How To Diagnose A Failing Control Arm

The control arm is a critical component of your suspension system because it connects the front wheel to the vehicle's frame (you can learn more about it in this article). It allows you to steer while the wheel moves up and down with the road surface. If a control arm fails, it makes it extremely difficult to control the front wheels, which can lead to a loss of control of the vehicle.

Fortunately, when a control arm starts to fail, it displays several obvious signs. We'll cover those signs as well as what happens when a control arm fails in this article.

Signs Of A Failing Control Arm

Control arms typically wear out over time due to age or hard use, worn ball joints, or cracked bushings. If your vehicle has more than 50,000 miles on it, it's a good idea to check the control arms when performing regular maintenance or when you notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Excessive play in the steering
  • The front wheels feel "wobbly" or loose
  • Unusual clunking or grinding noises when turning or going over bumps
  • Excessive vibration in the front suspension or steering wheel
  • Poor front-end alignment or uneven tire wear
  • The car pulls to one side when braking

These symptoms can also indicate a failing tie rod end or a failing ball joint. Any of these problems can lead to a serious issue, which is why it's important to check out your vehicle and make any necessary repairs as soon as possible.

What Happens When A Control Arm Fails

control arm failure

If a control arm fails, it will be hard to control your vehicle. At worst, the control arm could detach from the car's frame, causing the wheel to fall off. Should that happen, the car will be completely undrivable. If you lose a wheel while driving, it could cause an accident or lead to other expensive damage to your vehicle.

For these reasons, it's important not to put off replacing your control arms because it could lead to thousands of dollars of damage and a total loss of your vehicle. Carries The Right Control Arms For Your Vehicle

GM control arm

To find the right control arms for your GM car or truck, check out our parts catalog. We only sell genuine GM accessories and parts for your Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, or Oldsmobile. All of our parts are backed by GM's replacement parts warranty and come with our price match guarantee.

If you have questions, check out our FAQ page, which contains lots of helpful information. Or you can contact us if you have any questions about your vehicle.