Complete Guide to Upper Control Arms

When it comes to leveling your truck or SUV, there are a few components you need to consider. One of these components is the upper control arms. Go with They play a crucial role in maintaining the proper alignment of your wheels after a leveling kit installation.

In this article, we’ll go over what upper control arms are, why you might need them with a leveling kit, and what to look for when choosing the right upper control arms for your vehicle.

What are upper control arms?

Upper control arms are a part of your vehicle’s suspension system. They connect the chassis to the upper ball joint, connected to the steering knuckle. The upper control arm’s job is to control the wheel and tire’s movement and maintain proper alignment.

Why do you need upper control arms with a leveling kit?

When you install a leveling kit, you raise the front of your vehicle to match the height of the rear. This can cause changes in the suspension geometry, including changes in the angle of the upper control arms. If the angle is too steep, it can cause excess stress on the ball joint, leading to premature wear and potentially dangerous driving conditions.

Installing aftermarket upper control arms designed specifically with leveling kits can help correct the suspension geometry and bear premature wear and tear on your vehicle’s suspension components.

upper control arms

What to look for in aftermarket upper control arms

When shopping for aftermarket upper control arms, there are a few key factors to consider:

  1. Material: Look for control arms made from high-quality materials, such as steel or aluminum. Avoid control arms made from cheap materials that may bend or break under stress.
  2. Adjustability: Look for control arms with adjustability options. Adjusting the length of the control arm helps fine-tune the suspension geometry and ensure proper alignment.
  3. Durability: Ensure the control arms are designed to withstand the added stress of leveling kits. Look for control arms with reinforced bushings, heavy-duty ball joints, and other features that improve durability.
  4. Compatibility: Ensure the control arms are compatible with your vehicle’s make and model. Some manufacturers offer control arms designed specifically for certain models.


What happens when your upper control arm goes bad?

The upper control arm is critical to your vehicle’s suspension system. When it goes bad, it can cause problems affecting your driving experience and vehicle safety. Here are some common signs that your upper control arm may be going bad:

  1. Steering problems: A bad upper control arm can cause your steering to feel loose or imprecise. You may notice that your vehicle is harder to steer or wanders on the road.
  2. Uneven tire wear: When it is bad, it can cause uneven tire wear. You may notice that the inside or outside of your tires is wearing down faster than the rest.
  3. Clunking noise: It can cause a clunking noise when you go over bumps or turn corners. A loose ball joint, a common problem with bad one, often causes this noise.
  4. Vibration: If your upper control arm is bad, it can cause your vehicle to vibrate, especially at high speeds. This vibration can make driving uncomfortable and can be a sign of a problem.
  5. Reduced handling: It can cause your vehicle’s handling to suffer. You may notice that your car feels less stable when turning corners or doesn’t handle bumps and dips in the road as well as it used to.

If you experience any of these symptoms, having your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic as soon as possible is essential. Ignoring a bad upper control arm can lead to more serious problems, including suspension failure and accidents. Replacing a bad upper control arm is typically a straightforward repair, but it’s important to have it done by a professional to ensure your vehicle’s safety and reliability.


Installing aftermarket upper control arms is a smart choice when leveling your vehicle. They can help correct suspension geometry, prevent premature wear and tear, and ensure safe and comfortable driving. When shopping for aftermarket upper control arms, look for high-quality materials, adjustability options, durability, and compatibility with your vehicle.