Can You Drive With A Bad Control Arm

Can You Drive With A Bad Control Arm? [An Ultimate Guide]

A control arm is a part of the suspension system which carries the wheels of the vehicle. However, over time, they may become damaged or worn out.

But can you drive with a bad control arm? You shouldn’t do this. Driving with a damaged or worn-out control arm can be very risky and result in a severe accident or injury. There are quite a few reasons why the problem arises, including wear and tear, damage, incorrect installation, and so on. 

In this article, we will have a discussion on whether a car can be driven with a bad control arm or not. We will also explore a few important factors relevant to the topic. So, stay tuned till the end! 

Can You Drive With A Bad Control Arm?

No. As mentioned earlier, driving with a bad control arm can be extremely dangerous. This is because the control arm is responsible for carrying the wheels of a car. If the control arm goes bad, the wheel alignment and steering is affected, and handling the vehicle becomes highly challenging

Can You Drive With A Bad Control Arm

The unpredictable handling can result in the car getting into a collision and accident, which can result in fatal or severe injuries. Not only that, but it also risks the lives of other people on the road. 

However, if you realize that the control arm is bad while driving, you can only drive a short distance to reach a safe place. But make sure that you avoid high speeds and do not make any sudden movements or turns. Otherwise, you might lose the balance of the vehicle and get into a crash. 

Risks Of Driving With A Bad Control Arm 

When you drive with a bad control arm, there are quite a few risks associated with it. Take a look at these risks of driving a car that has a damaged control arm. 

Risks Of Driving With A Bad Control Arm

Loss Of Control 

One of the biggest risks of relying on a bad control arm is that it can make the driver lose control of the car. The damaged component impacts the alignment of the wheels, which makes the vehicle go out of control. This can result in severe accidents and can also result in death. 

Uneven Tire Wear

A bad control arm can result in the tire of the vehicle wearing out unevenly. This increases the risk of tire blowouts by a notch and can also impact other components of the car. Not only that, but it can also affect the overall handling of the automobile. 

Can You Drive With A Bad Control Arm

Damaged Suspension 

Worn-out control arms often hit other suspension components and parts. It also puts additional stress on the suspension system. This can cause significant damage to the suspension system and increase the risk of injuries and accidents. 

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Reasons Behind Bad Control Arm and Solutions

There are several reasons behind a bad control arm. Let us look at these reasons and how you can fix them easily in the table below. 

Reasons Behind Bad Control Arm and Solutions
Reasons Solutions
Wear and TearReplace the control arm with a new one
Corroded Control ArmInstall a new control arm
Incorrect Installation Follow the guidelines and ensure that the control arm is properly secured in place
Poor-Quality Suspension PartsEnsure the use of high-quality and top-notch components

Symptoms Of A Bad Control Arm

Several symptoms indicate a damaged control arm. Following are some of the most common symptoms when a control arm goes bad.  

Symptoms Of A Bad Control Arm

Unevenly Worn Out Tires

One of the top signs that the control arm of the vehicle is bad is uneven tire wear. Take a look at the tires of the vehicle and see whether they are worn out or not. This typically happens as the damaged component prevents the wheels from ensuring proper position or alignment. 

Unpredictable Steering

The control arm affects the steering of the vehicle. This often causes the driver to lose balance and moves the vehicle to one side. Not only that, but due to the misalignment of wheels, the steering wheel often experiences vibration. 

Strange Noise

If you have a bad control arm, it will cause a strange noise when the vehicle goes over rough bumps, holes, and so on. This happens as the control arm becomes loose and hits other components in the suspension system. As a result, the car makes a clunking noise when moving. 

How To Replace A Control Arm?

Repairing or replacing the control arm of a vehicle is a crucial task. Replacing the component without proper knowledge and tools can increase the risk of damage to the car. You can take a look at the steps below on how to replace a control arm. 

How To Replace A Control Arm
  • Step 1: Raise the vehicle up with the help of a floor jack
  • Step 2: Remove the wheel from the side on which you will work
  • Step 3: Locate and identify the control arm of the suspension system
  • Step 4: Use appropriate tools to unbolt the control arm from the suspension system
  • Step 5: Remove the control arm from the vehicle
  • Step 6: Assess the component properly to identify the cracks, wear or tear, damage, and so on
  • Step 7: Replace the old control arm with a new one according to the specifications of the automobile
  • Step 8: Install the new one in its place properly and secure it
  • Step 9: Place the wheel back in place, and carefully lower the vehicle to the ground
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Bonus: here’s a Youtube video to guide you better!

If you’re experiencing issues with a bad control arm in your car, it’s crucial to understand the potential risks and effects on your vehicle’s performance. Our website provides informative articles on various car maintenance topics. You can explore more about driving with a bad wheel bearing to understand the impact it can have on your car’s safety and handling. Additionally, our article on driving with a blown head gasket delves into the consequences of this issue and provides insights on how to address it. These articles will equip you with valuable knowledge to make informed decisions about the drivability and maintenance of your car.


Got questions about the bad control arm? Take a look at these commonly asked queries to clear the confusion! 

Q: How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Bad Control Arm?

The cost of replacing a bad control arm is typically based on the make and model of the vehicle. It also depends on the quality of the control arm you are installing. Typically, the cost varies between $200 to $500 or more. 

Q: Is It Possible To Replace The Control Arm On My Own?

Yes, replacing the control arm by yourself is possible if you have access to the proper tools. Proper knowledge about the suspension system and the work is also a must in this case to avoid further damage. You can rely on a professional if you cannot replace the control arm. 

Q: How Long Does It Take To Replace A Control Arm?

The amount of time required to replace a bad control arm is usually dependent on the make and model of the vehicle. It is also based on the expertise of the mechanic working on the car. Usually, the entire process takes about an hour or two. 


Knowing “can you drive without a bad control arm?” is crucial to avoid any potential danger. If the control arm is damaged, driving the vehicle is extremely risky. Without a properly functioning control arm, the vehicle will not be able to move properly and will put the lives of people on the road at risk. 

If you notice that the automobile’s control arm is damaged, take the necessary steps as soon as possible. Ensure that you contact a professional mechanic if you cannot replace the component on your own.

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