The control arm is disconnected where the bushes join the sway bar
- The lower ball joint is disconnected from the wheel hub and steering knuckle
- The control arm is unbolted from the vehicle frame and removed
- The new control arm/s is/are fitted
- Wheels are replaced and must be realigned
Control Arm Replacement Cost Comparison
Below are some costs for replacing the control arm a for some of the most popular cars in the USA. These should be taken as estimates only, and will vary depending on your location.
|Ford F-Series||$75 – $81||$42 – $86||$117 – $167|
|Chevrolet Silverado||$120 – $140||$75 – $102||$195 – $242|
|Ford Focus||$75 – $81||$42 – $86||$117 – $167|
|Toyota Camry||$142 – $163||$86 – $143||$228 – $306|
|Toyota Corolla||$142 – $163||$86 – $143||$228 – $306|
|Nissan Altima||$75 – $81||$42 – $86||$117 – $167|
|Honda CR-V||$120 – $140||$75 – $102||$195 – $242|
|Honda Civic||$120 – $140||$75 – $102||$195 – $242|
|Honda Accord||$120 – $140||$75 – $102||$195 – $242|
|Ford Fusion||$75 – $81||$42 – $86||$117 – $167|