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Ford F150 Lower Control Arm Noise

Ford F150 Lower Control Arm Noise

A control arm is part of the Ford F150 suspension system, which primarily connects the steering knuckle to the front wheels. You should not ignore the clicking noises from the lower control arm bushings because it can worsen the situation and damage the tire’s tread surface.

Ford F150 lower control arm noise can be due to cracked bushings, drying of control arm bushings, damaged lower control arm, loose or broken bushings, worn-out ball joints, damaged sway bars, and poorly balanced wheels.

I also faced the issue while driving on unpaved roads. I checked the braking system because I thought it came from the damaged brake rotors. I inspected the brake components but could not find any issue with them. I checked the suspension parts and saw loose lower control arm bushings.

Problems Solutions
Cracked bushings Replace cracked or broken bushings with a new one
Drying of control arm bushings Use silicone grease for lubrication
Damaged lower control arm Replace the damaged control arm
Loose bushings Tighten bushings with duct tape
Worn-out ball joints Replace the worn-out ball joints
Damaged sway bars Inspect and maintain the sway bars regularly
Poorly balanced wheels Add weights for wheel balancing

Cracked bushings

Bushings are made up of rubber material, which is used to cover the metal lower control arm streaks. These help reduce the vibrations and uneven noises from metal-to-metal contact during driving.

Rubber bushings ensure smooth and comfortable ride quality. Bushings act as the guarding material to decrease the friction between the two metal parts.

You can hear the clicking and grinding noises while driving because of cracked bushings. They have a specific life span and can wear out with their age.

In addition, these can also crack because of the drying of the rubber material with its age. These are made of high-quality rubber material, but they can break after a certain life span.

These cannot withstand harsh and dry weather conditions and are vulnerable to cracking and breaking. Moreover, exposure to warm temperatures also increases the cracking risks.

Furthermore, heavy hauling and driving on poor roads increase their cracking risks. The life span of control arm bushings also depends on the driving habits.

Exposure to certain chemicals, greases, and solvents also causes the deterioration of rubber material. Driving on bumpy and unpaved roads increases the vibrations and chances of cracked bushings.

You should adopt good driving habits and avoid frequent braking. Avoid hauling heavy loads with your Ford F150 pickup truck that exceeds its payload capacity.

You should avoid driving with cracked or broken control arm bushings because they stress the steering components, wheels, and driveline.

You can replace the bushings without replacing the complete lower control arm. It is a difficult procedure, so hiring an expert mechanic for its replacement is better.

Drying of control arm bushings

Dried control arm bushings also cause the lower control arm to produce noise. In addition, you can also face a rough driving experience because of excessive vibrations and irritating sounds.

These rubber components need regular lubrication for their proper functioning. The issue comes because of poor maintenance of the vehicles.

Exposure to harsh weather conditions also causes the drying of lubricant. High mileage also tends to decrease the efficiency of lubrication.

Road salts and certain chemicals also come in contact with the greasing material and cause its contamination and drying.

One of my friends, having a 2015 Ford F150, faced the same issue two years back. He thought that the noise was coming from the warped brake rotors.

He called me, and I asked him when he lubricated the bushing last time. He told me he did not remember, but it had been so long.

He did not lubricate the bushings for many years, which caused the drying of rubber material and a rough driving experience. I advised him to lubricate the control arm bushings every 3000 to 5000 miles, depending on the driving and road conditions, to decrease their cracking chances.

I told him I prefer using synthetic or silicone-based grease for lubrication.

Damaged lower control arm

Lower control arms are the integral component that connects the truck’s suspension system with the chassis to ensure a comfortable ride on unpaved roads.

It is vulnerable to failure because of its age and certain impacts. Road accidents increase the risk of wear and tear of these delicate metal parts.

Road impacts also cause bending of control arms, and they cannot maintain smooth tire movement on bumpy roads.

High mileage also increases the risk of their wear out and triggers the clucking noise from these parts. It can wear out quickly when you frequently drive on rocky and uneven terrains.

Moreover, frequent off-road trips also increase their chances of deterioration. Wheels hitting the curb area also cause the problem. In addition, corrosion can also come on its metal parts because of the rusty undercarriage surface of the truck.

Because of their failure, you can see less efficient braking and poor steering control. You can also face problems because of incorrect towing and hauling heavy loads.

I also faced the same issue in my Ford F150. I replaced the corroded lower control arms with a new one. Moreover, I also painted the undercarriage with anti-rust spray to decrease the corrosion exposure from the vehicle’s frame.

Loose bushings

You can hear the knocking sound from the lower control arm because of its loose bushings. Loose bushings come in contact with the metal part and cause problems.

Control arm bushings become loose because of driving over speed bumps and uneven roads. In addition, worn-out bushings are not able to cover the metal parts adequately and come off from their surface.

The issue also comes when you accidentally loosen them while repairing other parts. Knocking sound because of loose bushings becomes loud when you press the accelerator pedal to increase speed.

You can hear the high-frequency sound while shifting gears. Frequent movement and heavy hauls increase their loosening chances with increasing mileage.

In addition, the problem comes because of friction, age, and road element exposure. My neighbor also experienced rough driving conditions with poor balance because of loose bushings.

He told me he temporarily tightened the bushings by wrapping the duct tape around them. He went for a test drive on his Ford F150 after duct tape wrapping and did not face swaying while turning.

Worn-out ball joints

A control arm is connected to the steering knuckle with a ball joint. Ball joints act as the pivot point, allowing their smooth movement in various directions.

Ford F150 wheels cannot maintain stability, and you can hear the noise because of worn-out ball joints. You can hear the noise because of dirt and grime accumulation inside ball joints.

Grime and dirt produce a knocking sound when you start driving. These can also wear out because of age-related wear and tear and driving over potholes and rough roads.

You can replace the worn-out ball joint with a new one. However, you can also decrease its wear and tear chances by greasing it regularly.

Damaged sway bars

The sway bar is the stabilizing component that is attached to truck wheels to ensure stability while driving and decrease the pulling-over issue.

It decreases the rolling issue while driving over the turning point when vehicle weight shifts towards one side. It can get damaged because of road impacts, lack of lubrication, and overloading.

You can decrease the risk of damage by inspecting and maintaining it regularly. You should ensure it is free from bends, rust, and cracks.

Poorly balanced wheels

The lower control arm in your Ford F150 produces a knocking or rattling sound because of poorly balanced wheels. A poorly balanced wheel does not put the same pressure on all sides, and you can feel vibrations over the steering wheel, poor handling, and compromised fuel economy.

These become unbalanced because of driving on bumpy roads, hitting the curb surface, and bending the wheel assembly.

You can correct the wheel balancing by adding weights to the required location. You have to contact the dealership for a wheel balancing inspection.

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