When it comes to cars, there are people who consider that the engine is one of the most important components, but the transmission and suspension are extremely important as well.
These internal engine components are valves, camshaft, crankshaft, pistons, plus many other components, all working together to keep the engine running. This is also the case with the car’s suspension, which plays an extremely important role in the proper engine functioning. In the case of this system, we mention that a key role is played by the control arm bushings.
The control arm bushings are mounted on the front of the suspension, the side where the front wheels of the car rotate when it is moving. When it comes to trucks, we should mention that this component is in the back.
As time goes on, the control arm bushings start to wear out and if not changed in time, they can crack and can cause many problems.
How much does the control arm bushings replacement cost?
A broken control arm bushing should be replaced as soon as possible because this will affect your car’s stability and performance. Expect to pay around $360 to replace only one bushing. So, you should budget around $1,450 to replace all four bushings on your vehicle. Depending on the make and model of your car and the location of your mechanic, you will have to pay anywhere between $210 and $510 per bushing. The cost of bushing for a high-performance car and luxury brands is around $820.
In the table below you will find the average cost of control arm bushings for some of the most popular car models.
|Make and Model||Price per bushing|
|BMW 3 Series||$560|
Bushing Parts Cost
The cost of the actual bushing parts is pretty low, the most expensive being the labor. This is because in order to remove the bushing and install a new one the mechanic has to disassemble the car’s wheel and suspension.
You may be able to save some money if you purchase the parts and replace them by yourself. Expect to pay anywhere between $25 and $85 for a control arm bushing piece. So, for a set of four, you will have to pay anywhere between $100 and $340.
In the table below you will find the average cost of different control arm bushings.
|TRW Automotive JBU656 Suspension Control Arm Bushing||$65|
|ACDelco 45G8084 Front Suspension Control Arm Bushing||$28|
|Bapmic Front Control Arm Bushing Suspension Kit for Mercedes||$55|
|Whiteline W63378 Rear Trailing Arm Bushing||$67|
|Energy Suspension 4.3133G Central Arm Bushings||$32|
|KYB SM5166 Control Arm Bushing||$11|
|A-Premium Lower Control Arm Bushing for BMW||$33|
|MOOG K2007874 Control Arm Bushing||$33|
|Whitelines W53377A Control Arm Bushing||$70|
A great thing about control arm bushings is that many of these parts are universal and compatible with a large variety of car models. Though, some brands like Mercedes and BMW use signature parts that cannot be replaced with generics. Before purchasing make sure you know which part is compatible with your car.
You may need to replace the ball joints as well, depending on the condition of your control arms. Plan on spending anywhere between $210 and $310 for each ball joint replacement. This means that you will have to pay anywhere between $840 and $1,240 to replace all four ball joints on your vehicle.
In general, after the replacement of the control arm bushings, the suspension system has to be re-aligned so it is balanced. You should not spend more than $110 on this procedure.
It is recommended to re-align the suspension system every two to three years to keep your bushings and suspension in good condition.
The main structural support of your car’s suspension system is represented by the control arms. Their role is to hold both ball joints and bushings. You may have to replace the whole control arm if the mount holding the ball joint or bushing is damaged.
The cost of a single bottom control arm replacement is anywhere between $100 and $310. As with the control bushings, the cost of the actual arm part is not that high, but you will have to pay the most for labor.
Another part of the suspension system that may need to be replaced is the suspension springs. The cost of only one suspension spring replacement is almost $360, so you will have to pay around $1,440 in order to replace all four springs.
Factors that Influence the Cost of Replacing Control Arm Bushings
Make and Model of Your Car
The majority of the bushings are made to be compatible with a large variety of car models. Though, there are some car producers that use certain components which can not be replaced with generics. In general, car repairs for luxury brand cars must be done by an experienced mechanic.
Control Arm Type
There are two main types of control arms such as lower arms and upper arms. The lower control arms take the burnt of the weight, and are more durable and larger, while the upper arms play a support role and are smaller. So, it would be more expensive to replace the lower control arms as these are stronger and bigger. Also, in some cars, you will not find upper control arms.
The Age of Your Car
Usually, it will be more expensive to repair a new car than an old one. Though, sometimes it may be difficult to find components that are compatible with certain models of old cars.
The majority of the control arm bushings are made of polyurethane or rubber bushing which absorbs shock, an inner metal sleeve, and an outer metal sleeve. Expect to pay more for the control arm bushings that are made of high-grade materials like neoprene rubber or stainless steel.
Symptoms of Damaged Control Bushings
Decreasing the comfort level offered by the car
When a control bushing does not work as it should, you will feel the comfort level drop considerably while driving.
If you’re wondering why your comfort level is dropping, well, the control arm bushings aren’t doing their job properly.
When you drive the car, you can use it on proper roads, and the bushings will not suffer, but when you drive the car on very damaged roads, with bumps and potholes, the bushings take their role seriously and attenuate the vibrations of the car, making your trip more enjoyable.
But once the bushes start to wear out, you may hear an unpleasant noise when you drive over the potholes or when you want to turn the car.
The car’s steering wheel is shaking
In conditions where the bushings are very worn, the steering of the car may shake more or less strongly. This is because the control sleeve of the arm cannot lubricate the two metal connecting sleeves.
Also, when the bushes are worn, they cannot lubricate the contact between the two parts.
Decreased car braking performance
In case you didn’t know, this can be a serious problem, which can lead to other problems due to the extra vibrations that this causes. The bushings can even come off if they are very worn.
Vibration on the steering wheel
If a bushing is defective, the steering wheel starts to vibrate while you try to brake the car or when you want to turn around.
Unevenly worn front tires
Another sign that the bushings are worn and in need of replacement is the car’s tires. Specifically, when one tire is much more worn than the other (front tires), then it is as clear as possible where the problem comes from.
What is the role of the control arm bushing?
The control arm bushing is what connects the front of the suspension to the car chassis, and we should also mention that there are two types of control arms.
We have the upper control arm and the lower control arm of the car, which are provided with a rubber bushing that is attached to their sides. This rubber sleeve is extremely important because it covers the metallic parts that it connects and allows them to make contact without damaging each other.
This bushing is also extremely important due to the fact that it has the role of dampening the vibrations of the car that can be caused by minor blows and shocks. Here it is extremely important to mention that this absorption system is more useful than springs, taking into account the place where it is located.
How much does it cost to replace the control arm bushings?
Certainly, for every make and model of car, the price differs. The more expensive the car, the higher the price of the control arm bushing. Expect to pay anywhere between $210 and $510 per control arm bushing replacement.
How long does it take to replace control bushings?
Depending on your vehicle and the severity of the damage, it would take anywhere between one and two hours to change a bushing. So, in order to change a set of four, four to eight hours would be needed.
Can I replace the control arm bushings by myself?
Regarding the replacement of these components, we mention the fact that it would be advisable to go with professional help on this one, especially if you do not have mechanical knowledge.
If you go to a car shop, the specialists there will take care of the problem, and the repair will be of superior quality.
It is important to change the control arm bushing when you experience the first symptoms, as delaying its replacement may result in additional wear and tear on the suspension and other components, and then the cost of replacing control arm bushings or similar repairs will be much higher.