The frame between the control arm and the vehicle is controlled arm bushings. They play an important role in tire alignment and directly impact tire wear, handling, and automated driving. Most vehicles use one or two control arms per wheel on both the front and rear suspensions, with each arm accommodating two bushings.
What is the Control Arm?
A control arm connects the chassis, and the wheel suspension hub, also called an A-arm (or control link in the railway industry). They're the visible metal parts that link the chassis to the wheels in cars.
Control arms play a crucial role in the suspension system to keep the tires aligned with the vehicle's body. Their primary components are a bushing, a body, and a ball joint.
The control arm's body is attached to the vehicle frame using bushings (typically rubber bushings) and is linked to the suspension on the wheel side through a ball joint. Together, they allow the wheels to rise and fall while connecting with the road, facilitating effortless, controlled movement during pivoting, turning, and driving. Control arms also reduce steering friction and vibration.
Control arms can range from two to four in a typical automobile, depending on the vehicle's suspension. However, only the front wheel suspension of most modern cars is equipped with control arms. Trucks and large vehicles often have rear axle control arms to help direct the car.
Having properly functioning control arms and a suspension system keeps your tires planted when you hit a bump or pothole in the road. It may be time to replace your control arm assembly if you are experiencing vibrations in the steering wheel, difficulty maintaining directional control, or loud banging or clunking noises when traveling over rough terrain.
Stamped steel, cast iron, and cast aluminum are common materials for controlling arms, and each has its own set of pros and cons.
1. Control arms made of stamped steel.
Automakers typically install stamped steel control arms, which rust easily in humid conditions and are vulnerable to damage. Steel control components are commonly found in cheaper modern vehicles due to low manufacturing and maintenance costs.
2. Wheels and axles cast iron
Control arms made of cast iron are commonly found on modern trucks and SUVs because of the material's durability and resistance to corrosion in harsh conditions. Front suspensions typically make use of these control arms.
Cast-iron control arms are the best for vehicle steering and handling because of their durability.
3. Made of cast aluminum
Control arms made from cast aluminum are lightweight and durable. Aluminum has better corrosion resistance but is softer, making it more likely to wear under impact.
Control Arm Bushing Used For:
Control arm bushings have an external metal casing, a rubber, and an inner metal jacket.
The control arm is used to connect the body of the car to the wheel hub or bushing. This allows the wheel to move up and down while the car is traveling over uneven terrain.
Control arms are important for maintaining the stability of the car and providing more precise control in steering, which not only contributes to safer and more comfortable driving, but also helps absorb impacts and vibrations from the road, improving driving quality and reducing tire wear.
A control arm bushing reduces frame-to-wheel vibration and aligns the arm. The ride is smooth due to low vibration.
Bushing Used For:
The Bushings in the suspension's control arms contribute significantly to ride quality and maneuverability. They absorb impact and soften the suspension's response to road irregularities, reducing road noise and vibrations.
Bushings are flexible and can be bent and moved in any direction without becoming floppy or losing their ability to return to their original shape and position.
Bushings are used in many suspension and steering joints to prevent vibration between mounted components. The control arm, suspension mount, stabilizer bar, stabilizer link, transmission, engine mounts, and many other parts of a car chassis and steering system depend on bushings.
Bushings serve a purpose analogous to that of cartilage in the body's joints. When the cartilage wears away or is damaged, bones rub against one another, causing pain. When bushings wear or get damaged, metal parts can rub against one another, leading to uneven tire wear, discomfort, noise, and vibrations.
Temperature, age, exposure, heavy loads, water, oils, and the force of frequent movement all contribute to bushing deterioration.
Where Does the Control Arm Fit in a Car?
The control arm, also known as the suspension arm, is an important component of a car's suspension system. There are typically two control arms on each front wheel of a car and one or two control arms on each rear wheel, depending on the type of suspension the vehicle has.
The arms connect to the car's body at one end and to the wheel hub or bushing at the other end. The hub is the component that holds the wheel in position and allows it to spin freely.
The exact location of the control arms in the car may vary depending on the suspension design, but generally, they are located at the center of the wheel and extend towards the front and rear of the car, depending on whether they are upper or lower control arms.
Control Arms at CARICO
Bushing at CARICO
CARICO's best product line consists of a control arm suspension system. Our control arms bushing can be adjusted in several ways to meet each customer's needs.
For more information on the control arm options we offer, please don't hesitate to contact us.