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Mazda MPV Control Arm

Mazda MPV Control Arm Problem Symptoms and How to Diagnose Them

Problems with your Mazda MPV control arm usually exhibit symptoms like abnormal pops, clunks or squeaks; unusual tire wear patterns; steering wheel pull; and front end shimmy (a side-to-side vibration of the front wheels). In this article are some of the possible areas where symptoms of your control arm's ineffectiveness can arise and the possible cures to discontinue such occurrence.

Shock absorbers

Check the reliability of your shock absorbers by pushing down a corner of the car and counting how many bounces result when it is released. Worn shock absorbers should immediately be replaced as they can affect the performance of your Mazda MPV control arm.

Worn ball joints

To tell if a ball joint is worn, check the wear indicator and measuring the amount of play in the joint. Replacing worn ball joints is imperative to keep the vehicle running in good condition.

Suspension bushings

Your Mazda MPV's suspension system uses rubber bushings at the inner ends of its control arms (keeping the steering knuckle, bearing support, and axle housing in position while the wheel moves up and down). Bushings cushion control arms as they operate; when bushings are worn, steering problems and abnormal tire wear can occur. One test for worn bushings is to try to push the control arm in such a way that goes against its normal motion; if the control arm moves with respect to its shaft, the bushings are worn and should be replaced.

MacPherson struts

Failures of your Mazda MPV's MacPherson struts are related to its integral shock absorbers. Like ordinary shock absorbers, they can leak, thereby reducing the dampening action for which they were designed.

Tire problems

Carefully feel around the tire with your hand to see if there are deformities or bulges that indicate the thread separating from the steel belts. Such deformities can cause a problem to the vehicle's performance. Also take note if the front of your tire, when driving straight, points slightly to the centerline of the vehicle as the tire's thread wears more quickly if the tire is angled inwardly too much. Have someone follow you at a moderate speed to observe the front-to-back wheel alignment and if the front wheels are not tracking in the same groove as the wheels in the back, then you may have a bent frame.

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  • Tips to Keep Your Mazda MPV Control Arm in Tip-top Condition 04 March 2014

    Control arms allow for much more surefooted handling and a much less chance of a sudden loss of grip when hitting bumps or breaks in the road. They attach suspension members to the chassis and manage the motion of the wheels so that it synchronizes with that of the car's body. Without these parts, you won't have a smooth ride at all. Control arms should be regularly inspected and punch tested to check metal integrity, and should be lubricated at every oil inspection. Here are the things that you must do in order for your Mazda MPV's control arms to get a longer shelf-life so that they can serve you more effectively and in a longer span of time.

    • Keep the functionality of the control arms' ball joints and bushings in check through proper and timely replacement.
    • Control arms are rugged pieces and rarely need to be replaced in regular conditions but to ensure that they will work at their maximum capacity, the ball joints (which connect the control arm to the steering knuckle) and bushings (the point of contact between the control arms and the chassis) at each of their ends-which are much more prone to damage-need to be replaced more frequently. The front suspension ball joints in particular are prone to wearing out quite quickly thanks to a soft material in the ball joint itself. Worn ball joints and bushings will give you poor steering feedback and clunking noises, drastically reducing the effectiveness of the car's suspension system. You should replace these parts often for your Mazda's optimum working performance.
    • Inspect the control arm bushings for signs of wear such as cracking, flaking, or advanced deterioration.
    • To maintain the quality of bushings and prevent them from squeaking, regularly spray silicone lubricant into the gap around the front lower control arm bushing, as well as the rear lower control arm bushing and the front and rear upper control arm bushings. You'll be avoiding problems with your car and its suspension system in the future with this practice.