Control Arm as Part of a Suspension System

By: Kim Baker

Whenever a motorist rides his car, he wants a smooth ride, and who doesn't? That is why one's suspension system should be efficiently working to give a smooth and comfortable ride. Aside from the shock absorbers and springs there are other important components to a car's suspension system. Volvo knows that, that is why they also produce the Volvo control arm to maintain high quality suspension.

The Volvo control arm or A-arm is a bar with a pivot at each end. It is used to attach suspension members to the chassis. When coil springs are used in both front and rear suspension, three or four control arms are placed between the rear axle housing and the frame to carry driving and brake torque. The lower control arms pivot on the frame members and sometimes support the rear coil springs to provide for up-and-down movement of the axle and wheel assembly.

The two bottom points of the Volvo control arm 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 there are coil springs in both the front and rear suspensions.

There are actually two types of control arm, depending on how many A-arms are installed in the suspension system. If there are two such devices per wheel, it makes up a double wishbone suspension. It is an independent suspension design using two parallel wishbone-shaped arms to locate the wheel. It is commonly used in sports cars, luxury cars and light trucks. While one control arm per wheel makes up a part of MacPherson strut suspension. It is a type of car suspension system widely used in modern vehicles. It can be used for both front and rear suspensions, but is usually found at the front. It provides a steering pivot as well as a suspension mounting for the wheel.

Like other body parts, should also be lubricated at every oil inspection. Handling and steering could become erratic if the control arms are malfunctioning and the unsteady movements of the vehicle could take away riding comfort. Safety of the passengers are also affected by defective control arms. If one notice some irregularities with the suspension system, it is recommended to have it checked immediately.

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