Steering Knuckle Bushing Buyer’s Guide
- A steering knuckle is strengthened by other supporting components like steering knuckle bushings.
- A steering knuckle bushing is a cylindrical component that supports suspension and lessens friction between the steering knuckle and other metal parts.
- Steering knuckle replacement bushings come in many different materials such as rubber, polyurethane, steel, and elastomer.
- Putting off steering knuckle bushing replacement can cause further damage to other steering components and end up costing you more.
- Choosing specific steering knuckle bushings will depend on personal preference, how you drive, and what kind of driving conditions you'll experience.
Steering your car requires different components to work together so that you can control your vehicle’s wheels. One of these parts is the steering knuckle, which connects the wheel and tie rod and makes sure that all the essential components needed to control the wheel remain functional. This connection is strengthened by other supporting parts like steering knuckle bushings.
What is a Steering Knuckle Bushing?
A steering knuckle bushing is a cylindrical component made of polyurethane or rubber that supports the suspension and lessens friction between the steering knuckle and other metal parts. It strengthens metal links by cushioning each component’s movements as well as absorbing shocks caused by the movement of the vehicle.
Steering knuckle failure can be caused by faulty bushings, which can further damage other components. Thus, drivers should ensure that their steering knuckle bushings remain in good condition in order to avoid further damage and problems like poor handling or involuntary steering.
Types of Steering Knuckle Bushings
Steering knuckle replacement bushings are usually made of different types of materials:
Most bushings are made of rubber. They’re good at absorbing shock, thus providing a smoother ride. However, rubber is softer compared to other materials, so expect rubber bushings to have a shorter lifespan.
Polyurethane bushings are harder and will usually last longer than the vehicle they’re installed in. However, they don’t absorb shock as well as other materials, so expect a bumpier ride. If you don’t mind this and you're looking for less frequent replacements, polyurethane is a good choice.
Bushings made of steel and other metals are usually used to upgrade or modify high-performance vehicles.
These steering knuckle bushings are as shock-absorbent as rubber but are more durable and stable. They also produce less noise without compromising performance and articulation.
Some steering knuckle bushings are a combination of different materials, like bushings made of steel with rubber ends. Choose the bushings that best fit your needs. Rubber bushings can handle daily driving but you should also consider the type of terrain, load, and the duration of your drive to make sure you don’t encounter any issues after your bushings are installed.
Signs of a Bad Steering Knuckle Bushing
Before asking your local mechanic to inspect for possible damaged steering knuckle bushings, here are some symptoms that you should watch out for:
- Unusually excessive road noise and vibration
- Clunky or creaking sounds coming from the wheels
- The vehicle rattles after going over small road bumps
- Difficulty with maneuvering or unusually loose steering
All of these can be caused by a bad steering knuckle bushing or by other faulty suspension components. Get your vehicle checked if you experience any of these symptoms because suspension-related damage can further harm your vehicle and even compromise road safety.
Benefits of Replacing Steering Knuckle Bushings
Replacing old, faulty steering knuckle bushings will enable you to enjoy a smoother and quieter ride. Since bushings cushion the shock and vibrations from moving metal components, you'll definitely feel an improvement in overall driver experience.
Having your bushings replaced can also help you save on repair costs, as faulty bushings can damage the steering knuckle or other major steering components. It’s best to do regular maintenance checks with a mechanic to make sure that your steering knuckle bushings are adequately lubricated, fit well, and remain in good condition.
How to Choose Steering Knuckle Bushings
You can buy steering knuckle bushings individually or as a set. They cost from around $10 per piece to $80 for a set of 3. The price varies according to material. Choosing specific types of steering knuckle bushings will depend on personal preference, your driving style, and on what kind of driving conditions you’ll experience. You may already have a top pick, but if you’re not sure about your choice, it’s best to consult a mechanic.
Check out the selection of steering knuckle bushings on CarParts.com for good deals. Find ones that are a direct-fit for your vehicle by typing in your vehicle’s year, make, and model in the vehicle selector.