Symptoms Of A Bad Control Arm And Replacement Cost

control arm in a car

Suspension is an important unit in vehicles, on the basis of which the vehicle maintains stability and balance. Along with this, the suspension protects the vehicle from shocks caused by rough roads.

There are many different parts used in a vehicle’s suspension unit. Such as ball joints, tie rod ends, sway bar links, suspension bushings, shock absorbers, and control arms. The control arm is the most important part of the car’s suspension, on which the entire balance of the vehicle depends. But sometimes the control unit in the suspension unit gets damaged, due to which you see many symptoms.

What Is A Control Arm?

The control arm is the most important part of any vehicle’s suspension, connecting the vehicle’s wheels directly to the vehicle’s chassis, allowing the vehicle’s front wheels to stabilize the vehicle’s balance during motion and cornering.

The control arm allows the driver to raise and lower the front wheels of the vehicle according to the road surface and prevents the front wheels of the vehicle from moving forward or backward during braking, so that the front wheel of the vehicle does not touch any part of the vehicle. Do not collide with them. When the driver turns the steering wheel, the front wheels of the vehicle rotate around a fixed axis using the control arm.

Symptoms Of A Bad Control Arm

Common symptoms of a bad control arm are a rattling noise, steering wheel vibration, uneven tire wear, unusual noises during braking, tires rubbing against the fender lining, or the vehicle pulling to one side.

Let us know in detail about the symptoms of a damaged control arm in any vehicle so that you can recognize these symptoms in time and find the appropriate solution.

1. Clunking Noise

You will experience a clunking noise while driving the vehicle due to wear and tear on the control arm. because the control arm has a hard rubber bush, that works to connect the control arm and the chassis of the vehicle. This rubber bush is fitted into the control arm. The control arm is fitted to the chassis of the vehicle with the help of a stud in between these bushes. But these bushes on the control arm wear and tear when they get old.

Due to this, the control arm and the chassis of the vehicle start colliding with each other. This then wears out the ball joint between the wheel hub and the control arm, due to which you start hearing clunking or knocking noises from the control arm.

2. Steering Wheel Vibration or Shaking

steering looseness

If your vehicle’s control arm bushing or the ball joint between the wheel hub and the control arm is damaged. Then you may feel vibration from the steering wheel or shaking of the steering wheel while driving the vehicle on the road. However, there can be many other reasons for vibration in the steering wheel. For which you have to investigate its reasons. And after that this time has to be resolved.

3. Front Wheel Rubbing Against Fender Lining

front wheel rubbing angaist fender lining

The main symptom of a bad control arm or bad bush and ball joint is a sudden jerking of the front wheel of the vehicle backwards while applying the brakes to the vehicle. because the control arm keeps the front wheel of the vehicle fixed at a fixed point.

Regardless, the front wheel is unequally free to rotate in either the right or left direction. But due to wear and tear on the bushing and ball joint of the control arm, they become loose. Due to which the front wheel of your vehicle will start rubbing angaist chasis or fender lining, when you apply the brakes.

4. Uneven Front Tires Wear

Tire Wear On The Outside Edge

The control arm controls the front tires of the vehicle to keep them in a straight line at all angles. so that the tire does not run unbalanced during motion. so that the driving of the vehicle can be made easy and smooth and to prevent uneven tire wear.

But due to wear and tear on the bushing of the control arm, the front wheel of the vehicle starts moving diagonally at one angle, which causes the front tires of the vehicle to wear unevenly and if not taken care of early enough, even new tires can be completely worn out between 100 and 1000 miles.

5. Steering Wheel Pull To One Side


Bad control arm bushing causes the steering wheel of your vehicle to tilt either to the right or to the left. Because the control arm in the suspension assembly of a vehicle controls the control and balance of the vehicle. But due to bad control arms, the bushes were unable to control the balance of the vehicle, due to which the steering wheel started tilting to one side while the vehicle was moving.

However, this problem also occurs due to high or low air pressure in the tires, different tire sizes, and poor alignment. Therefore, pulling one side of the steering wheel in the vehicle should be investigated for its causes.

Control Arm Replacement Cost

Typically, replacement costs for a new control arm in a normal car can range from $350 to $650. This estimated cost will be inclusive of the labor cost of the mechanic. 

The average cost of a new control arm can range from $250 to $450, and having the control arm replaced by a mechanic can cost between $100 and $200. 

The replacement cost of a new control arm depends on the vehicle model and the mechanic’s labor costs. If the mechanic only replaces the bushing kit and ball joint at the base of your vehicle’s control arm repair, you can save a lot of money on the replacement cost of a new control arm. Because a bushing kit is often cheaper than a new control arm,.


Q. What are the symptoms of a failing control arm?

You may experience a variety of symptoms of a failed control arm. such as clunking, rattling noise, steering wheel shaking or vibration, uneven front tire wear, front wheel robbing the fender lining during braking, and loss of vehicle control.

Q. Can you drive with a broken control arm?

No, you should never risk driving a vehicle with a broken control arm. Because a broken control arm can be harmful to you and the suspension of the vehicle, If you drive the vehicle at high speed with a broken control arm, So it may cause your vehicle to lose control completely.

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