Control Arm Bushings

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  #1  
Old 01-14-11, 06:25 PM
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Control Arm Bushings

I have a Camry 2000. When I took to an auto shop to change oil, I was told that there are cracks from control arm bushings.
I got an estimate from both shops. Replacing them needs about $500.00 (in DFW area).
when I looked it up. It seems that it only costs about 40.00 each.
what makes it so hard that people charge so much labor?
Is $500.00 of changing control arm bushings a reasonable price?
 
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  #2  
Old 01-14-11, 08:22 PM
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control arm has to be removed completely, to press bushings out. same time, it is wise to do both arms. you have McPherson strut in the front and lower control arm. so, it's 2 control arms. for a un-equipped DIY-er it's quite a job. it is not hard, just requires basic know-how and tools. plus, it's not a good season to do this. cold.

that outside of bushings is cracked, does not mean much. do you have any problems? knocks, clunks, rattles? if not, just drive her. it's what, 120 000 miles? it's old Toyota, they run much longer and better than new ones. don't fix it if it ain't brok.
 
  #3  
Old 01-15-11, 02:18 AM
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These days shop labor rates are not cheap. Assuming that flat rate labor hours per side are probably around 2 hours, and assuming that they would likely include a front end alignment the estimates are pretty much what could be expected. Everyone needs to make a living, but these days much of the shop rate charges still go to overhead and profit. The technician will only benefit when he beats the hours allowed and is paid for and can then do more jobs during the day. My guess is that the technician if he does this work often and doesn't have to deal with any surprises, he will do it in half the allowed time. In the DFW area unless you find some back street shop serving the Hispanic community for instance, shop rates are all pretty high. I guess that's life in the big city unfortunately.
 
  #4  
Old 01-15-11, 05:49 AM
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thanks for both replies. My car only has 55,000 miles on it. I kind of ignored the advice to replace. But lately my wife who is driving it is complaining about some rattling noise or vibration on the right side (front). but she can't reproduce it at will.
so I thought it would be better to just replace it without having to worry about it.

One shop said charges will be the same for replacing bushings or the entire arms (because of labor cost). My concern for replacing entire arm is that they don't supply genuine part. so I was thinking of replacing just bushings.

can anyone give some advice on that?
 
  #5  
Old 01-15-11, 06:08 AM
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i doubt that you are going to get the 'noise' fixed-if you can not duplicate it for the repair tech!
can/did he show you where excess movement was ?
as stated above - the little cracks around the outer edge of the bushing is - normal.
i would think (sight unseen) that a more probable suspect would be a stabilizer link/or tie rod.
i would not install any-after market control arms.
i am not sure about whether toyo services -just the bushings.

i have been doing this all my life.
& have seen a lot of so called techs-that would just replace something as a process of elimination/ &to get paid / then tell you we are going to need more $$=etc!
 

Last edited by newtofta; 01-15-11 at 06:14 AM. Reason: added my thoughts
  #6  
Old 01-15-11, 02:08 PM
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thanks for your reply. I went to a very honest mechanic. After trying to duplicating the noise/vibration without success with me by driving a few miles with jerky, twisting movements, he basically told me he could not find anything. He looked at bushings and saw some cracks. But he said that it shouldn't a problem. He even showed me. He also doubted that replacing the control arm bushings (given in such a good condition) would make any difference.
He did't charge me anything.
I noticed a few things in the trunk that could make noise with sudden movement and removed everything. my wife might have mistakenly thought the noise came from front when actually from the back.
will have the car monitor for a while. I drove for serveral hours today and didn't notice anything unusual.
 
  #7  
Old 01-15-11, 04:22 PM
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I have to add, you did discover one thing, the right place to take your car for service, when it needs it.

Bud
 
  #8  
Old 01-15-11, 04:26 PM
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55 000 miles?

let it go. it's not worth worrying about.

keep that mech!!
 
  #9  
Old 01-18-11, 01:27 PM
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I agree. I wouldn't condemn the bushings for a few cracks. Especially if you have to pay for labor for the repair. I'd let it go until the rubber looked worse, i.e., if it was extruding out the sides or noticeable play developed.
 
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