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Suspension Control Arm Bushings Replacement

Subaru Impreza WRX STI Suspension Control Arm Bushings Replacement Cost

The average cost for a Subaru Impreza WRX STI Suspension Control Arm Bushings Replacement is between $208 and $286. Labor costs are estimated between $132 and $167 while parts are priced between $76 and $119. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.

How Much Does a Suspension Control Arm Bushings Replacement Cost?

Suspension Control Arm Bushings Replacement Service and Cost

Suspension Control Arm Bushings Replacement
What is a control arm?

The control arm bushings are a component of the control arm. The control arm allows allow the wheel to travel up and down over bumps and helps to position the wheel in the proper alignment and its bushings allow the control arm to pivot.

How does the control arm work?

Control arm bushings are situated between the control arm and the attachment points on the body or suspension subframe. The bushings help to distribute impact force and absorb vibration. These reduce noise from control arm movement, as well as keeping the metal parts of the subframe and control arms separated.

What are the symptoms related to a bad control arm?

While the actual control arm may last the lifetime of the vehicle, the control arm bushings, often wear out as a vehicle approaches 100k miles. If the bushings are worn out, the suspension will make a squeaking sound when going over bumps. If they are severely worn, a knocking sound may be heard as the control arm makes metal-to-metal contact with the bushing bracket. With severely worn bushings, tire wear may be uneven and the vehicle may pull to one side or wander.

Can I drive with a control arm problem?

If the control arm bushings are worn, the result will be an annoying squeak when the car goes over bumps. In this case, the car can be driven. But if the bushings wear out considerably, metal-on-metal contact may happen between the control arm and the bushing bracket. This can cause further suspension damage and inconsistent vehicle handling. The control arm or bushing should be replaced.

How often do control arms need to be replaced?

While there is no prescribed frequency for replacement of a control arm, the bushings may wear out and need to be replaced as a vehicle approaches 100k miles. Driving aggressively or over rough roads can decrease the lifespan of the control arm bushings. On some vehicle models, the bushings are pressed into the control arms and may be replaced individually, but on other models, the bushings are permanently installed in the control arms. If the bushings wear out, the entire arm will need to be replaced.

Suspension Control Arm Bushings Replacement Repair Information

How are control arm issues diagnosed?

A technician may diagnose a worn lower control arm bushing during a test drive of the vehicle. The condition may also present itself during a bounce test, where the technician will press down firmly on one corner of the front end of the vehicle to bounce the suspension and pivot the control arms. A severely worn control arm bushing may show up during a four wheel suspension alignment since the control arm determines the position and angle of the wheel.

How is a control arm replaced?

A technician will replace a lower control arm bushing by first lifting and supporting the vehicle in the air on a hoist and removing the wheel and tire. The lower control arm must be disconnected from the lower ball joint (attached to the steering knuckle) and from the vehicle frame or body. An upper control arm is disconnected from the strut tower on the body and from the top of the steering knuckle. Some control arms come with bushings permanently installed in them, while others require the bushings to be installed. It is common to replace related components - ball joints, tie rod ends, sway bar links - at the same time that a control arm is replaced.

RepairPal Recommendations for control arm issues

RepairPal recommends inspecting (and replacing if necessary) the ball joint at the same time that the control arm bushings are being replaced. Since the control arm determines the position of the wheel and tire, a four wheel alignment is also recommended after a control arm bushing is replaced.

What to look out for when dealing with control arm issues

Rubber bushings are adversely affected by heat and by petroleum products (grease and oil). It is important to periodically inspect the control arm bushings to make sure they are free from grease or oil. A severely worn bushing may alter the alignment of the vehicle. Also, in order to replace a control arm, the vehicle needs to be safely raised and supported on a hoist or a jack and jack stands.

Can I replace the control arm myself?

Replacement of the control arm bushings is generally an intermediate DIY repair. On some vehicles, the control arms come with the bushings already installed. On other vehicles, the bushings need to be pressed into their housings on the control arm before installation into the vehicle. In this case, the repair will be more difficult. Also, this repair requires that the vehicle be safely lifted and supported with a jack and jack stands. Failure to do so in a safe manner can result in serious injury or death.

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