Case Studies

Volvo Trailing Arm (Rear Control Arm) Bushings – The Correct Repair

The Problem
We often come across 2008-20015 Volvos that come with for concerns of excessive tire wear, or “loose handling” issues. Often the customer has been at other shops and paid for multiple parts, repairs or alignments in an attempt to correct the issue. Yet it remains, and the car is then referred to our facility for evaluation.

What Happens
Almost invariably we find that the rear trailing arm bushings, a rubber and steel mount, and the only part that secures and locates a critical part of the rear suspension system to the body (attaching to the hub where the wheel bolts on) are very worn or even torn out.

The rubber bushing, which is molded around and attached to the metal collar, splits or comes loose, and the entire rear suspension has no fixed anchor or attachment to the car’s body. It’s a very common finding on all of the 2008 and up cars for us and usually seems to occur right past the 80,000-mile mark, though it can occur even sooner based on environmental exposure.

What It Does
The trailing arm bushing allows your car’s rear trailing arms (which locate the rear suspension and tire) to move up and down over road surfaces and bumps, and allow for compression of the rear coil spring when the car is heavily loaded. Though a bearing could be used in this place, the rubber bushing is generally much for durable, and also serves the dual purpose of the rubber cushioning or absorbing some of the impacts from the road.

But these bushings live in a harsh environmental spot, right in front of the rear wheels, subject to road salt, dirt, grit, water, and temperature extremes from well below freezing, to over 100 degrees on a warm day. It’s a hard job, but bushings have been doing that for well over a century in most auto designs.

Often Overlooked
The problem is often overlooked as most repair shops are not aware of it, or lack the special tools necessary to undertake such a repair. So rather than tell the customer what is wrong with the car, lacking the tools to be able to fix it properly, they try all kinds of things, from alignment to selling tires, to resolve the issue. Money and time are often both wasted until finally, the car winds up on our doorstep.

We get it, the tooling is costly, and the techniques are very important, and unless you specialize in Volvo Service as we do, it’s rare for anyone outside the new car dealer to have this gear. But we think our customers deserve the best and most efficient service possible. See this service process in a video at this link – Volvo Control Arm Bushings

The real repair is actually quite straightforward, replacement of the failed bushing with an updated part. Volvo has redesigned the bushing to be more durable with what climate here in the northeast, with thermal cycling, and exposure to corrosive chemicals like road salt, a very harsh environment for any mechanical device.

Most shops and dealers will warranty this part for just one year, but here at Atlantic Motorcar, we offer a full Nationwide Warranty of 3 Years and 36,000 Miles. Once the bushings are replaced with the updated parts, we then make certain a proper 4 wheel alignment is carried out, and return your car back to you, running and driving like new.

How We Can Help You
The Service Team here at Atlantic Motorcar is well experienced in this issue, and others, with over 35 years of Volvo specialization, serving clients from the areas of New England, we are familiar with the needs of the special service of your Volvo. Since we have diagnosed and treated this problem many times, we have the experience and qualifications necessary to return your Volvo to its original self.

As Maine’s leading European auto specialists, we provide expert-quality services at a fair rate than nearby dealerships and specialty shops. If you’re experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms in your own Volvo, please call us right away, we can usually see your car the same day! At Atlantic Motorcar we’ve developed some very specific procedures and tooling, combined with our expert technicians, to make this otherwise onerous repair a snap.

Questions, or if we can be of help in any way with service on your Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Mini Cooper or other European (and now Japanese) import, please contact us. Our team of Service Specialists is here to help, for even the newest autos! (207) 882-9969.

Knowing, not just “doing”, that’s the Atlantic Motorcar Center way of life.

The Atlantic Motorcar Center Service Team

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