Bushings are cushions made of rubber, polyurethane (often abbreviated as “poly” or “urethane”), or other materials. Coupled with the car’s suspension and steering joints, it absorbs shock from the road, controls the amount of joint movement, and reduces noise and vibration. Bushings are often in the form of thick rubber washers through which the suspension components (or the bolts that hold them) pass.
As the bushing wears, more movement is possible. Drivers may feel a shaking from the front of the vehicle or a rattle and rattle on uneven roads when turning the wheels or applying a sudden brake. Drivers can also experience improper handling and loose steering. Rear suspension bushing failure can be difficult to spot because it does not involve the steering system and is less affected by cornering.
Bushings are used for control arms, anti-roll bars (also known as anti-roll bars), ball joints, tie rods, shock absorbers and strut mounts, other suspension and steering parts, and engine and transmission mounts. They wear out and crack due to friction, aging, heat, exposure to road salts and lubricants, frequent movements, and the stress of heavy loads.
Wearing bushings, such as the cartilage that protects the knees and elbows, puts more pressure on the joints and connections. Like bone-to-bone contact, worn bushings allow metal-to-metal contact. Using the control arm bushing can cause the front of the vehicle to move, causing premature tire wear.
It may not be the part itself that feels or sounds like a worn shock or ball joint, or another suspension problem, but a bushing that dampens the joint and mounting points. A close inspection of the suspension bushing will reveal what the cause is. For example, a loose stabilizer bar can cause your body to lean more (and probably make noise), but if the bar is not bent or broken, you just need to replace the bushing.
On the other hand, repair shops may recommend replacement of parts and bushings. If it is worn, the part itself is old and may not last long. Additionally, many bushings are inserted into metal sleeves and are difficult to remove, increasing labor and cost. In some cars, the control arm bushing cannot be replaced individually, so the mechanic may need to replace the control arm.
Dry bushings can also cause a squeak. Older cars with grease nipples require regular lubrication as well as oil changes (the “lubricating” part of the oil and lube). Today’s cars have made regular maintenance easier by installing permanently lubricated bushings, but truth is that always they are not truly permanent. Once the bushing in this metal covered design dries, it will resolve the squeak that needs to be completely replaced.
Due to the great effort involved in installing new bushings in some vehicles, the total cost may be higher than the bushings themselves. However, the new bushing can significantly improve the ride quality and handling of vehicles that have been in use for several years.
Each part of your vehicle has its own importance so you should keep an eye on every part or frequently visit your mechanic at least once a month.