What Is Control Arm Replacement Cost?
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The control arm is a steering system component that also adds to completing the chassis of a vehicle. It plays a vital role in keeping the steering of a vehicle turn smooth and keeping the car at an even height.
If the control arm goes bad, your driving dynamics will be badly affected, and one of the most effective ways to fix a bad control arm is to replace it completely. But what is a control arm replacement cost?
Well, it’s not really so expensive; the control arm replacement parts cost from $400 to $500, depending on your vehicle make and model, while the labor cost is around $150 to $250, depending on the workshop you visit.
Control arm replacement is best done by a professional to avoid damaging other steering and suspension system components due to poor workmanship.
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about a car control arm and the cost of replacing it!
Table of Contents
What Does the Control Arm Do?
Practically, the main function of control arms is straightforward - to connect the steering knuckle to the car’s body frame and sync the chassis and wheel movements so the vehicle remains stabilized while in motion, regardless of the speed. In other words, the control arm is the bridge between a vehicle’s suspension and steering systems.
Control arms feature a swiveling ball joint and a hinge joint; the swiveling joint is the steering system’s pivot point that allows you to turn the car in any direction while in motion, while the hinge joint is located at the control arms’ frame side to ensure that the vehicle’s wheels maintain contact with the surface you’re driving on.
So, obviously, the control arm is very much important that it remains in good condition as it makes the car drive safely and smoothly on roads. Yes, the control arm is considered part of the suspension system, but some people view it as part of the steering components. Quite surprisingly, control arms appear very simple in design, but they play a vital role that cannot be neglected.
What Is Control Arm Replacement Cost?
The cost varies by many factors, which include your location, type of car, where you’re getting the parts, and where you’re getting it done. These factors could set you back an average cost of $500 for a control arm replacement.
No doubt, the price could still be lower or higher depending on where you are. Here’s a quick chart highlighting control arm replacement costs from some popular service centers.
|Service Provider||Labor Cost||Cost per Control Arm||Warranty|
Apparently, if you’re getting the control arm of your luxury car changed, you should be expecting to pay in excess of about $200 or even more. Luxury car parts are very expensive - some of them are so rare that you have to order from the OEM directly.
Another important factor that could increase or decrease the amount you’d pay for control arm replacement is the age of your car. As you may guess, the older the car, the costlier the replacement cost will be. Here’s another chart that shows control arm replacement cost by car makes.
|Cars||Parts Cost||Labor Cost|
|2015 GMC Sierra 3500 HD|
|2008 Dodge Charger|
|2013 Kia Sportage|
|2012 Lincoln MKS|
|2013 Mercedes-Benz R350|
|2015 Porsche Panamera|
How Do You Know a Control Arm Is Bad?
It is important that you know how to spot a bad control arm, so you can tell when yours is bad and needs replacement.
Different signs depict a broken or damaged control arm; if ignored, these signs can lead to more critical issues that would cost you more money. But first, what are these signs?
- Wheels go out of alignment always.
- The car shakes or shudders when you move across small bumps.
- The steering wheel is too loose or stiff and makes a weird noise when you turn it either way.
- Vehicle pulls to one side when braking or on a straight path.
- Uneven tire wear.
When you start experiencing these signs while driving, you should have the control arm checked for possible breakdown, wear, or looseness. You may also go for a diagnostic test or use an OBDII scanner to confirm that you’ve got a bad control arm.
How Important Is the Control Arm?
Really, the control arm is very important and should be fixed immediately if it goes bad. This is because it aids steering movement and makes the wheels move smoothly, regardless of your driving path. A bad control arm will cause the wheels not to work correctly, and your car will drive roughly.
More so, a bad control arm can lead to road accidents because you may find it difficult to keep the wheels in a straight lane. Unless you’re a professional mechanic, it is not advisable to try replacing your car’s bad control arm by yourself. This is to avoid damaging other components that make up the suspension and steering systems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I drive with a damaged control arm?
It all depends on how damaged the control arm is - it’d be practically impossible to continue driving when the control arm is completely out of position or broken. But, if the control arm just got worn out, you may be able to keep driving for a seemingly long distance.
Is it worth replacing control arms?
Yes, it is, and you should do that quite quickly. A good control arm makes driving much easier - this cannot be overstated. Also, replacing the bad control arm will stabilize the vehicle’s height and cause the tires not to wear out faster.
How long do car control arms last?
Control arms are actually built to last forever - as long as the car is still active. But then, your driving style and frequency can affect the longevity of your vehicle’s control arm. That said, it is estimated that control arms may last between 50,000 and 80,000 miles, or even more, if you regularly replace the rubber bearings and keep up with servicing.