Metal control arms of a Dodge vehicle connect the vehicle’s chassis to the steering wheel. This part is essential for the car’s steering and suspension system. Every car has control arm bushings at the joints where the upper and lower control arms meet the car’s frame, just as every skeletal system includes cartilage to soften and align bones at a joint.
These bushings are made of a rubber or polyurethane cylinder that is adhered to a larger and smaller metal cylinder on the outside and interior, respectively.
Common Causes of Lower Control Arm Bushing Noise
Although there are numerous causes of strange noises in a car, a lower control arm bushing issue has its own specific noises. These sounds, coming from the vicinity of the control arm, mostly sound like knocking noises. Some of the most frequent reasons for lower control arm bushing noise are listed below:
- Worn Out Bushing: Bushings are not indestructible. The more miles you put on your car, the more worn out your lower control arm bushing becomes. Initially, you may just hear a slight clunking sound, but as the bushing wears down more, you will hear it more frequently and louder.
- Loose Bushing: If the lower control arm bushing is loose, it will be jostled around by the surrounding metal parts. The bushing may not actually be worn in this case. Maybe the bump you drove over caused it to become loose, or a mechanic may have lowered it unintentionally while working on another component of your car. No matter the cause, loose bushings always produce the same knocking noises.
- Wear and Tear: Too much wear and tear might cause a lower control arm bushing to break. Another possibility is that a technician working on something else accidentally damaged it. In contrast to worn bushings, which become louder over time, a fractured control arm will make loud, deafening clunking noises.
- Driving over Uneven Ground: The thumping or clunking sounds you hear will be increased if you drive over uneven terrains, such as pebbles or rocky roads. Driving over this type of terrain would not cause a bushing to become loose or to jiggle about. However, if the bushing is not fixed in place, the vehicle’s unpredictable motion as it travels over this topography could cause the bushings to become loose.
Symptoms of a Bad Control Arm
The control arm will eventually become worn out, just like most other elements of your car. Here are some of the most typical symptoms.
- Increased vibrations: If this is frequently sensed in the steering wheel, it is most likely the first sign that a control arm in your car is beginning to fail. Normal acceleration causes the vibrations to increase.
- Clunking/Banging Noises: When the control arm bushings are excessively worn or loosened, you may start to hear a clunking noise coming from underneath your car. This is because the bushing is banged in between the frame and the control arm. Driving on rocky or uneven terrain will make this sound louder, but even tiny bumps or routine harsh braking might make this noise.
- Wandering Steering: Worn bushings can cause misalignment, which might result in a steering wheel that pulls to the left or right while you’re driving. Bad bushings allow for excessive and abnormal motion in the system, which causes the wheels to be out of alignment because they tightly secure the vehicle body and control arm.
Replacing Control Arm Bushings
It is best to replace all of the control arms at once, as when one is worn, it’s likely that the others will soon follow. Professional Automotive repair shop is located in Marlborough, MA, and we are the best place in your area to go for these types of repairs! Since 1994, we have provided high-quality auto repair for drivers throughout the Marlborough area as well as Hudson, North, West and Southborough, Bolton, and Stow.
Our dedication to customer satisfaction has made us the area’s go-to auto repair shop. No matter what your car needs, our team has the tools and experience. Our technicians are ASE certified and committed to providing your car with the highest quality service possible.
Please call or visit our shop today to schedule an appointment for your car or to learn more about our services. Let our friendly staff and expert mechanics show you the “Professional” way to take care of your car!
* Dodge Challenger RT Car image credit goes to: Terribil-T.