What the heck is a Control Arm? You have your car in for a concern that it is pulling to the side when braking. You are informed that you need a new “Control Arm”! But what is that anyway? Control arms are an integral portion of independent suspension. These arms are generally made of iron or aluminum and a wishbone or triangle shape. Depending on the type of suspension system your car may have one or more control arms at each wheel. The metal arm has a combination of bushings and/or ball joints connecting to the adjacent suspension components.
What goes wrong with a Control Arm?
Outside of accident damage and rot the metal portion of the arm can last an extremely long amount of time. The failure on modern control arms is the joints and bushings that are attaching the arms to the suspension. In some cases we can save some expense by replacing just the end components. Your service advisor can direct you based on your particular situation and vehicle. The pulling described in this example was from a badly damaged bushing that allowed the arm to move mimicking steering input and turning one wheel of the car.
How does the Mechanic fix the Control Arm?
Control arms can be rebuilt or replaced. The mechanic will disassemble the suspension and remove the arm from the vehicle. Next he will inspect the condition of each component. In conjunction with your service advisor the most cost effective option will be determined. Then the arm will be rebuilt or replaced and reinstalled. After reassembly of the suspension system the mechanic will torque all of the suspension bolts and road test the vehicle. Following the extensive disassembly the vehicle will be brought in for a wheel alignment before final completion.
There are millions of parts on your vehicle and this one literally points you in the right direction. If your looking to find out what is a power steering rack? What does the steering rack do? What are the symptoms of a bad steering rack? and why do you need to repair your power steering rack? Read on to find out!
The steering rack is an aluminum housing enclosing a rack and a steering pinion. The steering pinion is connected to the steering wheel through the set of jointed shafts. As the steering wheel is turned, the pinion moves and pushes the steering rack either to the left or right. The ends of the steering rack are connected to the front wheels through the tie rods. This linkage transmits the movement to the wheels to move them left and right as well.
All modern racks have a form of power assist. Power Assisted steering has been around for many years. For most drivers today, power steering is a given standard. Power steering is designed to make our driving experience not only more comfortable but safer too.
Most power steering racks are assisted by a hydraulic fluid that is supplied by an engine driven pump. The high pressure fluid enables an easier turning of the steering rack. This also means that there is a system of hoses, seals, and o-rings to contain the hydraulic fluid. The best method of maintenance for your steering rack is to regularly flush the fluid, fluid service is performed every 3 Years or 30,000 miles.
How do you know if you need a new steering rack? One of the symptoms of a worn steering rack is fluid leakage on the ground, another symptom of a bad steering rack is difficulty turning the steering wheel. The last most common failure area in the steering rack is excess movement due to component wear. In any of these cases the repair will become replacement of the steering rack assembly. Your service consultant will also recommend flushing and replacing the power steering fluid when installing a new power steering rack as well as adjusting the wheel alignment.