Many car owners have never heard the name control arms because it is not a household name. Control arms are basically part of your suspension system and play an important role. Unless your mechanic tells you that you should replace a control arm most car owners will never hear this term in their lifetime.
Despite being unknown A-arms as it is commonly known are quite critical and allow the tyres to smoothly move up and down. Without control arms, your suspension would be useless. A suspension system without control arms is as just as good as a vehicle without one.
As the name suggests control arms control the movement of the wheels so that they don’t go out of line with the car’s body.
The shock absorber holds everything in place while the control arm is what absorbs the road. It allows the movement of the tyre so that it can go up and down. What basically happens is that when you encounter a bump the weight is compressed by the control arm and it comes down on it. It keeps the tyre on the road in contact with the surface.
The control arm is what actually connects the suspensions systems to the chassis of the car. Between the control arms and the vehicle frame, there is a component called brushing and between the control arm and the suspension is a ball joint.
The design is usually triangular with a ball joint and 2 brushings. This triangular shape allows for the easy up and down motion.
A typical car will have up to a maximum of 4 and a minimum of 2 control arms. This number depends on whether your suspension system uses shocks or struts. Most of the cars nowadays however only come with control arms in the front suspension.
Some vehicles feature a lower and upper control arm and they are often referred to as double-wishbone suspension. But the most common application is only lower ones due to the design of the strut assembly.
Replacing the Control Arms
Like most of the other components in your car, controls arm too will need to be replaced due to wear and tear. The control arm assembly will start showing signs of wear after around 145000km of mileage according to many mechanics.
Once this mileage is passed, control arms should be replaced immediately because they can easily snap or bend when driving on rough roads or large potholes.
If your tyres start showing signs of wear, it is time to check out the components. Another sign of a bad control arm is the vibration of the steering wheel or loud noises of your car hitting the surface when driving over bumps.
Control arms are quite expensive, and you need to replace the entire system including the brushing and ball joints. The price also largely depends on the type of car.
Getting to know all the little components of your car is quite important as a car owner. Some components you haven’t even heard of are quite vital to ensure the smooth operation of your car.