In this article, we take a closer look at what different bushings are on your vehicle and what it is that they actually do. Worn bushings could lead to costly damage but how do you know which ones need replacing? Below are some answers.
Suspension bushes are essential parts of the suspension. A suspension bush is an elastic part that is fitted between most suspension parts. They guarantee that there is no erosion because of metal contact between the distinctive parts of the suspension framework. Essentially, bushings absorb the vibration and noise from the suspension system, limiting the transfer to the vehicle and controlling the amount of movement.
Control arm bushings are located between the control arm and the frame of the vehicle. They are important for tyre alignment and directly affect tyre wear, handling, and vehicle control. Most cars use one or two control arms per wheel, on both the front and rear suspension, with each arm housing two bushings. Many front-wheel-drive cars employ only the use of a lower control arm, whereas most bakkies and SUVs have both an upper and lower control arm.
Stabilizer bar bushings are mounted underneath the car on anti-roll bars which prevent excessive vehicle roll (from side to side) especially during cornering. As a result, they are constantly twisting and flexing and can wear more rapidly. Usually, there are two stabilizer bars per vehicle (front and rear), each with two stabilizer bar bushings.
Leaf spring bushings are another kind of bushing, located in the ‘eyes’ of the leaf spring. Leaf springs are typically used in the rear suspension of heavy-load carrying vehicles such as bakkies. The leaf springs support the weight of the vehicle and control the ride height while keeping the tyres in contact with the road. The load on leaf spring bushings are very usually very high due to the weight and forces that bakkies are subjected to and need to be changed regularly.
The suspension bushes can decay after some time. They are continually in contact with the other components as they are fitted underneath the car. Thus, they need to adapt to an assortment of things. From one perspective there are temperature changes and on the other, there is extreme stress that is put on the bushes.
1. Steering issues
When the suspension bushes start to fail, then one of the first indicators is that of steering problems. The steering may start to be less responsive, especially at high speeds. The driver may even feel the steering wheel vibrate while in motion or under braking.
2. Unstable braking
When you experience a sudden deterioration in braking efficiency, it may be attributed to a damaged suspension bushing. Other indicators may include a clunking noise, specifically coming from the control arm and usually following a bump, braking, or a hard turn.
3. Low performance and comfort
A bad bushing will compromise driving performance and comfort. Since the purpose of the suspension bushing is to cushion against small knocks, a damaged one will not be as effective, resulting in vibrations throughout the drive.
4. Uneven tyre wear
Examine the tire tread on your vehicle regularly to check for uneven tread wear. This problem usually indicates an issue with the alignment, which can be affected by worn bushings.
It is advisable to immediately replace the control arm bushings, as any delay in the repair can cause additional wear and tear on the suspension and other parts. Goldwagen offers a wide range of quality replacement bushes for various vehicles.
Visit our parts finder to browse our products or search for the exact bushings that you need for your specific vehicle.