Do you think my control arm is bent?


My car has 182000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
i do think you bent suspension components if your tire is rubbing. You may have bent more than the lower control arm and should have the sway bar, strut, spindle all checked to see if they also were damaged.

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How long can I drive with the damaged control arm? With the damaged or worn-out control arm, you can drive your vehicle for a week or less but it should be repaired as soon as you detect the problem through the methods given above before the suspension gets broken.
Control arms can bend or break when driving over large potholes or bumps, while bushings can also wear out on their own due to age.
Loose control arm joints can make steering seem loose or delayed. Steering linkage relies on pushing and pulling the wheel hubs to change the tire angle so you can go around corners. If a portion of that movement is absorbed by worn out control arm bushings, it won`t move the tires in a way the driver expects.
The impact of a serious pothole may bend a control arm. Often it sets your steering wheel off-centre, and can affect how your steering reacts. You may not notice those symptoms immediately, but your tyres will begin to wear unevenly.
Typically, a new car control arm costs between $400 and $550. If you take your car to a repair to replace the damaged part, labor fees will run you an additional $150 to $200. It`s not necessary to replace a damaged control arm right away.
One of the first symptoms commonly associated with bad control arms is steering wheel vibrations. If the bushings or ball joints in the control arm become excessively worn it can cause wheel shimmy, which may cause vibrations felt in the wheel.
The control arm is also the most common part that bends in a collision involving one of the front wheels or after hitting the curb. A bent control arm must be replaced.
Generally, the average lifespan of a new set of control arms is between 60,000 and 100,000 kilometers under normal driving conditions. Control arm assemblies can wear out or bend over time, and between 90,000 and 100,000 miles, these assemblies often fail gradually.
Control Arm Damage

There are three primary types of damage to a control arm: frame damage, bushing damage, and ball joint damage. Frame damage can result from rust, extreme flexing, or breakage from a forceful impact or collision. Bushing damage generally occurs over time due to wear and tear.

A bent control arm, worn control arm bushing, or faulty ball joint can throw off your car`s alignment. As a result, you might feel a pulling sensation while traveling down the road.
Signs your control arm assembly needs to be replaced include: The steering wheel or vehicle vibrates while you are driving down the road. Loud noises, such as banging, when you go over bumps or potholes. Uneven tire wear.
Can a bad control arm affect a car`s alignment? Yes. The control arms are a key part of the alignment. Usually the bushing at the base of the control arms are the first things to go bad.
Take a bent steering arm, for example. A bent arm will change toe alignment. Toe misalignment can scrub the rubber off a set of tires as fast as any lead-footed teenager with an attitude. Only 1/8 inch of toe misalignment produces scrub equivalent to dragging the tire sideways 28 feet for every mile that`s traveled!
You should not have to hunch forward to reach the wheel, and your elbows should be slightly bent, but not sharply bent.
To check for a bent strut shaft, loosen the large shaft nut at the top of each strut and rotate the shaft 360 degrees while keeping an eye on the camber reading. If the shaft is bent, the top of the wheel will wobble in and out, and the camber reading will change as the shaft turns.
Control arm replacement can be difficult—especially if the vehicle`s suspension is rusted and corroded. Separating the ball joint from the steering knuckle can be tricky, too, if you`ve never done the job before. And, oh yeah, you`ll want to get your car`s alignment checked after replacing the control arm.
Symptoms include any combination of:

not being able to feel things properly; loss of strength in the hands; fingers going white (blanching) and becoming red and painful on recovery (particularly in the cold and wet, and probably only in the fingertips at first).

Vibration can cause changes in tendons, muscles, bones and joints, and can affect the nervous system. Collectively, these effects are known as Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). Workers affected by HAVS commonly report: attacks of whitening (blanching) of one or more fingers when exposed to cold.
An obscene gesture in which an arm is bent into an L-shape, with the closed palm pointing upwards, while the other hand then grips the biceps of the bent arm, and the bent forearm is then raised vertically; it conveys the sense of “up yours!”. synonyms ▲ Synonyms: Iberian slap, Italian salute.
Below, we have outlined the two main types of control arms and their applications: Strut Type Suspension or MacPherson Strut Suspension.
Control arm bushings are important for driving comfort and handling. They cushion the suspension system which in turn controls noise and vibrations, and also provide a softer ride over bumps.
The most common reason to replace a control arm is to improve wheel travel as part of a suspension lift. However, a new control arm can offer more than just increased ride height (lift) and additional wheel travel: Increased durability in the arm itself. A wider range of uniball/ball joint options.
There are many signs of a failing ball joint or control arm bushings including: Clicking, popping, or snapping sound when the wheel is turned. Eventually, the clicking and popping can turn into a squeaking sound at the end of a stop, when the gas pedal is used, and/or when turning the steering wheel.
1) Vibrations

There are many things in a car that can cause unusual vibrations, but control arm bushings are common culprits. Like many wear and tear parts, the rubber they`re made of (though fairly durable) wears out after over time, making older bushings very susceptible to damage.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Hit curb. Control arm bent.
ANSWER : The best thing to do is to have a body shop with a frame straightness check machine to quote the repairs for your vehicle. If you have full coverage on your vehicle insurance then now would be a good time to contact them. The repairs may well exceed any deductible you may have. Since the wheel is set back so far you may have not only bent the lower control arm but also bent the vehicle frame that holds the control arm. I have seen accidents like this bend or damage frames, upper and lower control arms, spindles, shocks and struts, steering rack and pinion or steering linkages. Any of these components and many others can be damaged from such a hard hit. If you do want a mobile mechanic like one from YourMechanic come and take a look at the damaged and possibly be able to fix it on site then set up an appointment and have it looked at.

The car’s back rear wheel is bent as if it were hit in the back, which it was. Is the control arm damaged?
ANSWER : If the control arm is bent, almost certainly the wheel will be bent first, not the other way around. If you jack up the rear, block the other wheels to be sure the car can’t shift or roll, put the car in neutral, and spin the tire/wheel by hand, that will confirm the wheel is bent. If you change the tire/wheel on the damaged corner of the car with a known straight wheel, and still get the same "pull/slide" behavior you describe, that would tend to confirm your mechanics recommendation.

To avoid any unnecessary repairs, I would recommend having the car’s pulling symptom completed by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, to confirm your mechanics diagnosis, get an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

I need to remove torsion bar from lower control arm.
ANSWER : Be very careful messing with the torsion bar. It is under an extreme amount of force. Make sure you have all of the tension removed from the torsion bar by loosening the adjustment bolt. Count the number of turns you loosen it so that you can put it back the way it was. If you are still having problems, a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, will be able to complete the control arm repair for you.

Control arm bushings
ANSWER : Control arm bushings are an important part of vehicle suspension systems. Bushings are made of rubber which separates the faces of two objects while allowing a certain amount of movement. As a car moves over tough or bumpy surfaces, this movement allows the suspension parts to move easily. The rubber which is flexible in nature helps to minimize transmission of noise and small vibrations through to the chassis of the vehicle. Bushings are pressed into the control arms at each end of the device to secure the connection to the chassis. The control arm is the device that connects suspension system to the chassis of the vehicle. Control arm bushing is used to hold the bolt in place that connects the control arm to the chassis. They are located at the broad end of the control arm to which the part pivots. These can be replaced separately from the control arms. I would suggest having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to take a look at your vehicle.

Can I get front upper ball joints for our 2007 Ford Edge? I don’t need the entire control arms, for they don’t need to be replaced
ANSWER : The front suspension system on the Edge incorporates a strut assembly that takes the place of the upper arm and ball joint. There is a lower arm assembly though on your vehicle. If you desire to replace just the ball joints in the lower arms, Moog, AC-Delco and Mevotech all vend these lower arm ball joints separately. You’ll want to very carefully evaluate the rubber bushings in the existing arm though though. Generally, rubber based products (control arm bushings) are at the end of their service life once you get to 6-8 years or so. If wear in the rubber allows the control arm to move even .020 inches, it can make it technically impossible to align the vehicle. The tolerances are very small in front end alignment. If you desire that this issue be inspected and resolved by a certified mechanic, please request ball joint replacement and the responding certified mechanic will address all of your concerns. If you have further questions, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

issues installing the front right lower control arm on a 2005 chrysler sebring 2.7l v6.
ANSWER : There won’t be any issues removing the lower fork on the strut. It may make installation a bit easier to get it loose so the control arm can at least be aligned with the vehicle and the bolts started. If you are replacing the control arm after an accident that bent the arm, there may be more damage than you can see. If you are replacing the control arm to replace a worn ball joint, there are no extra parts needed for installation. Consider hiring an experienced technician like one from YourMechanic who can come out and take care of the control arm service for you at your leisure.

Do you think 1,183 a good price for front lower control arms?
ANSWER : Hi there. It really depends on what is being replaced and if this service includes a front end alignment. If the lower control arm is the only part that is being replaced, and no suspension alignment is being completed, this quote is a bit on the high side. Try to clarify what is included in this price quote and let us know the breakdown so we can offer some better assistance. Thanks.

Bolt on 06 Elantra control arm no longer attached
ANSWER : The repair will depend on whether the arm detached and as a consequence got damaged. Also, detachment of the arm if the vehicle is moving can potentially damage other parts such as the mounting boss(es) on the frame that the arm is bolted to. The best case would be if the arm got loose at low speed, nothing got twisted or broken and it can all just be bolted back together and the wheel alignment checked. Worst case is the control arm could have sustained damage, and will have to be replaced and, as noted, all accompanying and adjacent parts will have to be inspected to be everything is safe and secure. Your best bet is to just request an inspection of the control arm. A certified mechanic will come right to your location and take all necessary steps to get this resolved. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.