If following the source of the symptoms, including poor handling and odd clunking noises, leads you to the conclusion that your Toyota control arm needs to be replaced, it is a repair that should not be put off. That's because your suspension system is made up of a variety of parts, including your Toyota control arm, that work together to provide a comfortable and well-controlled ride, and it is that control that is so important to safety. When one suspension system part is worn or damaged and not able to perform as it should, it stresses the other suspension parts and can cause further damage to the suspension system, making it necessary to spend more of your time and money on bringing your suspension system back up to par. It is far more efficient to take care of the Toyota control arm as soon as possible after you become aware of the need for replacement. We can help make that task easier and more affordable, as our online catalog features an excellent Toyota control arm selection, covering a broad range of vehicle years and models, at prices that are sure to rival those that your local dealerships and automotive parts retailers will ask. Our Toyota control arm replacement is sure to match the quality and longevity of the original -- barring, naturally, a driving misfortune that results in direct physical damage to the part -- as it is manufactured to the same stringent industry standards as the one that was factory installed on your Toyota. Ordering is always convenient and safe when you order from us, and we offer two easy ways to get your new Toyota control arm quickly on its way to you. You can place your order online with complete peace of mind, as our site is well secured by up-to-date encryption or you can dial our toll-free telephone number to place your Toyota control arm order with one of our knowledgeable customer service team members.
How to Troubleshoot a Toyota Control Arm
The control arm of your Toyota is an essential front suspension component. Shaped like a letter "L" or "A", it's the part that connects the steering knuckle to your vehicle's chassis. In turn, the knuckle holds the front wheel in place. The control arm also helps with the suspension's up-and-down movement by being attached to control arm bushings, which are flexible rubber bushings responsible for the bobbing suspension motion.
This component is also responsible for letting the front wheels turn, this time by having its outer end attached to the steering knuckle via ball joint. There are some cars with a control arm that's merely a single link, with a rubber bushing on one end and a ball joint on the other end. All the same, no car can safely be driven once this part gets bent, damaged, or worn out.
Common symptoms of a compromised control arm
If you're hearing clunking or popping noises when your Toyota vehicle goes over bumps, there's a possibility that your control arm bushings and/or ball joint and spindle have been worn out or torn. You can also hear these sounds when you're decelerating or accelerating. This is also the case when your car feels unstable while braking or traveling over bumps. A warped, bent, or broken control arm could also lead to further complications, such as you losing a wheel while driving.
Worn-out or torn arm bushings
Unlike the ball joint that's often fused with the control arm itself, the bushing can be replaced separately. But this won't be cheap since on top of buying a new replacement bushing, you'll also have to pay for labor costs to have it installed competently. However, there are many other Toyota cars out there wherein when the bushing goes, so too will the control arm.
Separated ball joint
Because the control arm is responsible for holding both front wheels together with your Toyota's chassis, you're in deep trouble once the ball joint becomes separated from this arm (especially if you're driving at high speeds when this were to happen). Once the ball joint is separated, you'll need to replace the whole control arm assembly more often than not because for most cars, this joint is built right into the arm, so they could form one part rather than two separate, replaceable components. Even if the ball joint exhibits just the slightest of wear and tear, the safe and commonsensical thing to do is replace the entire assembly.
Control arm inspection and replacement
To know what exactly is wrong with your control arm, you'll need to inspect it from under the hood; you might have to hoist your Toyota up on a lift at an auto repair shop. You also have the choice of going under the vehicle lifted up by a jack and jack stands so that you can flash a light at the control arm and visually check its condition out by yourself.
There are also vehicle models wherein the control arm, ball joint, and bushings can be seen in the wheel under the hood or by looking under the wheel from beneath your car's fender. Specifically look for cracks on the rubber insulator, warping on the control arm, and damage on the ball joint and spindle. If one arm fails, it's likely you'll need to replace the other one soon.