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Confused About Fixing Rear Control Arms

Cudes Magudes
09-22-2016, 04:40 PM
Hi There,

I have a 2010 VW CC Sport, 68k miles, and recently had a rear wheel (driver side) leaning inwards with negative camber so bad that it caused my tire to blow out from having all the load/heat on just the inner corner of the tire. Took it to a mechanic who put it up on the lift and said that the control arms and bushings in the back were all shot and needed to be replaced. The passenger side rear wheel is also angled in a very small amount and that tire's inner corner is showing some heavy wear. He took me under the car and showed me around; the bushing were definitely deteriorated but I didn't see any real issues with the arms themselves. He said "You're looking at at least $1,500" for what he was trying to get me to do which was replace all of the control arms and bushings in the rear. I told him I would think about it and started doing some research, then I just got confused and overwhelmed so here I am. Ultimately I have decided that for now (I just moved to NYC and don't have a job yet so I'm being as frugal as possible) I would just like to have a mechanic replace all the rear control arm bushings and maybe the lower control arms but not sure about those. A few questions I have:

1) Are the rear lower control arms unidirectional? In other words, is there a left and a right that are different than one another?

2) Can you purchase just bushings for the lower arms? On auto parts sites I've seen individual bushings listed for upper and lateral arms, but I don't think I've seen any for lower arms. Do you have to buy the entire lower control arms to, in effect, replace the bushings?

3) Roughly how much do you think this should cost me at a mechanic provided I purchase all the parts on my own?

4) If I am going to end up going through with this, how many bushings would I need to order to cover replacing all the ones for the rear control arms?

Thanks in advance and hope you can help clarify this stuff for me!

09-23-2016, 08:10 AM
It may be possible to replace just the bushings, but it's pretty typical with modern cars that the standard way to repair worn bushings is to replace the entire control arms. That's fewer items taking up valuable shelf space in warehouses. Some aftermarket providers do offer just bushings for popular vehicles, but there's additional labor involved in replacing them. So if you're able to find just the bushings, you'd want to weigh that cost savings against additional labor to install just the bushings as that would be labor over and above the labor to replace the entire control arm assembly.

Also, you'll want to check with the shop you plan to use as to their policy about installing customer-provided parts, then about installing just bushings if you are able to find them. Since shops make additional money selling parts, they may have a different labor rate for installing customer-provided parts and they most likely will not provide any sort of warranty on installed parts provided by the customer.

I would suspect that the control arms are not interchangeable from left and right sides, but again you can confirm that by shopping for the parts.

If the shop is willing to install parts you source, and you're looking to save the most money, check the prices of auto parts stores in your area and also check savings websites, such as retailmenot.com, for coupon codes to use with your purchase. Compare that price with tax against rockauto.com, taking in to account shipping costs (which can be significant). Also, you need to consider how soon you need these parts versus the possible cost savings of ordering online.

You might get more vehicle-specific answers regarding if bushings are available and how many you would need, where to find them, etc. by posting in the model-specific forum here.


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