How Long Can You Drive With Bad Control Arm Bushings?

 Control arms are essential for vehicle assembly because they connect the chasing and the wheel-carrying hub. Ball bearings are used to attach the control arm or A-arm to the car chassis, while one or more bushings are used to connect it to the wheels.

A faulty control arm bushing can cause your vehicle to swerve or even cause an accident. If you know how long it takes for bushings to fail, you can keep yourself safe. By reading this article, you will learn how many miles your vehicle can cross, and if driving with bad bushing is worth the effort.

What Are Control Arm Bushings?

They’re pieces that connect your vehicle’s strut, or shock absorber, to its control arms. This metal-on-metal setup allows your car’s suspension to move up and down without damaging other components. 

When the bushings are bad, your vehicle’s ability to maintain lane position can be compromised. I’m not sure about you, but that sounds extremely hazardous to me!

How Long Can You Drive With Bad Control Arm Bushings?

You can drive for a day or so before the bad bushings will have any noticeable effect on your control arm. However, I recommend replacing them as soon as possible because they will likely cause more damage if they’re not quickly fixed.

This is because the bushing has a rubber in it that hardens over time, and when this happens, it can result in squeaking, rattling, and a general loss in control arm performance. Not only that, but the bushing can also wear out more quickly, which could lead to an accident.

If you’re not sure whether your control arm bushings are bad, there are a few things you can do to test them. You can have them looked at by a professional or conduct your own test at home.

One of the easiest ways to test your control arm bushings is to grab the wheel and try to move it up and down. If you feel a lot of play in the wheel or don’t move very much, it’s a sign that your control arm bushings are bad.

So What Can You Do To Keep Your Control Arm Bushings Happy?

The best way to avoid control arm bushing problems is to keep them well-lubricated. This means using a quality lubricant on the metal-on-metal contact points. This will help keep the bushings in good condition and reduce wear. 

You should also check your vehicle’s fluids on a regular basis and make sure they are at the correct level. Low oil levels can cause your bushings to fail, so it’s important to keep them topped off.

Control Arm Bushing Function

A control arm bushing is a part of the car’s suspension system. It helps to control the vehicle’s movement and keep it stable while it’s in motion. The bushing is made of rubber or polyurethane and sits between the car’s chassis and control arm.

If your car’s control arm bushings are worn out, you’ll likely experience some of the symptoms listed below.  It’s very important to change them as soon as feasible since they can harm your automobile and be dangerous.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Bad Control Arm?

If any of the following problems exist, it’s probably time to replace your control arm bushings:

1. Uneven or rapid tire wear

One of the most common bad control arm bushings symptoms is uneven or rapid tire wear. If one side of your vehicle’s tires is wearing down more quickly than the other, it’s an indication that your control arm bushings should be repaired.

2. Steering wheel vibration

If you’re feeling a lot of vibration through your steering wheel, it could be a sign that your control arm bushings are worn.

3. Vibrations while braking

If you’re experiencing a lot of vibrations when you hit the brakes, it could be a sign that your control arm bushings need to be replaced.

4. Difficulty steering

Continuing with the symptoms of bad control arm bushings, if you find that your vehicle is responding sluggishly or not at all to your steering input, a problem with your control arm bushings could be to blame.

5. Loose or wobbly steering

You may notice that your vehicle’s steering feels loose and wobbly. This might be an indication that your control arm bushings are worn down.

6. Strange noises when turning

If you notice strange noises when making turns, it could be a sign that your control arm bushings need to be replaced. Those noises can be dangerous, as it can lead to accidents.

7. Clunking or rattling noises coming from your suspension

If you’re hearing any clunking or rattling noises coming from your suspension, it’s definitely a sign that something is wrong and that your control arm bushings need to be replaced.

8. Bouncing or swaying when going over bumps

If your car is bouncing or swaying when you go over bumps, it’s a sign that your suspension bushings need to be replaced. Worn-out bushings will not be able to support the weight of your car, which can lead to unsafe driving conditions.

9. Excessive steering wheel play or a loose steering feel. 

If you can move your steering wheel up and down with minimal effort, your control arm bushings may be worn out.

If you’re having any of these problems, it’s crucial to get new control arm bushings as soon as possible. They can not only damage your automobile, but they may also be harmful. Suspension failure can lead to accidents, so getting it fixed as soon as possible is best.

Replacing your control arm bushings is a job that can be done with basic tools and a little bit of know-how. If you’re not comfortable doing the work yourself, you can always take your car to a professional.

Control Arm Bushing Replacement Cost

Depending on the car type and labor expenses, control arm bushing replacement costs range from $120 to $600 on average. A control arm bushing varies from $20 to $100, and the labor charge ranges from $100 to $500.

For example, some vehicles have two control arm bushings per side while others have four. The more parts you need to replace, the more it will cost.

Can Bad Control Arm Bushings Cause Death Wobble?

Yes, if the vehicle is experiencing “death wobble,” it may signify that the control arm bushings need to be replaced. 

The condition of stalling is known as death wobble. It’s a severe issue that might cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. If you’re noticing this, it’s important that you take your car for repairing service.

Can You Fix A Noisy Control Arm Bushing Without Replacing It?

It is possible to fix a noisy control arm bushing without replacing it. The first thing you need to do is rotate the arm and see if that fixes the noise. If not, remove the bolt and apply silicone sealant on the threads of the bushing with a large tube brush. 

Then screw back in and tighten by hand. If it is still noisy, your bushing likely needs to be replaced.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, your control arm bushings likely need to be replaced. Replacing them is a relatively easy job that can be done with basic tools. 

So if you’re feeling uneasy about the state of your car’s suspension, don’t hesitate to take it in for a check-up. You may be astonished at how much better your automobile handles once the bushings have been replaced.

Good luck, stay safe out there on that road!

Liam

Hi, I'm the initiator and writer of this blog. Cars were and will be my first love, and my favorite hobby, that's why I decided to start this blog and write about my discoveries and techniques to improve my cars or repair them.