My 2008 Acura TSX had developed a violent shake when accelerating. Upon a brief inspection, I noticed the control arm/compliance bushings were partially torn (completely at one point, partially at two points). I assumed this was causing the shaking and replaced them. A year later, the shaking returned and I found the cause to be bad inner CV joints. However, my control arm bushings have started to tear again.

I'm assuming it was the CV's shaking that caused the tearing, so I'm hoping the tearing will not get worse. I want to know if it's dangerous to drive with a partially torn control arm bushing, or if I should replace it.

  • Related question here, and even asked on the same day. What a coincidence.
    – JPhi1618
    Nov 25 '15 at 14:46
  • @JPhi1618 interesting. Is a sway bar and a control arm the same thing? Nov 25 '15 at 15:46
  • 2
    No, they're not the same thing, but the terms are often confused by people that don't know much about it (not labeling you or the poster of the other question... just a general statement). It's related because they are both important parts of the front suspension. I'd argue that torn control arm bushings is worse than the sway bar. I had a car that felt downright dangerous because of severely torn rear control arm bushings. It's a challenging DIY job, but I was able to do it with basic tools in my driveway, even if it did take all day.
    – JPhi1618
    Nov 25 '15 at 15:53
  • 1
    It's best to get it fixed, but you're not going to lose control and die because of a small tear. Watch the tear and pay attention to changes in the car's handling. Start setting aside money now though. Nov 25 '15 at 18:57
  • Be careful mine need replaced and I have to get it done cause my wheels shacks when I jack the car up and it destroyed my brand new cross drilled slotted rotors
    – user26437
    Mar 11 '17 at 22:27

Its not uncommon for the control arm bushings on many Hondas/ Acuras to expire quickly. It is however a bit dangerous to drive with them if they are starting to wear down or dry rot. They harden when this happens and cause other components on your suspension and sub-frame to fail. The lateral and vertical shaking of your car will cause something to give eventually. It's not something I'd ignore. You'll need a shop press, a bearing puller set and some patience if you do it yourself.

There is a video on youtube of a guy that really neglected his control arm bushings, his car starts to shake very violently in the video and he looses control and hits a tree. The reason was, because he ignored the issue and the wheel bearing sheared loose after months of being wiggled and knocked in ways it wasn't designed to be.

I would just replace it. I know it can be a monetary and physical pain in the butt, but it's worth not having to deal with getting into an accident or not having a car at all. A short answer to this question is, no its not safe; It could last one more drive, or 1 year.

  • please share that YouTube link, I'm curious in what shape the loss of control took place.
    – jxramos
    Dec 7 '16 at 0:51

Depending on your jurisdiction, it may be illegal. In the UK, the condition of these "dust covers" is now inspected and any degradation is considered a fail.

When you consider the cost to replace these as opposed to having them fail during operation, I don't think there is a good argument not replace them.


If in doubt, replace it - it'll be a lot better for your peace of mind! Plus, as Steve says, it may be illegal in your jurisdiction and /or fail any roadworthyness test - and if you were in an accident because it failed, and they could prove you knew about it beforehand, they'd throw the book at you...

I'd also get the alignment of the various suspension bits checked, in case there are any other problems that are causing the bushes to fail prematurely, e.g. something that is putting too much stress on them in an odd direction...

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