how long can you drive with bad control arm bushings

How Long Can You Drive With Bad Control Arm Bushings?

Last updated on January 13th, 2023 at 07:26 pm

Is the vehicle control arm working properly? If it’s not then you need to read this article on how long can you drive on a bad lower control arm.

You need to do so because we go deep in answering common questions relating to driving with a broken control arm, lower control arm symptoms when to replace the lower control arm, and what happens if the rear control arm breaks while driving.

We also discussed how long can you drive with bad control arm bushings and if it’s right for you to drive with a broken rear control arm

How Long Can You Drive with Bad Control Arm Bushings + Lower Control Arm Symptoms

The control arm which is also known as the A-arm is a critical component of the suspension system of a motor vehicle. The control arm controls the wheel’s motion making it possible for you to enjoy a smooth ride. How long can you drive with bad control arm bushings? Or will continues driving be dangerous?

Indeed, the control arms and bushings can abrade over time and you need to replace them for better performance of engine function. Today you will find out the functions of this component, the aftereffects of its breakdown, and the cost of replacement.

How long can you drive on bad lower control arm

What you should know is that the control arms help to connect a vehicle’s suspension to the frame of the car. It connects the steering knuckle, which holds the front wheel, to either the frame or body of the vehicle.

A bad lower control arm can last for just a few days, but it’s important that it’s kept in good working order.

This is because they are susceptible to wear and tear, as it’s constantly in use as you drive your vehicle.

However, the control arm should be repaired or replaced when bad or as soon as there’s any sign of damage.

how long can you drive with bad control arm bushings

So when looking at how long you can drive with bad control arm bushings well it all depends on how bad it has gone.  On average you should be able to drive your car up to 96km to around 128km.

Please I do not recommend that you drive your vehicle it has an arms control bushing problem. You need to sort for an auto shop to fix your problem when you notice issues like this.

Can you drive with a broken control arm?

Well, to some people, it can be a Yes and to some a No! But replacing the control arms when necessary can extend the life of your tares and will help your vehicle’s performance the way it was designed to.

Also, this in turn will enhance performance and handling which could even lead to a reduction in fuel use.

What you need to know is that the control arms are subject to wear and tear as are any other components of your vehicle and regular maintenance is necessary, so make sure that they are replaced before wear causes damage or worse. also read this post: Is Driving with a Bad Control Arm Dangerous

Can you drive with a broken rear control arm?

Driving with a broken rear control arm can be very risky. Expert recommends that the control arms, as with other important components, should be checked at least once a year and make a replacement when any wear or damage is identified.

What happens if control arm breaks while driving?

There are things that can happen when the control arm breaks while driving, below are some of them:

  • A clunking noise

You should note that clunking noises are a regular symptom of control arms on a vehicle having issues.

It happens when the bushings or ball joints are loosened or played excessively and thereby making it knock during a takeoff or when the vehicle is traveling via a rough terrain.

  • It will have unstable Steering

You have unstable steering because it directly affects steering performance. This will make the steering’s alignment get shifted, causing it to pull either right or the left side.

And the problem will become more noticeable at the time of braking or driving on rough terrain.

  • It will affect Driving Performance

Note that the control arm bushings absorb the shock of road bumps. But once it’s broken or incapable of functioning, the vehicle will continuously vibrate when driving.

This will also cause the metal sleeves of the control arm to rattle uncontrollably.

  • Change while braking

It is know that a sudden change in the braking effect can be associated with gross or partial damage of the control arm bushing.

However, this is because the forward and backward oscillation of the control arm is lost as a result of bushing wear.

So you should note that the prevalence of this situation makes the brake unstable.

What happens if rear control arm breaks while driving?

Here are what will happen:

  • Steering Wander

The car will be pulling to the left or right without input from the steering wheel.

  • Un-Even Tire Wear

You will have wear on the inside or outside edge of the tire or other unusual wear patterns

  • Noise

This noise specifically comes from the control arm and usually during a bump, braking, or a hard turn.

  • Vibration of car

You will notice excessive vibration mostly in the steering wheel as the insecure wheels rapidly wobble.

When to replace lower control arm

Just as we said before, the control arm assembly keeps the wheels in line with the car’s body to control the motion of the wheels.

The control arm is an important piece of your vehicle’s suspension system as they help to absorb the bumps and imperfections of the road.

But over time, the control arm assembly can become worn or bent. Sometimes these assemblies usually wear out between 90,000 and 100,000 miles.

And also, they can wear out faster if you regularly go over a large pothole or are involved in a car accident.

This will make various parts of the assembly to wear out as well, such as the bushings or ball joints.

4 Lower control arm symptoms

Here are some symptoms of a bad lower control arm:

  • A Steering Wheel Wobbling

Indeed, the wheels are not the only thing that wobbles whenever you have a bad lower control arm.

You should know that the steering wheel will wobble too. It simply means that it will erratically move around from side to side as you drive faster, especially over 50 miles/hour.

  • It will have a Banging Sounds

Whenever the lower control arm bushings become too loose or worn, then you will begin to hear a clunking sound coming from underneath your car.

This is caused by the bushing getting knocked between the frame and the control arm.

Most times the sound will increase in intensity if you are driving over rocky or rough terrain, though even small bumps or normal hard braking can cause this banging noise. 

  • The Steering Wheel Pulling

Another symptom of a bad lower control arm is that it may cause your steering wheel to pull too much to the right or left side as you’re driving.

Note that this could be bad because it will be very difficult to keep your vehicle straight on the road.

Although it won’t be impossible, it will require more strength on your part to stabilize the steering wheel. So replace your lower control arm instead.

  • Tire Wear

Ensure you check the tire tread on your vehicle regularly to check for uneven tread wear.

Sometimes, it could indicate an issue with the alignment, and the alignment can be affected by worn bushings.

And sometimes the vehicle can also show normal or within range specifications when it is professionally aligned and still have uneven tire wear. 

Summery on Driving with broken control arm

Whenever a control arm bushing goes bad, you will notice a decrease in the comfort level as you drive.

This is because control arm bushings have the ability to soften the vibrations of the vehicle as you drive on roads, most of which are uneven.

So as you drive, you may get a lot of things on the road, from small rocks to other things lying on the road and this could be dangerous.

Conclusion on How Long Can You Drive with Bad Control Arm Bushings

This post discussed how long can you drive on a bad lower control arm, what is involved in driving with the broken control arm,  lower control arm symptoms, and even when to replace the lower control arm.

You also saw what happens if the control arm breaks while driving and what happens if the rear control arm breaks while driving.

I just hope this post could clear your concerns if you can drive with a broken rear control arm or even if you can drive with a broken control arm.

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