Think of your car's trailing arms as the missing piece of your car's puzzle. Not only does it connect your wheels to your car's chassis and axle, it's also a big part of your suspension system. So without your vehicle's trailing arms, you're as good as driving a wheel-less car. But how do you know what to do, and what not to do, in purchasing new trailing arms. Don't fret! Here are a couple of dos and don'ts that can help you find the perfect suspension investment for your car.
- Know your suspension system. There are basically two types of suspension system and each is differentiated by its trailing arms. If you're running with a live axle system, then you'll need a trailing arm that is fitted with two to three links plus a panhard rod. For a twist-beam rear suspension, a trailing arm with a beam instead of a panhard rod would be a perfect fit.
- Always inspect the quality of your bushings before purchasing new trailing arms. Bushings act as your arms connection to your chassis and axle. If they are unusually cracked or rusted, this can lead to premature wear of your new trailing arms. So make sure you have good quality bushings installed on your suspension. If otherwise, replace your bushings to prepare for your new arms.
- Check if your trailing arm is fitted with anti-roll bars. Usually attached to your arm by four bolts, this thin metal rod attaches your arm to the rest of your chassis. So if your original trailing arm comes with this part, then you're most likely to get an arm with the same attachment.
- Purchase only trailing arms made of high-grade material. As mentioned, your trailing arms connect your wheels to the rest of your car's chassis. If it wears out easily, you might end up with a domino of car problems, which ranges from under-steering to uneven tire wear.
- Don't purchase a trailing arm if you have a multipoint suspension system. Although it may look like this system is connected with what a set trailing arms, these are not actually the same part. Multipoint suspension systems are connected to the car's chassis by links instead of arms.
- Don't settle for trailing arms that doesn't have a warranty clause. Warranties enable you to get the most out of your purchase. Without an acceptable warranty, you put your suspension system, and the rest of your car, at risk of premature wear and additional costs.
- Don't forgo quality for price. Although some dealers offer aftermarket trailing arms that have temptingly lower prices, it is still best to opt for OE replacement parts. You are always sure of their quality and fit and most comes with good warranty coverage. If you really want to save, you can always do the installation yourself instead of going to your local dealer.