Every time you swerve and change lanes, your suspension works underneath to ensure that your vehicle maintains a smooth and safe ride for everyone. Its lateral links help maintain the automobile's balance and steering stability by resisting sideway motions in the wheels. A damaged lateral link can make shifting difficult and driving uncomfortable. It can be replaced easily; however, the challenge is finding the right piece that fits your automobile. Here is a quick guide to help you out.
Tip No. 1: Know your suspension's specs and the lateral link's location.
Lateral links are designed based on the suspension's specs and location. Most links come in different shapes and designs to fit the varying specs of the suspension. Some possess straight and slim arms, some have slim arms but curved styles, and others have curvier shapes and wider arms. Before you purchase a replacement, check your owner's manual and find out the following:
- Suspension specs: Know the location of the suspension where the link will be installed. Is it at the front or at the rear? Will it be installed at the passenger side or driver side? You must also take note of the suspension design and know if it's independent or dependent. Both types require different lateral link designs.
- Lateral link location and specs: You have to answer the following questions. Will it be installed as an upper arm or a downward arm? How long does it have to be so it would easily fit my suspension? Find out if it meets your vehicle's requirements; its specifications are usually included in the product information.
- Part number (if available): Some makes provide specific part numbers to all the components in the vehicle. It would help to know the part number so you can easily compare if there are OEMs and aftermarket parts that are patterned after the original.
Tip No. 2: Don't be such a cheapskate; prioritize quality over price.
A typical lateral link usually costs between $50 and $100. Think it's too steep? If you want to make a viable investment, it would be smart to choose an average-priced component. Sure, you can get lateral links that cost less than $50; however, most low-priced replacements from unknown brands are not worth your buck. You should go for parts that are manufactured by recognized names. These provide warranty to ensure high quality on all their products.
Lateral links that are priced higher usually offer other features, which is what makes them a good investment. Some links are designed specifically for off-road vehicles, making them more resilient and durable compared to the typical link. Other links provide an adjustable design, making them easier to install.