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Mitsubishi Outlander Control Arms and Parts

The Mitsubishi Outlander is one of Mitsubishi's most prominent compact crossover SUVs, with models appearing in the US in 2001. One major set of parts that help the Outlander with its signature great road handling are its control arms, which lie on the underside of the car's body. The control arms perform a set of tasks to help keep the Outlander stable and smooth on the road, and they will generally need replacement every 90,000 to 100,000 miles.

What is the purpose of Mitsubishi Outlander control arms?

Control arms in every vehicle perform three critical functions for keeping the car's ride smooth and straight.

  • Vertical stabilization: One of the most important functions of the Mitsubishi Outlander's control arm is its ability to keep the car stable across bumps in the road. Because the control arm and its associated parts connect to the Mitsubishi's suspension, the arm is able to regulate the vertical movement of the wheels. When the car hits a bump, the wheels will move up instead of the entire car body moving up. This minimizes the discomfort associated with bumpy roads.
  • Body alignment: Another function of the Outlander's control arm is its ability to keep the attached wheel in line with the Mitsubishi's body. There are two or four distinct control arms (depending on the vehicle's design), and each performs this task.
  • Body-suspension integration: Finally, the Mitsubishi's control arms play an important role in bringing the suspension and the vehicle body together. Via a ball joint, the control arm connects the two parts together, creating a unified bottom of the vehicle's body that gives the Mitsubishi a smooth ride.
How is a Mitsubishi Outlander control arm assembled?

The Mitsubishi's control arm is made up of three parts. Mitsubishis can have two or four control arms, depending on the vehicle's model and generation. Here are the three major components of the Mitsubishi's control arm and how they are assembled.

  • Ball joint: The component that actually allows the system to move vertically is the ball joint. This part (or parts, depending on how many control arms your Mitsubishi has) is a ball and socket inside a larger sleeve. The ball can freely move within the socket, and the sleeve keeps the parts together. The ball joint is attached to the tip of the control arm for maximum range of movement.
  • Arm: The bulk of the Mitsubishi Outlander's control arm is the actual arm. This long, durable piece of metal is usually triangular in order to clamp onto the body and the suspension correctly.
  • Bushings: In order to keep the arm and ball joint in place, bushings are placed at the three ends of the arm. Two of these parts keep the control arm attached to the body, while one attaches the ball joint securely.