Control arm bushings are one of those parts in your car that you may only need to replace once, while you own the vehicle. However, it is important to know how to remove them yourself, so you can save some money in the process. Many do-it-yourself mechanics do not attempt to work on the front end of the vehicle, as they think they need special tools to do the job. With just a few brake tools, and some front end tools, you can easily do your own work on the front end, and the control arm bushings.
Step 1: Raise Front End of Car
When it come to working on the drive train, or the underside of your vehicle, you need to lift the car in the air. If you do not have a large car lift, use a floor jack and jack stands. Place the floor jack under the vehicle, on a secure area, and raise the front end of the car. Slide the jack stands in, near the motor mounts, or another area on the frame. Lower the jack, until the car rests on the stands.
Step 2: Remove Tire
Once the car is positioned on the jack stands, remove the left front tire. Use the lug wrench to twist the lug nuts off, and slide and the tire off of the lugs. Set it aside and out of your way.
Step 3: Remove Brake Calipers and Rotor
With the tire out of the way, remove the brakes and rotor, in order to get at the control arm bushings. This is done easily, with the use of regular brake tools. Once you have the brakes and rotors removed from the vehicle, you will have access to the ball joints and the control arm. They will be directly in front of you.
Step 4: Locate Bolts for Control Arm
Along the top of the ball joint assembly, you will find some bolts that connect to the control arm. Depending on the actual model of your vehicle, you will also find a retaining bolt on the top, that secures the sway bar link. Remove the retaining bolt. Once that is removed, use a 1/2 inch socket and ratchet to loosen the other 2 or 3 bolts that secure the control arm to the ball joint.
Step 5: Remove Fasteners
Once you have loosened the bolts on the control arm, stop just short of removing them with the socket. When they are loose enough, use your fingers to remove each bolt. Set them aside, and finish removing any other clips or fasteners that may be on your particular make of vehicle.
Step 6: Lift Control Arm Assembly away from Car
With all of the fasteners removed from the control arm, you can now remove it from the vehicle. Once the control arm has been removed, you can easily remove the control arm bushings. They will be left on the control arm. The control arm bushings are small, and may look mashed because of the pressure of the retaining nuts.