Control Arm Fell Out... - Chevy Cobalt Forum / Cobalt Reviews / Cobalt SS / Cobalt Parts
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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Control Arm Fell Out...

Recently, I had noticed something wrong (other than clunking over bumps/ sometimes when the clutch is engaged/disengaged, which I've been procrastinating on getting fixed, think it's a motor mount) with the car (a 2010 XFE coupe); it was wandering all over the road and eating the front tires (assumed it was a toasted tie rod end, as a friend's car behaved in a similar manner with that problem), was going to get the car into the dealership (it's still under warranty, 30K miles) this week, as soon as I had the clutch replaced on my junker Honda (I deliver pizza, so I have to have a car to work.) and get it back on the road. At work today, while pulling out of the parking lot, I heard a particularly nasty clunk; the left lower control arm fell out of the hub, ball joint and all, immobilizing the car. I'm lucky this didn't happen while I was on the road, hate to imagine what would've happened had it failed while I was on the interstate (just finished quite a bit of holiday travel).

Anyone have an idea as to why this would happen/what broke in particular? I didn't hit a curb or anything that would have me expecting such a catastrophic failure (it broke while making a right turn).

Also, the tow truck sent by GM roadside assistance was straight out of Deliverance (and took three hours to arrive). The idiot driver managed to rip the CV axle out of the transmission and break heaven knows what else getting the car onto the truck, dragging the broken wheel on the ground rather than jacking it up and putting it on a dolly (which he didn't have, seems captain obvious to me). Who's going to wind up footing the bill for that?

I know that GM can make decent vehicles. The Trailblazer traded in on this vehicle was quite reliable (other than eating fan clutches like clockwork every 36K miles). I've not had good luck with this car, however. The lock cylinder failed at 5K miles (not a huge deal, was replaced under warranty), the clutch master cylinder at 21K (after being replaced, the slave failed on the dealer, soaking the clutch disc with oil, so I wound up getting a new clutch, more or less; this is also when the clunking began, though it was barely noticeable at the time), and now this. I'm probably not the kindest owner, as I deliver pizza with the car (when the Honda is unavailable/out of commission), but I don't beat on the car, race it or the like, and the thing seems to be falling apart on me. This is the second time in 4 months I've been stranded and forced to have it towed (both times at work, to boot), something that never happened in three years of driving a beater, whose only expensive failure has been the clutch, which is understandable at 267K miles. Additionally, my mother/stepfather purchased the car (I didn't ask for it, didn't want a new car, but I appreciate their generosity.), so I get screamed at every time something goes wrong. Needless to say, this is rather stressful. So, any ideas as to how to avoid having the suspension fall apart?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 03:55 AM
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The control arm is held into the steering knuckle with a pin basically, and it is secured in place by one bolt that when tightened squeezes the knuckle around that pin, holding it in place. So if that bolt wasn't tightened down correctly its possible for that pin to come loose and out falls the control arm.

As for damages done by the tow truck, the towing company should pay for it, but they will fight it tooth and nail, and unless you got pictures of the crappy tow job, I doubt you'll get very far with that...

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 04:31 AM
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The axle pulls out fairly easily once knuckle is un-hooked. Dealer will just re-insert in transmission differential.

When you start hearing heavy noises you should get it checked before you go too far.

As far as mom screaming at you,well just tell her that every time she screams at you for something that is out of your control that it makes you contemplate suicide. She'll shut up lol.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 09:48 AM
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I see that you're already working with the dealership towards repair - please let me know how things go for you. If I can be of assistance in following up with them on the repair, send me a private message with some more information (your name and the last 8 of your VIN, as well as the dealership's name).

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 05:49 PM
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no offense but GM built some really cheap and crappy cars with these cobalts. Those of us out of warranty have had to spend a pretty penny fixing things that should not be failing at 30, 40 or even 50,000 miles.

You guys need to step up and extended the bumper to bumper on these things and make sure they are fixed right.

---------- Post added at 08:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:47 PM ----------

Don't feel bad OP...

I broke an axle today... I had both half shafts replaced when we discovered one was worn out, and one of the new ones already broke, and this is just my back and forth to work car. Luckily the shop is going to fix it for free, and the part is still under warranty, but I think once I get this fixed, no matter how much I love my cobalt, it is maybe not the best car to have... it seems GM majorly dropped the ball on these things, and in one month I have had it in the shop 3 times for over night fixes.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 06:46 AM
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None taken.
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