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Old 07-10-2005, 08:36 AM   #1
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Default How do you tell if your upper control arms are bad?

My local mechenic said mine were shot. He also said my brake pads were a hair's bredth from being worn out and I checked yesterday and there's 1/4" of pad material left. Now I'm very skeptical about the other things he said.

I do know my tie rod end on the driver's side is bad. He claimed both were bad but I just replaced the passenger's side part 10K miles ago.
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Old 07-10-2005, 08:56 AM   #2
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Default First look for any damage to the boot surrounding the ball joint.

If none is apparent, jack the car up, grab the wheel and try to move it up/down and side to side--if there's any play in those ball joints (ie if they're shot like he says)--you'll see it. Good luck

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Old 07-10-2005, 09:02 AM   #3
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Default I was just in having my front suspension checked out yesterday...

Had some pretty bad groaning coming from the front end going over speedbumps and even pushing down on the front of the car would cause it. I thought it was the lower control arms (which the recall is on) but he looked at all of it (with me right behind him watching) and the only thing that was bad is my upper rear control link(arm)... its actually the joint that is bad (but the whole arm must be replaced for the joint). Lift the front of the car up (so the wheels are off the ground) and see how much play is in the upper arms at the joints... they shouldn't really move at all, especially not up and down. A single one is only about a $60 part (price the shop quoted me). The front ones are harder to replace than the rear, but neither is a really big job. Hope that helps.
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Old 07-10-2005, 06:20 PM   #4
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Default Check also the mounting point bushings on the body. Shine a light in, look for tears, etc.

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Old 07-11-2005, 05:37 PM   #5
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Default Use your hand to cup the joint as you move the wheel...

there shouldn't be any motion between the parts, it is much easier to feel than see unless it is really bad.
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Old 07-15-2005, 01:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: I was just in having my front suspension checked out yesterday...

Hello, I have the same car and same noise as the one you describe the car makes. I took the car in to two separate dealers to have them look at it. Both of them recommend replacing the "left front lower control arm" and the part # is 4D0 407 151 P. The price I was quoted just for the part was around $200. One of them also recommended replacing the "sway bar?" What is the part for which you received the $60 quote? Audi refuses to replace the control arm as part of the recall since they say it not a problem with the ball joint.
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Old 07-15-2005, 01:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: I was just in having my front suspension checked out yesterday...

Also, can I ignore the noise and keep driving on? What are the best and worst case scenarios?
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Old 07-15-2005, 06:07 PM   #8
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Default The $60 is ONE of the upper control arms (there are two on each side).

As far as I know the recall is on the lower control arms... they should replace those for you. I've heard of some people having success using a grease injector to put some grease in the joint to hold it off for awhile. I imagine the handling capabilities would suffer a bit but it would drive fine for the most part. I might take it to another dealer and see, or have an independent shop check it out. Best case is a dealership would fix it for you free of charge (because there is a recall on the lower control arms) but worst case is the lower control arms are bad and you have to shell out the bucks to have it done (in that case, theres no WAY I'd pay a dealership to do it, take it to an independent shop).
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Old 07-15-2005, 06:07 PM
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