Car Bushes: Types, Replacements and Costs - Enji


Car Bushes: Types, Replacements and Costs

May 16, 2022

 A car bush is a cushion that is made out of rubber, polyurethane or other materials. Bushings are mounted onto the suspension systems of a vehicle and are used to absorb road shock, control movement within the joints, reduce noise vibration and enhance comfort.

What Are Car Bushes

Typically, car bushings are small, tubular-shaped blobs of rubber compound that create the link between steering parts and suspension parts connecting together or to the vehicle chassis. These parts include:

  • Control arms
  • Stabilizer bars
  • Ball joints
  • Tie rods
  • Shock absorbers
  • Strut mounts
  • Chassis connection points
  • Engine and gearbox mounts

Bushes provide an initial location point. that connects parts and acts as a cushion that controls the amount of movement within the joints. To avoid worn bushings, sometimes they consist of a metal outer ring and can be made from tougher compounds like steel or aluminium to combat the high dynamics and stresses they are subjected to. To function well, a car bush must be resistant to wear, extreme temperatures and contaminants.

How Do Car Bushes Work

Car bushes are a main factor in the control of sway bars, shock absorbers, torsion bars, tie rods and control arms that soften movement of the vehicle chassis through the connections made. The pivot point that bushings create act as a buffer and for impact while driving and safety to protect different parts of a vehicle.

Bushings wear through age, the constant pounding of kilometres and sometimes even oil leaks from the engine or transition can have an effect on the rubber compound, reducing its lifespan. Worn suspension bushings need replacing once they are worn out and allow excess movement or metal to metal contact can be heard.

Different Types Of Car Bushes

Generally, car bushes are referred to as 'suspension bushings' however, there are many types of car bushes within a car's suspension system including: control arm bushings, leaf spring bushings, shock absorber bushings, steering rack bushings, and more generally, suspension bushings.

Suspension Bushes

Suspension bushings are generalised, little rubber mallets that sit at each suspension mount. They are used to alleviate unnecessary stress from other components of the suspension system and vehicle chassis on the back end and frontend of a vehicle.

Control Arm Bushes

A control arm is usually located on both the front and rear suspension as most cars use one or two control arms per wheel.

Control arm bushes connect the control arm and the frame of the vehicle and assist in tire alignment which directly affects tire wear, handling and vehicle control. Each arm usually has two bushings where there is typically a larger and smaller bushing for each arm. Worn control arm bushings can greatly affect the comfort of a vehicle's ride within the cabin of a car.

Leaf Spring Bushes

The leaf springs of a car support the weight of the vehicle and are the controllers of the ride height. A leaf spring keeps a car's tires level in contact with the road and is one of the main benefactors from bushes as it promotes a smoother ride.

Leaf spring bushes are located in the 'eyes' of a leaf spring which is typically in the rear suspension of heavy-duty vehicles and need to be changed regularly due to the impact and weight they carry.

Steering Rack Bushes

A steering rack is a system in a vehicle that allows your wheels to rotate when the steering wheel is turned. Steering rack bushings isolate the steering rack and thus take the load off of a driver’s hands from the vibration which could cause numbness or pain.

Stabilizer Bar Bushes

Stabilizer bar bushings are mounted underneath a vehicle anti-roll bars. If there is a loose stabilizer bar, a vehicle has a higher chance of rolling. The main function of stabilizer bar bushings is to prevent excessive rolling while turning from side to side. For the bushes, this results in a constant flexing and twisting which means they can wear more rapidly.

Common Suspension Bush Problems

Loose Steering Issues

When suspension bushes begin to wear and fail, the first indicator is a vehicle experiencing steering problems where steering may become less responsive or lean to one side when taking sharp turns. This is especially noticeable at high speeds where steering can start to wander and lead to instability or erratic movements when driving and serious wheel vibration while in motion.

Rapid Tyre Wear

Rapid or strange tyre wear is rarely a fault with the actual tyre but rather a suspension issue or a problem with car bushes. This is due to a vehicles suspension holding wheels in place and a soft or worn suspension bushing can have a detrimental effect on wheel alignment and lead to premature tyre wear.

Inconsistent Braking

Bad or worn bushings can affect the forward and backward oscillation of the control arm during breaking. Although this effect is not constant, it will result in making breaking unstable, unreliable and therefore unsafe. Moreover, when a vehicle breaks suddenly, the fr0nt end of the control arm bushing will continue to oscillate in the forward direction rather than attempting to stop.

Low Performance And Comfort

When a vehicle's suspension is compromised, a bad bushing can make riding less comfortable and more dangerous leading to premature parts failure. The reduced shock absorption that worn suspension bushings cause can make other engine components more vulnerable to the physical effects of tremors and vibrations.

When Should I Get Car Bushes Replaced?

It can sometimes be difficult to know when to get new bushings. More often than not, a simple car inspection from an automotive mechanic will pick up any wear or damage to a bushing. Most common bush defects are tears in the rubber or breaks in the rubber to metal bonding due to oil or leakage eating through the plastic. However, there are a few other signs to watch for (note, different vehicles):

  • Rattling noises or abnormal creaking, accelerating or braking.
  • Premature or rapid tyre wear
  • Clunking noise when driving on rough roads or uneven surfaces.
  • Rapid or premature tyre wear
  • Metal grinding or friction noise
  • Drifting or loose steering when turning
  • Vibrations coming from engine or gearbox mounts which is worsened by acceleration.

How much does it cost to replace car bushes?

Suspension bush replacements can range from $100 to $350 depending on the specialist pressuring tools needed and which suspension components may need replacement.


If you need your car bushes replaced, Enji can put you in contact with local mechanics in your area who can assist you.

Mechanics with Enji are able to assist in any of your vehicle needs.