What are Rear Control Arm Bushings?
Let’s focus on the middle part first, and then we’ll get to the details. Sound good?
So, let’s start with the control arms, and what they do. They’re important, but remarkably simple.
The control arms connect the suspension system to the frame of the car. They also exist to reduce the amount of force that is dealt to the car, which in turn limits unnecessary movement that the car experiences.
Many cars have at least four control arms: One for each wheel. Some cars have upper and lower control arms. Made from a strong and highly-durable metal, the rear control arms, which are sometimes referred to as trailing arms, connect to the frame at one end. At the other end, each control arm usually connects to either a knuckle or the axle housing. When the vehicle travels over a bump, the control arm pivots on bushings, allowing your car’s wheels to move up and down.
The rear of your vehicle will buck around quite a bit if not held in place, and that movement would get transmitted to your car, your steering wheel, and your hands. Trust me when I say that’s not exactly what you want.
Okay, we’ve discussed what a control arm is, and established that we’re dealing with the rear ones here. So, let’s move onto the bushings. Each rear control arm has two bushings, which are located where the control arm attaches to the frame of the car. The bushings, which are made of metal but covered in either rubber or polyurethane, keep the metal control arms from excess contact with the metal frame of the car. This limits that wonderful metal-on-metal noise that you just adore.
While the rear control arm bushings are designed to withstand lots of wear and tear, they can give out over time. When that happens they’ll need to be replaced, and, depending on your car, the control arms may need to be replaced as well.