Control arms

Discussion in 'Gearhead Garage' started by MaesterB, May 4, 2017.

  1. MaesterB

    MaesterB King of the Wicker People

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    I thought I would pick people's brains.

    2 years ago, I had my Acadia into the dealership for some annual work, and they had mentioned the control arms needed replacing. They said not a major deal right then, but I should look into it.

    No other place has mentioned it, and I change the tires every winter/spring. I even asked one place about them, to see if they noticed anything, and no...not a problem.

    Then, just recently, I had a flat that I took into another place, and now they mention the control arms. So I got a quote to mull it over.

    My father-in-law (who is NOT a grease monkey at all...can barely change his socks, let alone a tire) says that always comes up and they've never had it done to any of their vehicles. However, he's talking about all the used vehicles that they buy through auctions, that they had for their courier business. We're talking vehicles that don't owe him anything, that he can just throw away whenever, and pick up another piece that he'll drive into the ground.

    Thinking I should get it done when I change my tires, now that the weather is nice. Thoughts on importance of it?
  2. hans5849

    hans5849 Serious as a heart attack

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    Is it on your scheduled maintenance? Are they damaged? If the answer to both of these is no, then there's your answer to if you should replace them.
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  3. mistawiskas

    mistawiskas kik n a and takin names

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    MaesterB says thanks for this.
  4. MaesterB

    MaesterB King of the Wicker People

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    Thanks for the insights.

    The control arms were initially pointed out by the dealer a couple of years back, and then when I took it to an independent to swap winter/spring tires, I asked about the control arms, and the guy there said "That's how dealers make their money. They have someone go around underneath and say 'Mention that as a possible problem'." They hope someone bites.

    Now, a couple years later, another company (part of a canadian wide chain) mentions the control arms. Oddly enough, I have been noticing a "shimmy" when I accelerate, and that apparently is a "symptom" of failing control arms.

    The vehicle has 250,000km on it, so it probably couldn't hurt. I'm going to take it to the chain that noticed it recently, have them diagnose (again) and then get it done. Just need to find time. Uggghhh...it's a pain with 4 kids sometimes, and only one vehicle.
  5. Binman

    Binman Pervert

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    New bushes?
  6. mistawiskas

    mistawiskas kik n a and takin names

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    or....mobo? :bigawesome:
  7. JZL

    JZL Ministry of Whack

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    I had my car (08 Outback @ 160,000) into the dealer for free recall work on the passenger side airbag and they tried to tell me at some point I would need a "valve cover head gasket" which caught me off guard. I answered, "You mean, like, a head gasket?" The guy said it would cost $1500. I almost said what I was thinking, which was, "If I ever need a head gasket, this is the absolute last place I would take my car to have it done."

    Isn't it true these days a lot of warranties are dependent on having stuff done at the dealer?

    Isn't it also true that if you have the shimmies at a certain speed, like 40-50 mps, the tie rod ends might be the prob?
  8. MaesterB

    MaesterB King of the Wicker People

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    That could very well be it. Just odd that I've now been told twice that control arms are a problem. I was also told previously that I have a leak and it's my struts, and it was later confirmed by these guys too. AND...I continue to see this leak.

    So I could very well not worry about one, and then worry about the other, or worry about both, and just get them both taken care of. I have an appt for a look to verify what needs to be ordered, and then an appt to do whatever next week.
  9. mullet1

    mullet1 Junior Member

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    control arms can fail in a few different ways.... I've experienced probably all of them at this point. your vibration while accelerating COULD be deteriorated control arm bushings..... or about a dozen other items.

    otherwise, "needs control arms" could be corroded through(you'll eat tires fast, along with janky steering), bent(same), sloppy ball joint(noise, tire wear)....

    essentially, do you have any odd tire wear? that's usually the first easily visibile indicator that they could be in serious need of replacement.
  10. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    Why does it need control arms? What's wrong with them? They don't go bad like tires. If you have bad weather, drive in snow or salted roads, they may be rusted out and about to fall apart (at which point your car could flip over and kill you). Are the bushings completely worn? Need more details or lots of pics.
  11. MaesterB

    MaesterB King of the Wicker People

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    It's the bushings on the rear control arms. I also need my struts replaced. I have a rear seal leak, but only on the left side. And NOW, apparently I'm leaking oil somewhere.

    Based on the first three pieces, I'm looking at a pretty penny.

    Now looking at leasing/financing a new vehicle and see what kind of trade-in I can get on the thing (which won't be much).
  12. MaesterB

    MaesterB King of the Wicker People

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    So ended up getting a new vehicle. Leasing for 5 years, and put some extra packages on it for insurance and damage so I really shouldn't have much more to worry about on it.

    So for what I would have had to spend on the old vehicle basically pays for the new vehicle for the next 4 months anyways, and it wasn't much of stretch from what I was paying on financing for my old vehilce (which wasn't new when I started financing on it 7 years ago).

    Nice and new, no problems, nice ride, lots of room for the kidlets, and one less headache for the foreseeable future!
  13. -=Lurker=-

    -=Lurker=- **BANNED**

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    Late to the party but most likely the bushings were cracked all the way though yet still intact. Id oubt anybody lied but hed different level techs looking at the vehicle. Seasoned techs can notice failing bushings early on while others couldn't even if you pointed them out. Dealerships know the common failures so they pay more attention to them, while some/most chain stores will miss them because they work on all makes and models. Labor wise, it's cheaper to replace the whole control arm most of the time rather than press in/out the two bushings especially when you are talking aftermarket parts.
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