Every vehicle contains a suspension system which is comprised of tires, shock absorbers, springs, linkages, and more. It is a system that keeps the vehicle stable on the road and absorbs impact when you drive over objects, potholes, and rough terrain. If you didn’t have a suspension system in your vehicle, then you would feel a lot of bumpiness and difficulty steering as you drive.
The suspension is connected to the frame of the car with something called control arms. There is usually one lower control arm in a standard two-wheel drive vehicle. But if you’re driving a sports utility vehicle, truck, or any other vehicle with four-wheel drive, then it likely has an upper control arm and lower control arm.
Each control arm is linked to the steering knuckle of a wheel through the use of ball joints. They are what keep the wheels secured to the frame of the vehicle and prevents them from moving forward and backward. A rubbery and flexible component known as control arm bushings absorbs most of the up and down movement of the suspension while the vehicle is in motion.
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Whether you need to replace a lower control arm or upper control arm, the replacement cost is really no different. You can expect to pay between $50 and $120 for one control arm part, whether it’s a lower or upper control arm. But if you need a mechanic to perform the replacement job for you, then you can expect to pay an additional $90 to $180 in labor costs.
For instance, if the mechanic charges $90 per hour and the replacement job takes between 1 and 2 hours, then the labor costs would add up quickly. As a result, the total cost of the job would be between $140 and $300. Remember that this is just for one control arm. If you need to replace both control arms, then expect this price range to double to between $280 and $600.
If you’re only driving a sedan vehicle with front-wheel drive, then you’ll only have one control arm to replace. But if you have a bigger figure with four-wheel drive, then you need to replace two control arms.