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Old 03-21-2007, 01:49 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 57308
Join Date: Mar 2004
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Boise Area, Idaho
1999 2.5 RS
Rally Blue Pearl

Default How bad is it to drive on a bent control arm?

Backstory: I turned into a curb during the crazy ice storms to prevent slamming into a fender bender down the hill from me. I rubbed pretty good until I came to a stop. I heard no grinding of the wheels just some scuffed tire was left. I could not feel any difference in the driving of the car so I thought I was okay. That was early December and about 2000 miles ago.

Last week I had a tire shop take off my snow tires and put on my seasonals. I make a 160 mile round trip drive every other weekend. I made the drive this past weekend and got an average of 20-22mg on the highway (bad for me) and a grinding noise at sharp turns. The car went back to the shop. Apparently I have a bent control arm. The rubbing in December is the only time I can recall where the arm had potential to bend.

My snow tire's tread looks even on all four. My gas mileage back then was good. I have no idea why all of a sudden my "bent control arm" would kick in and cause me bad gas mileage and grinding noises with the new tires.

I am scheduled to drive back to our farm this weekend. It is a 300 mile drive. When there I can change it for free at our machine shop and pick up a used arm for cheap. Is it horribly wrong to make the drive? Theoretically I have been driving on that bent arm for quite some time now. If I have to pay the shop to change it I will but I would rather do it myself and save some cash.
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:55 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 14311
Join Date: Jan 2002
2010 GTI


Well, under normal circumstances I would say no....... but if you've already been driving on it for about 2000 miles, you may as well.
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:19 AM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 8351
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Alabama
2002 WRX Wagon


Sounds like a mildly bent control arm. Normally, you can see the change in wheelbase and the steering will feel wacky. The rubbing is likely from the new tires (even if they are the same size,they mey be a little wider) which are probably rubbing the fender liners.

Can you take a picutre of both sides?
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Old 03-21-2007, 01:56 PM   #4
Meat Supply
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 137902
Join Date: Jan 2007
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: traverse city, Mi skeletor
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i had a bent one on my old beretta years ago......didn't notice much difference that i could tell.....it might screw up alignment some but....check your tire wear avery once in awhile
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Old 03-21-2007, 03:42 PM   #5
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 48377
Join Date: Nov 2003
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: "They eat fish soaked in lye"
1996 Gutted, built
XP class Impreza L


Get your car realigned and fix it when you can. Drive on it without any worries. Rally cars run on horribly bent suspensions for quite a while sometimes and don't have problems.
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