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Control arm bushings

I took my 2002 Honda Civic, with 67,000 miles on it, to a national-chain brake place, and they said the control arm bushings that hold the bottom part of the wheel on are worn. They quoted

$271 for both bushings, plus $49.95 for alignment. I told the guy I didn’t want bushings or alignment right now. He said, “Your car is so far out of alignment with them bushings worn that we couldn’t even do an alignment without new bushings.”

I’m confused. I’ve had no wrecks, the car handles well, and the car will go straight for miles with my hands off the wheel, so I’m not sure I have an alignment or bushings problem. But I don’t want to be penny wise and pound foolish. Thoughts?

When did you last rotate your tires, and are inside and outside wearing evenly?

About 5,000 miles ago, and they are wearing evenly.

You didn’t say, but I’m assuming you went in for brake work and they “found” all these other issues. I’d say ‘thanks, fix the brakes’ then I’d go to a dealer or independent garage for a second opinion. I very seriously doubt that you need new bushings at 67K miles. I doubt that they’d even put new ones in. I think they would just say they did and charge you accordingly. I wouldn’t go back to this place, ever, for anything. If you tires are wearing evenly, your alignment is fine.

That’s right – they found other issues when I went in for brake work.
Thank you, richw46 and StrongDreamsWaitHere.

You most likely do not need lower control arm bushings. I have driven many cars for many miles to various ages, several to well over 67,000 miles and have never replaced lower control arm bushings.

In the 1960s these cheaters were selling ball joints to almost anyone who fell for their sales pitch.

Probably BOGUS…

Many years ago I took my car to a NTB for an alignment…The service tec said I needed new ball joints…I said…“Show me”…He couldn’t…200k miles later when I sold that truck the ball joints were still fine…

MOST of these national chains…their mechanics work on commission…They get a commission on every part they sell. In fact it accounts for a good portion of their pay.

Get another opinion or two without mentioning what you were told.
It’s at least possible there could be a control arm bushing problem. Aged and weakened shocks or struts, rough roads, dirt and road salt, etc. all have an effect on parts like this.

It’s also quite possible to have worn suspension components with no symptoms present yet; with the operative word being “yet”. Sometimes it takes a while for an issue to become noticeable.