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Old 11-24-2010, 06:01 AM   #1
paulk68
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Default Lower control arm replacement

Hello All, I am a new member with a 2006 Malibu SS. I was told during a reecent oil change that I need to replace my lower ball joint as it was getting pretty worn. I know that the ball joint is part of the lower control arm and found that replacements are about 90 dollars. My question is how hard of a job is it? i am pretty handy with tools especially older cars but these newer ones kind of throw me off. So any help would be great.
thank you
Paul
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:37 AM   #2
Starship
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Default Re: Lower control arm replacement

Welcome to the forum. I'd say it's not that difficult compared to, say, struts. You may want to get a vehicle-specific repair manual (Chilton/Haynes) or online subscription to DIY sites like alldatadiy.com or eautorepair.net for the exact procedures and torque values.
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:34 PM   #3
Hankster
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Default Re: Lower control arm replacement

I did this on my 2004 in my driveway and it was an easy job. Make sure you get the front end aligned after your done.
Hank
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Old 08-14-2011, 02:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Lower control arm replacement

Sorry to resurrect this thread so hopefully you've subscribed to the thread. Did you need to remove the engine or transmission mount to do this like the dealer manual states to do? or did you do it without doing that?

thanks
-nate
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:44 AM   #5
Hankster
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Default Re: Lower control arm replacement

I was able to do it without. I have an 04 with the 2.2L engine,
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:14 PM   #6
hachiroku
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Default Re: Lower control arm replacement

HELP!

I just picked my Malibu up from the dealership where they charged me $304.80 Canadian for a left front lower control arm assembly.

No matter how hard I try, I cannot for the life of me find any online retailers with a lower control arm for my car for more than $100 USD.

Did I just get ripped off?
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:37 PM   #7
RalphP
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Default Re: Lower control arm replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by hachiroku View Post
HELP!

I just picked my Malibu up from the dealership where they charged me $304.80 Canadian for a left front lower control arm assembly.

No matter how hard I try, I cannot for the life of me find any online retailers with a lower control arm for my car for more than $100 USD.

Did I just get ripped off?
Possibly, possibly not.

I'd say not since you did take it to the dealership. And most parts cost more at the dealership than anywhere else.

Now, was that just for the arm, or installed?

MSRP in the US is $238.11 for just the arm (from GMPartsDirect and the catalog they run - actual MSRP may vary.) Canadian prices tend to be higher, not even counting the exchange rate (which is close to 1:1 right now, IIRC).

OTOH, for that much, I could buy both fronts and pay for the alignment if I used Moog or TRW instead. Then again, my car is a 2000, not a 2005.

Labor would not be included - I'd do it myself.

(Actually, what I'm PLANNING on is pulling a pair of GrandAm aluminum LCAs, replacing the bushings and the ball joint, and using those. But that's not germane to your discussion ... )

RwP
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Addendum: Rest in peace. Surge tank blew, motor overheated, I think she's lived a long and useful life.
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Old 01-16-2012, 01:24 PM   #8
Rodents
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Default Re: Lower control arm replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by hachiroku View Post
I just picked my Malibu up from the dealership where they charged me $304.80 Canadian for a left front lower control arm assembly.

No matter how hard I try, I cannot for the life of me find any online retailers with a lower control arm for my car for more than $100 USD.

Did I just get ripped off?
Ripped off? No. You didn't do your homework very well. The arms you're looking at were probably not GM control arms at that price. I agree with RalphP, you could have gone Moog or some other aftermarket supplier and have bought both for that price. You saying you weren't quoted the job prior to the work being done? If you were quoted and you approved the quote, you need to learn to do your homework better, nobody to blame but yourself. I'm a dealer tech and I wouldn't have used GM stuff, it's not worth it. Personally, I like Moog but there are other good quality products out there. You also need to remember those online retailers can and do sell for under dealer cost on some parts, I don't know how but I've seen it several times, the cost is way under dealer cost for the same part and even using a GM part number from the retailer. Maybe their advertisement is misleading but I would hope that wasn't the case. In other words advertise a GM part number and ship you a non-genuine GM part
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:19 PM   #9
hachiroku
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Default Re: Lower control arm replacement

Yup, I ripped myself off.

When the tech called to quote me over the phone, I didn't hear the price of the part very clearly. My wife had been quoted like $30-40 but that was for bushing replacement.
The bushings on the old control arm are fine, it's the ball joint that is shot.

So my mistake, for those new to the DIY realm, is that when I was quoted, I neglected to ask if the part I was being quoted was OEM or Aftermarket. The $300 control arm is OEM (GM made), opposed to the Aftermarket part that the Parts department at the Dealership quoted me on the phone was 169.95.

So what I should have done when I was quoted on the phone, was ask for the Aftermarket part to be installed.

A simple mistake on my part, but I only have myself to blame for being out $170 in this situation.

Yes, I would have done this myself, but my garage is too small, and I don't feel like crawling under my car on my frozen driveway at home.
Canadian winter and DIY car stuff don't mix very well with a small garage!

Oh, but I'm still going to take the wheel off to make 100% sure that the OEM part was installed... just in case. I'll update when I'm done.

Thanks for the replies everyone!
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:43 PM   #10
Rodents
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Default Re: Lower control arm replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by hachiroku View Post
When the tech called to quote me over the phone, I didn't hear the price of the part very clearly. My wife had been quoted like $30-40 but that was for bushing replacement.
The bushings on the old control arm are fine, it's the ball joint that is shot.

So my mistake, for those new to the DIY realm, is that when I was quoted, I neglected to ask if the part I was being quoted was OEM or Aftermarket. The $300 control arm is OEM (GM made), opposed to the Aftermarket part that the Parts department at the Dealership quoted me on the phone was 169.95.
This is strictly my opinion now so take it for just that but any steering or suspension part, at least as far as a GM product, always get an aftermarket piece, a good name, yeah in my case it's Moog but by no means are they always the best or the cheapest. GM steering and suspension stuff is way over priced and in my opinion and in my experience as a tech, the aftermarket stuff is superior in quality and a lot cheaper. Idler and pitman arms, ball joints, tie rods, control arms, I always ask for an aftermarket price when I do a quote. Live and learn, that's how it goes. I don't have the same appreciation for the aftermarket when it comes to other parts of the car, like sensors for the engine and stuff like that. Some of the latest stuff as far as window regulators, window motors, door lock actuators, the quality is getting pretty good and the price is much better than OE stuff. A little surfing anymore can save you a few bucks on just about anything. Competition for the consumers dollar is a big thing anymore. Just have to look around and if time permits, do some due diligence.
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