When the control arm wears out, for instance, then it usually has something to do with it having bad bushings or joints. Second, are you positive about the fitment of the part? If you have a bad upper control arm, the symptoms will present themselves very clearly. Irregular tire wear and steering wander is often a sign of mis-alignment of the wheel which can be caused by problems with either the control arm bushings or ball joint, among other factors. The wheels are not the only thing that wobbles when you have a bad lower control arm. If you can bounce the vehicle enough to cause suspension movement then you can get some movement in the control arms, as you say though, it’s going to be hard to zero in on the problem that way. How would we know if your ball joint is supposed to have vertical movement? There are an upper control arm and lower control arm connected to the wheels which provide them with both synchronization and stabilization as they’re rotating on the road. Lastly, any looseness in the ball joint or bushings can cause vibration, but again, with a new arm this one is unlikely unless you won the lemon lottery with your control arm. Best low-key option would be getting someone to do the bouncing while you watch/listen to the area, assuming there is plenty of clearance (safety first). Read also: Symptoms of a Bad Lower Control Arm Bushing and Replacement Cost. The more you step on the gas pedal to accelerate, the more intense these vibrations will feel. Aftermarket arms will sometimes use better than OE components which will improve handling, wheel alignment stability, and longevity. Short of lifting the upper control arm off the axle bushing and retesting for the squeak, I really don’t know how else to diagnose where the noise can be coming from. Failure of rear suspension bushings may be harder to detect as they don’t involve the steering system and may be less affected by cornering. If a ball joint fails, it can have dire consequences. Looking for Replacement Parts? You must replace the control arm to fix this problem. Loose ball joints are generally caused by torn or missing dust boots allowing contaminates inside the joint or inferior materials like a plastic bearing surface being worn down prematurely. Compared to rubber they are a harder material which will increase “road feel” or harshness, but they also provide superior handling, improved traction through quick hard turns, and consistent wheel alignment over the life of the vehicle; more geared toward “spirited” driving, off-roading, or weekend track junkies. It won’t be impossible, but it will require more effort on your part to stabilize the steering wheel. Other potential causes of this symptom can be a bad alignment, bent wheels or unevenly worn tires. As the upper control arm gets worse, it will require even more strength to keep the vehicle straight. Do not ignore these sounds because they mean something is wrong with your control arm. Most front suspension systems work something like this: If the ball joint that connects the knuckle to one of the control arm fails completely then the knuckle can separate from the control arm and this can happen while driving. But if you have a bad upper control arm, then the vibrations will become more apparent. You can’t let these symptoms continue for too much longer or else you’ll risk getting into an accident. One of the first symptoms commonly associated with bad control arms is steering wheel vibrations. A worn control arm bushing generally presents as a ‘clunk’ as the arm moves in the bracket. There are exceptions of course and you may or may not need to reuse the metal bushing sleeve. Position the floor jack under the lower control arm and raise the control arm and suspension. In some instances, faulty control arm bushings may make a banging or clunking noise under hard acceleration or braking as well. A “bad control arm” really means there’s a bad ball joint or worn control arm bushings. Don’t tolerate these vibrations for longer than necessary. The most common symptoms of a bad control arm bushing are stability problems, uneven tire wear and vibrations. The suspension system provides stability and smoothness to the wheels and tires of your vehicle as you’re driving. No such luck. Actually, There are similar symptoms between both upper and lower control arms when these parts going bad. * Other components that can fail and display these symptoms are the wheel bearing, tie rod ends, steering linkage, or rack and pinion bushings. 5 Symptoms of a Bad Car Thermostat Valve and Replacement Cost, The Average Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost: Front and Rear, How to Get a Good Deal on a Used Car in 10 steps, Top 5 Best Crankshaft Pulley/Harmonic Balancer for Your Car, Top 5 Best Jumper Cables for Diesel Trucks and SUVs, Top 5 Best Brake Rotors for Trucks and Towing, P0010: “A” Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit (Bank 1), 5 Symptoms of a Bad Car Crankshaft Pulley and Replacement Cost, 4 Symptoms of a Bad Input Shaft Bearing and Replacement Cost, 5 Symptoms of a Bad Oil Pressure Sensor/Switch in Your Car, Oil Control Valve Function, Bad Symptoms and Replacement Cost. The cost of the parts will only be around $90 to $120, while the labor costs will be … As the upper control arm starts to wear down, it will likely become loose. Does any wheel feel extra wobbly? If you notice your dust boots are looking a little worse for wear, then replacing them with another rubber boot, or more durable polyurethane boot could increase the lifespan of the ball joint by itself with a very cheap part. 1. How about … Moog’s bushings are going to give you a comfort level and ride similar to the originals, so you may want to consider what balance between comfort and performance you want to achieve before you change out the bushings.