Quality Control Arms for a Better Suspension System

By: Anthony Fontanelle

Excellent handling and braking abilities are major necessities in every vehicle. Aside from safety, these two contribute to the improvement of the overall riding quality. This feat can only be maintained by keeping the vehicle's suspension system at its most pristine condition. The suspension system consists of springs, shock absorbers, control arms, and linkages that work together to provide improved steering, braking, and handling abilities. When one of these components does not function properly, the entire suspension system of a vehicle may be at risk.

The control arm, in particular, has the task of attaching the suspension components to the chassis. It is called a "control arm" because it "controls" the angle and movement of the vehicle's struts. It acts as a helping hand to the strut in adjusting even to the smallest angle changes of the wheels. The basically looks like a bar two points connected to the frame, while the other point is connected to the spindle.

In a typical vehicle, there are basically three or four control arms that are positioned in between the rear axle housing and the frame to take charge of the driving and brake torque. Without these control arms, the vehicle will exhibit too much movement even on the slightest bumps on the road. There are different types of control arms used in vehicles nowadays, with the A-shape control arm being the most popular one. This type is commonly utilized in strut suspensions.

No matter what kind of control arms a vehicle has, they can still be subjected to wear and damage if not given the proper maintenance. Among the symptoms of a damaged or defective control arms are uneven steering, excessive tire wear, and squeaking noises when making turns or braking. Damaged control arms can drastically reduce the overall ride quality. It is then necessary to inspect if rusting or dry rotting is present in the bushings of the mounting points of the control arms. If any of these is present, it is best to have the control arms replaced immediately.

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