What Are Bushings On A Car? Common Issues And How To Change Them
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If you’ve ever wondered if your car needs some maintenance because it has a rattling noise every time you turn, and it vibrates too much when you’re driving, it could mean that your bushings need to be replaced.
But, what are bushings on a car? Here we’re going to explain to you what exactly those car parts are and what common problems you could be facing and how to fix them.
Bushings are a kind of rubber or polyurethane cushions that are located in the wheel arm of your car. These work alongside the suspension system and are exactly made to absorb shocks from the road, reduce the noise of the car and control the movements of the wheel joints.
These bushings can be found on stabilizer bars, shock absorbers, other steering parts, and engines or even transmission systems. If the bushings are too old, have been exposed to over-heat, salt or lubricants for a long time or just been over stressed from movements and weights loads, they can wear out.
Because they are one of the main components of the car that let the driver maintain control of the car, these rubber parts can degrade. If you start losing control over your car at every turn or you hear some weird clunk noises at every bump, you’re facing a bushing problem.
It is normal that bushings like any other component of your car will eventually wear out and when they start to do it, you’ll eventually encounter some kind of trouble when driving your car and some of them could be really annoying.
Car Bushings – Common Issues
Normal issues that can be faced because of a bushing is wearing out are loose movements on the steering wheel. Every time you turn the control over the steering wheel will be lost or just feel like the wheel is harder or softer than normally, and that could lead to an accident.
Rattling noises or weird movements on the front part of the car are also normal when bushings are wearing out. Especially on tough roads or in difficult curves and turns, even when you’re trying to stop you’ll feel how the car responds differently to brakes.
If you’ve ever faced one of these problems, being a lost response on your steering wheel, abnormal movements on the trunk or front part of the car, problems at driving in a straight line or just weird noises every time you turn, it may be time to replace your car bushings.
Luckily, here we’ll tell you how to tell if they need changes and how to do it.
How To Tell If They Need Change?
Bushings are like cartilage we humans have on our elbows and knees. The only difference is that they last a lot less than our human “bushings” because they’re exposed to more work and stress every time you use your car.
Like the contact the bones in your elbows make every time you move your arm or your knees have when you’re walking, bushings also experience this kind of contact when you’re driving your car. What’s more, they can wear out faster and eventually cause tire wear and some other issues.
If at every turn you’ll feel a weird shock or rattling noise on the car, you’ll think that it is a suspension problem, but it could just be bushings needing to be replaced, and not just the entire suspension part itself.
By inspecting the suspension arm, it will be easy to tell what the problem is. If the cushions look old and dry, like they are going to break or the rubber is degrading, and the suspension arm is working loose on the car. You’ve found the problem; it is time to change your bushings!!
How To Change Car Bushings
If you want to change your bushings the first thing you’ll need if a replacement for your old ones. One of the best upgrades you can find are polyurethane bushings, these are stronger and cheaper than original ones, they can also last longer than the ones made of rubber.
A mechanic would recommend replacing the entire suspension part instead of replacing just the bushings. That’s because if bushings are wearing out it can mean that the entire part is also wearing out too, so it is possible that they won’t last much longer.
Another detail to take into account is that bushings can be really difficult to change, if they are made of metal or are pressed into the suspension part, this would mean that you’ll need more time to change it and more resources.
However, if you’re having problems when removing your bushings from your car, you can use a Gear Puller that can be found on Amazon.
Watch this video to see how to change your bushings:
(This procedure was made on a BMW E46. However, the removing and installation procedure won’t be too different in other vehicles.)
- 3/8" or 1/2" ratchet with assorted sockets
- A Lubricant and rust solution to use in the suspension part
- A Gear Puller like the one you can find here.
- Silicone Spray or grease
- Use the ratchet to separate the suspension part from the car.
- Remove the outer part of the bushing if there is one.
- Remove the inner part of the bushing using the Gear Puller alongside the ratchet as shown in the video. If the part if taking too long to get out, you can use a lubricant like silicone spray or grease to make it easier.
- Clean the suspension component and add rust solution.
- Install the new bushing in the suspension component.
- Install the entire suspension part on the car using the ratchet and the bolts in the metal sleeve.
- Check that everything is tight enough and test your car, if it doesn’t have any of the problems you were facing before; it means you did a good job.
Remember that bushings are an important part of every car, if you are changing them wrong you can harm your car suspension system, and a whole part change would be needed. An alignment can be a possibility if the part doesn’t work well after.
If the removing procedure of the bushings is taking too long you can use lubricants and different kind of gear pullers like a TEKTON 5696 Gear Puller.
The amount of time and cost of every bushing change can vary from car to car and different amount of degrading. However, if you change your bushing, it is always necessary to be sure that you’re not facing the same problems as before or the ones shown in this article.