Control arms vs inner steering rods


#1

I have a 2000 S80 Volvo. I have had a rattle in the left front side and it has not been riding smoothly as it normally does; it is hitting bumps hard. I have been advised that I need front struts, control arms and inner steering rods. I wonder about the control arms and inner steering rods. What is most propable and is it possible to need both? I also wonder about the quote: $750 for struts, $700 for control arms and $450 for inner steering rods.


#2

I wonder about how many miles are on this car?? Cars don’t wear out one part at a time…As the miles add up, the entire car wears out…With front ends, there are many high-wear, high-stress parts… But before I spent two Grand on it, I would have a second front-end shop take a look at it and give you a repair price…The struts are the main issue and $700 sounds a little high for struts or strut cartridges…


#3

Say bar links on this model will rattle at the drop of a hat. Another “pattern failure” (a problem mechanics see over & over again & therefore can figure out easily) are broken spring seats in the top of the front struts. With the car on the ground it’s perfectly safe to remove the 21mm nuts at the top of the strut (under the hood). One must use a torx wrench, though, to keep the strut piston (shaft that the 21mm nut screws onto) from turning. With the LH & RH side 21mm nuts off, you can eyeball the rubber/metal spring seats. If there are cracks in the rubber they will make horrible scrunching noises over bumps.

Also, when I worked at the Volvo dealership I seemed to see a lot of inner tie rods wear out.


#4

Milage is less than 89,000


#5

It’s not possible to tell without looking at it of course, and all those things could be bad, at least in theory. But at 89K it would be unusual to need to replace anything other than the struts. Unless of course the car has been used in a rough environment, like driving a lot on bumpy or pot-hole filled roads, or by a very aggressive driver. Before replacing all that stuff, at least get someone else to take a look at it. Did you get the first estimate from the Volvo dealership? Or someone else?


#6

The estimate(s) are a combination of two places one of which is a dealership the other is a Volvo certified dealer/machanic. They both say struts one says control arms the other says inner steering rods. The roads I travel do have a lot of pot holes. From what I understand it would be unlikely to need the control arms; maybe the bushings or balljoints but unlikely the actual control arms. Thoughts?


#7

It is possible that any of those parts could be damaged. Just hitting one pothole at too high of speed or a bad angle could damage pretty much anything. The car isn’t super-car. But it seems highly unlikely the control arm itself could be damaged simply by going over a pothole. Like you say, perhaps a bushing, but that wouldn’t require replacing the whole control arm generally. Usually when the control arm gets damaged, it isn’t due to driving, it is b/c the car has been lifted improperly by an inexperienced mechanic doing work on the vehicle. Every car has designed-in lift points, and sometimes the mechanics get lazy and lift the car using a control arm as the lift point. Sometimes you can get away with this, and sometimes it damages the control arm.


#8

Some control-arms have replaceable bushings and ball-joints. Some do not and to replace those parts, the entire control-arm must be replaced…


#9

Thank you all. A lot of input and advise. Much appreciated. Anyone in the Portland OR area know a good front end shop? Or advise on how to find a good one?