Is A Tie Rod The Same As A Control Arm?

Vehicle Suspension
Vehicle Suspension |

Control Arm Vs. Trailing Arm

A control arm is the component that connects the suspension to the frame at the front of the vehicle while the trailing arm is the component that connects the suspension to the frame at the rear of the vehicle.

Tie Rod Vs. Ball Joint

Tie rods are part of a vehicle's steering system that connect the rack and pinion to the wheels and a ball joint is a spherical bearing that connects the control arm to the wheel via the steering knuckle.

The symptoms of a bad ball joint are:

  • Excessive tire wear
  • Wandering steering
  • Vibration
  • Squeaking and clunking

The symptoms of a bad tie rod are:

  • Loose wheels when jacked up
  • Clunking noises or shaking
  • Unresponsive steering
  • Poor wheel alignment
  • Uneven tire wear
  • If you recently hit a big pothole, curb etc.

Control Arm Vs. Sway Bar

Sway bars provide stability to your vehicle through turns while a control arm connects the vehicle's suspension to the vehicle's frame.

Most cars have two sway bars that run the width of the car in the front and the rear suspension, although some cars have a single sway bar in the front suspension. The sway bars are connected to the car's frame and the lower control arms on each side of the car.

The control arm is usually connected to the car's frame with bushings and to the car's suspension with a ball joint.

Tie Rod Vs. Control Arm

A tie rod is a steering component that connects your vehicle's rack and pinion to the vehicle's front wheel via a steering knuckle while a control arm connects the vehicle’s frame to the vehicle's suspension.

Tie Rod Vs. Drag Link

A tie rod is part of a rack and pinion steering system and connects the vehicle's front wheel via a steering knuckle to the vehicle's rack and pinion. A drag link is part of a steering system with a gear box. The drag link, along with a pitman arm, connects the steering gear box to the steering arm.

Tie Rod Vs. Tie Rod End

A tie rod is a metal piece that both the inner and outer tie rod ends spin onto although sometimes the whole assembly is referred to as a tie rod.