The factory control arms on your Subaru vehicle are integral parts of the suspension system, serving as the direct connection points between the vehicle's chassis and the front wheel assemblies.
All About Control Arms
One end of the control arm connects to the chassis. The bushings prevent metal-on-metal contact and help reduce noise and vibration. At the other end, the control arm connects to the steering knuckle via a ball joint. This allows for smooth movement in all directions, including up-and-down.
Control arms are available in steel, aluminum, or cast iron. They come in three different types of assemblies: bolt in, unitized, and press in. MacPherson struts typically use bolt-in assemblies. Unitized and press in assemblies both integrate with a ball joint, which requires you to change the entire assembly if you're replacing a bad one. This is generally easier and takes less time than the process involved with replacing a bolt in assembly.
How to Spot a Bad Control Arm
Most often, a failing control arm is exhibited in gradual stages. Since driving with a bad control arm is very dangerous, it's important to know the symptoms. Here are the most commons signs:
- Vibrating wheels
- A wandering steering wheel
- The steering wheel pulls to one side
- You hear unusual sounds
- Your wheels wobble
- Your ride comfort worsens
- Uneven tire wear
- Erratic braking
If you notice any of these, have your vehicle's suspension inspected. If you need to replace your control arms, be sure that you choose the right parts for the project. Since genuine Subaru control arms are the only ones guaranteed to be compatible with your model, they're you best – and safest – bet. Find everything you need right here in our online auto parts inventory, in stock and ready to ship right to your door. Buy now to save time and money!
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