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Nissan Frontier Control Arm

Troubleshooting Nissan Frontier Control Arm Common Problems

Suspension problems are quite common to several Nissan Frontiers. Frontier owners complain of unnecessary noise coming from the front end of the vehicle or even the feeling that the vehicle is falling apart. Some attributes these problems to a bad control arm or a worn-out bushing. While they could be right or wrong on their diagnosis, here are some troubleshooting tips that might help you to know what exactly is causing your pick-up to act up:

Solid clunking sound

Whenever you are driving on low speed over small potholes, you notice this groaning or solid clunking sound coming from somewhere in your front bumper. You checked your control arms, and they all look fine. Well, the control arms could be fine, but the bushings are otherwise. You can check the two bolts at the top of the front control arms of your vehicle. If they are loose, use a wrench to tighten them. If they are worn-out or missing, then you should replace them immediately to avoid further damage on your vehicle's suspension.

Shaky wheels

If your Frontier's wheel shakes when you grab it and move it from side to side, then it means that your front control arm's ball joint has failed. You can also verify this by checking if there is a clunking sound when you move your wheels with your hands. However, it doesn't follow that if your front arm fails, the rear arm is also defective. To test if the rear arm is failing, remove the wheel and shake the front arm. If there is movement where the ball joints meet as you do this, then your rear arm's joint has also failed. Remember that when the ball joint of any of the control arms has failed, then the entire control arm should be replaced.

Poor handling

When there is a problem in one of the control arms of your vehicle, you might notice that your pick-up seems to be "wandering" whenever you drive on high-speed. It could either be due to a failed ball joint or a loose bushing. Inspect all the ball joints of the control arms of your vehicle to confirm what is causing the problem.

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  • Five Easy Tips to Maintain your Nissan Frontier Control Arm 27 February 2013

    The Nissan Frontier's control arms are the usual suspects for several suspension problems. Many pick-up owners have complained of groaning sound on the front end of their vehicles, as well as the poor handling of their trucks due to a failed ball joint in the control arm. Replacing the ball joint would require replacing the entire arm, which could be expensive. To avoid having a bad control arm, you can follow these tips on how to maintain it:


    Replace worn-out bushings.

    If you hear the annoying clunking and groaning sound from your vehicle's front end, then you should check your control arm for any loose or worn-out bushings. Tighten loose bolts and inspect for signs of premature wear, such as rust and cracks. Although applying grease to the bushings could be a quick fix, sooner or later, you will still have to replace them.


    Apply rust-proofing.

    Rust is one of the common culprits behind a worn-out control arm. So before your control arms corrode, you can apply a good rust-proofing spray on them. You can also have them sandblasted, whichever you prefer. This way, you are minimizing the risks of your control arms getting rusty and breaking apart.


    Lubricate it regularly.

    A well-oiled control arm performs smoother and better compared to one that has dried grease. Keep all your control arms oiled every time to ensure that they are always in their best shape. Put lubricant on the bushings as well to keep them from wearing out. This way, you can also get rid of that solid clunking sound coming from any of your control arms.


    Replace a worn-out control arm.

    If you have to replace a failed ball joint, then you have to replace the entire control arm. A worn-out control arm would only cause poor handling of your vehicle. Replacement control arm parts are available in any auto parts store.


    Check it for damage.

    Make it a habit to perform a visual inspection of your control arms. This is to ensure that you will not experience shaky wheels or hear unnecessary solid clunking noise whenever you drive on rough terrain. Replace damaged control arms if necessary.