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Is it worth replacing control arms?

Replacing control arms is generally worth the cost and effort, as they are essential components of the suspension system that wear out over time. Control arms are responsible for connecting the suspension to the frame of the vehicle, and they also hold the wheels in place and dictate the camber of the tires.

A worn-out control arm can cause misalignment and compromise the overall ride quality and handling of the vehicle. Replacing the control arms will ensure that the suspension system is performing optimally and that the vehicle is able to handle and steer correctly.

In addition, replacing the control arms will help to extend the life of the suspension system and other related parts.

What happens if you don’t replace your control arms?

If you do not replace your control arms, you may start to experience a number of very unwelcome and dangerous consequences. This can include reduced reaction time when accelerating or braking, difficulty when steering, quicker wear on other parts of the car, more noise and a more jerky ride quality.

Additionally, not replacing your control arms can cause increased vibration in the steering wheel, damage to suspension components, misaligned camber and toe angles, and worse tire wear. Because all of these conditions can worsen over time, it is very important to replace control arms as soon as you begin to notice any of these symptoms.

Failing to replace the control arms when issues arise can become a very costly experience as driving in this condition can lead to further damage of other parts and eventually an accident.

How often do control arms need to be replaced?

The frequency with which control arms need to be replaced will depend largely on the make and model of vehicle you drive, as well as the condition of the existing parts. As a general rule, however, most vehicles should have their control arms replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 miles, as this is typically when problems start to appear.

For example, worn mounts, failed bushings, and flexing ball joints can cause difficulty in steering and suspension, so it is important to replace the control arms before these issues become too severe.

It is recommended to check the condition of your control arms and other related parts between 30,000-50,000 miles, and replace them as necessary. To be sure you are replacing the control arms at the proper intervals, consult your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended service intervals.

How much should it cost to replace control arms?

The cost of replacing control arms can vary greatly, depending on the make and model of the vehicle, the type of control arms being replaced, and whether you are replacing the entire assembly or just certain components such as bushings or ball joints.

Generally, control arms come in pairs, so expect to pay approximately $100-$400 per pair for most vehicles. If you are buying aftermarket control arms, you may be able to find cheaper options for as little as $50 per pair—however, it’s important to remember that quality does not always equate to cost.

Professional labor, such as from a mechanic or auto shop, will cost an additional $50-$150 per hour. It will take about 2-3 hours to properly replace control arms, so expect to pay about $150-$450 for labor alone, for a total cost of about $250-$850.

Your best bet is to shop around for the best prices and labor rates, and keep in mind that buying used control arms can be a good option if you are looking to save money.

How long does a control arm usually last?

The average lifespan of a control arm can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors such as the type of vehicle, driving conditions, the quality of the part, and the frequency of use. Generally, control arms will last anywhere from 70,000 to 120,000 miles.

However, it’s important to note that certain vehicles may require more frequent replacement. For instance, luxury vehicles and off-road vehicles tend to wear down suspension components at a faster rate due to the harsher environment and higher frequency of use.

Additionally, it’s important to stay on top of potential signs of wear and tear, such as more pronounced vibrations on the highway or inconsistent handling. If caught early, these issues can help limit the damage and keep the cost of replacement low.

What causes a control arm to fail?

Control arms can fail due to a variety of reasons, such as excessive wear and tear, rust, loose or worn-out ball joints, and improper lubrication. Other reasons for failure can include misalignment caused by previous collision damage, broken components, weak bushings, and inadequate support from other suspension components.

Additionally, control arms can be damaged or weakened due to age and fatigue. Lack of regular maintenance, such as lubrication and inspection, can also accelerate the failure of control arms. Excessive loads or strain on the suspension can also be a cause, as the control arms may be unable to support the weight of the vehicle and its load.

Can I drive with a damaged control arm?

No, it is not safe to drive with a damaged control arm. Control arms are critical components of the suspension system and are necessary for keeping your car’s wheels properly aligned on the road and preventing excessive shocks that can cause the car to become uncontrollable.

The control arm also helps keep the wheels connected when you hit a bump in the road, so if it is damaged, you may not be able to control the car properly. Additionally, a damaged control arm can have a serious impact on your vehicle’s handling, braking, and stability, increasing the risk of serious and potentially fatal accidents.

Therefore, it is very important to have a damaged control arm inspected and repaired immediately if necessary.

How do I know if my control arms are worn out?

It’s important to be able to recognize when control arms are worn out so that you can replace them and keep you vehicle safe on the road. To determine if your control arms are worn out, you should inspect them visually for any signs of damage, such as cracks or rust.

Additionally, you should consider jacking up your car and checking it for any excessive movement in the arms themselves. This can be done by looking for any excessive play in the bushings or ball joints and wiggling them gently to determine if the attached components still hold relatively tight.

If there is excessive movement, the control arms are most likely in need of replacing. Additionally, you may notice any sounds coming from the arms, such as clunking, squeaking, and knocking, which may be an indication that they need to be replaced.

In summary, if you’re noticing any signs of wear, such as cracks, rust, excessive play, or any unusual sounds, then your control arms may need to be replaced.

What does a damaged control arm feel like?

If your vehicle has a damaged control arm, you may start to notice a variety of different signs and symptoms. These can include abnormal wheel alignment, abnormal tire wear, a creaking or clicking noise while turning, vibrations while braking, and a rough feeling when turning the wheel.

In addition, your steering wheel may also feel loose and provide less control while driving. If you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, it is important to get your vehicle inspected as soon as possible to determine the cause and have the appropriate repairs made.

In some cases, a damaged control arm may require replacement to restore proper handling and performance.

Is control arm an expensive repair?

In general, control arm repairs are not as expensive as some other car repairs. The cost of control arm repair varies significantly depending on the make and model of your car and the severity of the damage.

For example, if the control arm is worn out, simply replacing it with a new part may cost anywhere from $200-$500. However, if the control arm is severely damaged, such as bent or broken, it could cost much more to replace.

Labor costs can also affect the total repair cost significantly, as it takes some time to properly diagnose and replace the control arm. You should consult with a qualified mechanic to get an accurate estimate for your particular situation.

Can you replace just one control arm?

Yes, it is possible to replace just one control arm. However, it is not advisable and it is always best to replace both control arms in a pair. The reason for this is that if only one control arm is replaced, it will be operating against an older, worn arm that has not been replaced since both arms work together in a synchronised action.

This will lead to an uneven ride and excess stress on the newer part, which may lead to accelerated wear and potentially failure of the newer arm. Additionally, if the control arm is part of a suspension system that includes upper and lower control arms, all four should be replaced in order to maintain proper balance and alignment.

In addition, the control arms should be replaced together, as the bushings, ball joints, and connecting components may not be interchangeable between the old and new arms.

What are the symptoms of a failing control arm?

The symptoms of a failing control arm are usually noticed while driving. Most common are:

1. A clunking or knocking sound when turning or going over bumps

2. Increased tire wear – this is because the misalignment caused by a failing control arm can cause uneven tire wear

3. Steering issues – A worn out control arm can cause the steering to become sloppier or have more play than normal, leading to an overall decrease in control and responsiveness

4. Pulling – A failing control arm can cause the vehicle to drift to one side, making the wheels pull slightly in one direction while driving

5. Vibration or shaking – Again, this is typically caused by misalignment and can be felt in the steering wheel and through the floor of the car.

Do you need an alignment after replacing control arms?

Yes, it is recommended to get an alignment after replacing control arms. Control arms affect the alignment of the wheels, so it is important to get a wheel alignment after any control arm replacement.

Aligning the wheels helps keep them rolling straight, as they should when driving. When the wheels are not properly aligned, the vehicle can pull to one side, which can affect handling and tire performance.

Additionally, when wheels are not properly aligned, it can create unequal wear on the tires, which can in turn reduce the lifespan of the tires.

How do you diagnose control arm problems?

Diagnosing control arm problems can be a tricky process, and the only sure way to diagnose the problem is to take your vehicle to a certified mechanic. However, there are some tell-tale signs that you can look for as an indication that there may be a problem with the control arm.

The first step is to conduct a visual inspection of the control arm. Look for any signs of wear or damage, such as bent metal, rust, or frayed bushings. It is also a good idea to check the other components of the suspension system, such as the ball joints and tie rod ends, to make sure they are in working order.

If you find any signs of wear or damage, it is best to replace the component to ensure that your vehicle is running safely and smoothly.

The second step is to take your vehicle out for a test drive. Pay attention to how the vehicle handles and any signs of rattling or grinding that may indicate a problem with the control arm. If you suspect that the control arm is causing the issue, the next step is to have your vehicle inspected by a certified mechanic who can conduct a more detailed inspection.

If further inspection is needed, the mechanic may recommend replacing the control arm. If the control arm looks to be in good condition, a technician may recommend other courses of action to repair any damage which might include replacing the bushings, ball joints, or tie rod ends.

In conclusion, the only sure way to diagnose a control arm problem is to take your vehicle to a certified mechanic for further inspection. However, there are some indicators that you can look for which may provide an indication of a problem with the control arm.

Taking your vehicle out for a test drive, conducting a visual inspection and then having it inspected by a certified mechanic are all essential steps of diagnosing a control arm issue.

Should you replace both control arms at the same time?

It is often suggested that when replacing control arms, you should replace both of them at the same time. This is because control arms play an important role in maintaining the stability and handling of the vehicle.

If one arm is worn out and the other is not, it can create an imbalance which can affect the overall performance of the vehicle. Additionally, most control arm assemblies come as a pair, so it’s often more cost-efficient to replace them both at once, rather than having to purchase one now and then the other at a later date.

Lastly, when replacing control arms, it is important to have the vehicle re-aligned afterwards to ensure that the replace parts are correctly adjusted. This re-alignment can only be done correctly if both arms are replaced at the same time.

Doing so allows for the vehicle’s suspension system to be balanced, thus providing better ride and handling.


  1. When do the control arms need to be replaced? – Testing Autos
  2. Why You Should Replace Control … – Tire Review Magazine
  3. Front control arm: problems, when to replace, repair cost
  4. How Long Does a Control Arm Assembly Last? – YourMechanic
  5. 5 Signs it’s Time to Replace a Broken Control Arm – JB Tools Inc.