Suspension & Front End Repair

Ball joints (upper and lower)
Ball joints are a part of your vehicle's suspension that connects the steering knuckles to the control arms. A ball joint is essentially a flexible ball and socket that allows the suspension to move and at the same time the wheels to steer. Cars and trucks without strut suspensions typically have four of them (one upper and one lower on each side). Cars and minivans with strut suspensions have only two (one lower ball joint on each side). Some front-wheel drive cars also have ball joints on the rear suspension.

Control arms (upper and lower)
In automotive suspension, a control arm (sometimes called a wishbone or A-arm) is a nearly flat and roughly triangular member (or sub-frame), that pivots in two places. The broad end of the triangle attaches at the frame and pivots on a bushing. The narrow end attaches to the steering knuckle and pivots on a ball joint. Two such devices per wheel make up double wishbone suspension, while one control arm per wheel makes up a part, usually the lower part, of MacPherson strut suspension or of various other configurations.

Control arm shafts and bushings
How do you know if your upper control arm bushings are going bad? One of the easiest ways is to physically inspect them. If the rubber part of the bushing is deteriorated, cracked or even missing, it is time to replace them. If every time you pull forward or back up you hear a clunking sound or actually feel the car’s front suspension move forward or back, replacement is the answer. Sometimes the car will actually pull to the side that needs replaced every time you step on the brakes, acting just like a brake that is pulling. Have Southeast Auto Service inspect them for you.

MacPherson struts (front and rear)
The strut shaft on a MacPherson suspension system receives a tremendous amount of force, both vertically and horizontally, even during normal driving conditions. For this reason, the assembly must be inspected periodically for signs of leakage, poor dampening, or shaft bending. The rest of the system should also be checked carefully, particularly the ball joints, control arm bushings, strut rod bushings, and sway bar bushings.

Spindle, spindle supports, stabilizer bar and tie rods.
We look for visible damage, corrosion on sealing or wear surfaces, wheels not pointing straight ahead with the steering wheel centered. Obvious wheel misalignment, improper previous repairs, flaking mental or corrosion that may indicate damage to a part.