Just like how you treat your engine, transmission, exhaust system, and other mechanical parts as vital components of your Land Rover, you also need to care for the suspension system the same way. More importantly, you need to monitor and maintain the control arm assembly, which is a crucial part of your suspension system. Driving around with a bad control arm assembly is not just troublesome, but highly dangerous as well.
As a result, it is imperative that you understand how a control arm assembly works and learn how you can replace it as soon as you detect a problem.
What is the Control Arm Assembly and What Does it Do?
The control arm assembly primarily consists of the control arms, control arm bushings, and the control arm ball joints. Control arms, also known as A-arms because of their shape, are bars that link the steering knuckle to the chassis of your vehicle. The control arm brushing are used at the chassis end and the control arm ball joints at the steering knuckle end.
Together, these parts form an integral part of your suspension system which allows you to control your car, steer it, and drive smoothly. So, whether it’s the control arm or the air suspension, you need to address it right away.
Moreover, it reduces the impact of shock and vibrations felt on an uneven road. Depending on the model and type, a car can have several control arms at different positions.
What are the Symptoms of a Faulty Control Arm Assembly?
The symptoms of a bad control arm assembly start small and are not that instantly noticeable. However, these symptoms can become very clear and highly dangerous if they are left ignored for enough time. Therefore, you need to keep these symptoms in mind so that you can recognize them right away and start taking corrective measures. Some of these include:
- - Vibration
One of the most obvious signs of a failing control arm assembly is vibrations in your steering wheel. The control arm brushing and ball joints become worn out over time which causes excessive shaking of your car wheels. As a result, when you’re driving at a higher speed, you will feel vibrations in your steering wheel.
These vibrations could also be the result of worn out tires or bent wheels. But if you’ve already checked those and they’re okay, then it’s probably got something to do with the control arm assembly.
- - Wandering Steering
Similar to the vibrations, you will also feel your steering wheel wobble or wander on its own if there’s something wrong within the control arm assembly. The battered brushing and ball joints can affect the car’s steering alignment. Consequently, you’ll find the steering turning right or left without you doing anything.
Moreover, when you’re turning around a sharp corner, you’ll feel this wobbliness even more. Even when driving at high speeds, the car might start leaning towards one side. So, you’ll have to constantly be trying to keep your vehicle straight on the road.
- - Visible Damage
Even though the control arm assembly is constructed using strong materials like cast iron or aluminum, it still cannot withstand direct impact. Therefore, if you have recently been in any car accident, you should inspect the control arm assembly for any visible damage. Moreover, if there is any damage, you need to replace or repair it right away.
For instance, if the ball joint is damaged, it should be replaced immediately, or else the wheel might get detached from the suspension. This can be very dangerous if you’re driving with other cars on the road.
- - Noise
We all hear some sounds coming from our car which we usually ignore. But if you start hearing noises like clunking sounds coming from your car, you need to check your control arm assembly right away. Due to excessive use, the brushing can come loose, which can make the whole control arm assembly unstable.
As a result, you can hear the clunking noise. These sounds are more apparent when you’re driving at a slow speed or turning around corners. Although, if you suspect it to be something else, check out these common Land Rover malfunctions and ways to fix them.
How to Replace the Control Arm Assembly in your Land Rover?
When you detect a problem in your control arm assembly, you might be tempted to replace just the control arm or just the ball joint. But when it comes to control arm assembly problems, it’s best to just replace the whole thing. Consequently, you’ll need the following tools for this job.
- - Car Jack (Use more than one for safety reasons)
- - Wrench
- - Socket
- - Pliers
- - New bolts (If needed)
- - New Control Arm Assembly parts
Getting the right tools is like completing half the job already. So, if you’re missing out any tool, get them from here. Moreover, if you’re worried about where to get the parts from, you can easily buy them here or get the whole kit from here. However, keep a few things in mind when purchasing parts for your Land Rover. Besides that, these are the steps you need to follow:
- - Raise the vehicle to get access to the control arm assembly
- - Remove the wheel and tire
- - Remove the bolt connecting the control arm to the car frame
- - To remove the ball joint on the other end, pull out the nut from the ball joint stud
- - Push the stud through the steering knuckle to separate the control arm
- - Remove the control arm assembly
- - Fasten the new control arm assembly
- - Do a test drive to make sure everything is in order
Despite their small size, all the parts in the control arm assembly play a significant role in keeping your car moving properly. It just goes to show how important each and every component in your Land Rover is. Which is why you need to constantly check and maintain the control arm assembly to prevent any breakdowns or serious accidents.
Furthermore, even if you do face any breakdown, you have no cause to worry. Because, with our easy step-by-step guide, replacing the control arm assembly is not a big deal at all.