Sensing Volkswagen Jetta Control Arm Troubles
The Volkswagen Jetta is a sedan that has been increasing in popularity recently. Each year, it has been improving further in all aspects, like it's size and power. However, these improvements cannot be put into good use if the suspension is not built tough enough to support it. A compatible suspension can greatly accent, supplement, and complement any kind of performance improvement. The control arm is but one of the many parts that makes the magic in the suspension happen. This suspension part allows the wheel to move vertically while still maintaining contact with the road. Unfortunately, with the passing of time and constant usage, the control arm won't be performing up to par always, because it will gradually wear down. If the control arm goes bad, the car will be uncontrollable and accidents will inevitably happen. Here are some tips on how to sense control arm issues with your Volkswagen Jetta.
Any kind of noise: clunking, grinding, rattling, and groaning from underneath the vehicle mean that there's something out of the ordinary that's happening. Identify if it comes from the suspension. If the noise indeed came from the suspension parts, the control arm might be the culprit. The danger here is the control arm might have or will split into two. This worrying can be best heard when driving at low speeds and when cornering.
Steering problems brought about by a broken or nearly broken control arm can be recognized into two scenarios: vibration and erratic wheel movement. Vibrations are ignored and overlooked more often than not. But in vibrations in the steering wheel should never be disregarded because it could be an early sign of a failing suspension component. Vibrations while steering in high speeds over a level road may tell that your control arm needs replacement. Control arms are built to last. However, they can incur damage under heavy pressure.
On the other hand, anything that makes the steering wheel less responsive is dangerous. Control is vital in a vehicle. Any unsolicited and involuntary movement on the steering wheel diminishes control. Therefore, once you feel any shaking on the steering wheel that wasn't there before, inspect the control arm bushings and the control arm for any damage. Replacement of any defective part in the control arm is warranted. In addition, since the control arms manage the position of the wheels, anything wrong with it will cause the wheel to dilly-dally. A loosely attached control arm may be the origin. To determine if the control arm causes this problem, lift the suspected wheel that has the assumed damaged control arm. Shake the wheel up and down. If there is too much movement and little to no resistance, replace the control arm.
Tire wear is natural because of the friction between the road and the tire. But a defective control arm can speed up this process by introducing additional and irregular tire wear on other sections of the tire. This happens because the defective control arm or inoperable control arm bushing negatively affects the alignment of the camber, making the camber misalign. Replace the worn out parts as needed and don't forget to realign the camber properly.
Cool Tips for Maintaining a Volkswagen Jetta Control Arm
Control arms are extremely important in modern suspension systems like the one fitted in the Volkswagen Jetta. More and more drivers are looking for sophistication in the ride and handling quality, in addition to seating capacity and horsepower. The control arm can provide these because it provides individual support per wheel. This makes the car handle better and the ride more comfortable. Hence, making sure that the control arms are in good shape ensures both qualities. A failure in the control arms not only affects your driving but other suspension components also. In line with this, here are some tips on how you can maintain the good condition of your control arms and your suspension.
Listen for weird noises from the suspension.
Making use of your eyes for visual inspection can be an effective way to maintain your suspension. However, there is more than meets the eye at times. Using your sense of hearing can also be equally helpful and important because some suspension parts are hidden to the eye. Noises can really unveil some suspension problems like, including the control arm. Clunking, rattling, groaning, and grinding may signify a defective control arm. You can do this by driving the car around a quiet area with the windows down and the radio turned off. Pay attention to the noise, if there are any, which comes from the suspension. Challenge your suspension by driving over some bumps carefully.
Replace defective suspension parts ASAP.
In the control arm, the control arm bushing is the part that breaks down often. The control arm bushing is a dampener made with rubber that absorbs some of the force that is generated by the contact between the road and the wheel. You should replace this component every 50,000 miles or you're your car exhibits control arm related problems. Nevertheless, it doesn't mean you don't have to inspect other parts. For one, a broken ball joint will transfer additional stress (stress that it can normally handle) to the control arm. The suspension works pretty much like the human body. It functions properly if all the parts are in good condition. A part that doesn't work well will affect other parts.
Drive slowly on bumpy roads.
Driving on bumpy roads cannot be avoided. However, it doesn't mean that you have to drive your Jetta like a loco on bumpy roads. These irregularities sap the strength away from the control arms, introducing them to premature wear and tear. Drive at a slow pace on bumpy roads if you want to save money from unexpected control arm replacements. Moreover, try to always park on level road. Since the control arms deals with the vertical movement and forces applied on the wheel, parking with one side of your car raised puts unnecessary pressure to the control arm, putting it on replacement fast track.