Control arms, also know as A-arms, are an important component of the suspension system. Their main functions are to attach suspension members to the chassis and to manage the motion of the wheels so that it synchronizes with that of the body of the vehicle. A control arm is a bar that has a pivot at both ends, which are arranged to form the letter A. The two bottom points of the control arms that form the letter A are attached to the frame of the vehicle while the top point is attached to the spindle. Three or four control arms are placed between the rear axle housing and the frame if you have coil springs in both the front and rear suspensions.
Control Arms work together with bushings, which are cylindrical linings that reduce friction and restrain the auto parts from moving in every direction, specially when you hit a bump, or drive through a rough road, the control arm compresses the weight and comes down on it, allowing the tire to remain in place and in contact with the road. As a result of this, you are able to experience smooth rides without feeling sick and dizzy, as there is control and smoothness in the movement & steering of your car.
Like most auto parts on your vehicle, the control arms should also be inspected and lubricated at every oil inspection or car service. In case your car´s control arms get damaged, handling and steering could become erratic causing unsteady movements while driving your car. Most common symptoms indicating a problem with your car´s control arm assembly include: steering wheel vibration (which can increase while accelerating and smoothen out at constant speeds), steering wandering (making it difficult to drive straight along the road) and clunking noises (which often gets louder as the control arm wears out completely and eventually breaks)
When control arms get damaged or worn out they might compromise you car´s handling, comfort and safety. It is therefore extremely important to get your control arms inspected whenever you become aware of any of such symptoms. A professional technician will be able to replace your car´s control arm assembly if required.
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