The Toyota Control Arm Bushing is the polymer section of this lateral wheel control device. This is the component that is placed between the control arm and the lower section of the wheel assembly so no metal to metal contact is made between these two components.
The control arm bushings purpose is to provide a very small amount of play in this lateral wheel control device on the Toyota without permitting the excessive movement of the wheel in a lateral direction to interfere with the control the drive has when they are attempting a maneuver of the vehicle.
The Toyota engineers make use of the polymer components like the control arm bushings to help increase the lifetime of the components they are connected too. This allows for repairs of this lateral wheel control device to be extended beyond what it would have lasted if a direct metal to metal contact was made. It makes the repairs of the systems less expensive to the Toyota owners.
When a control arm bushings begins to wear out, the lateral movement of the front wheel will increase. The driver will notice this in the increased play in the steering wheel when they are attempting a maneuver on the road. If you feel excessive play in the steering wheel then an inspection of the Toyota control arm bushings is suggested.
The inspection has two parts, the visual and physical types. The visual inspect is looking at the polymer sections of the control arm bushings and noticing if there are any cracks or pieces in the polymer. The physical part of the inspection required the control arm to be grabbed to see if it can be moved. If either inspection shows signs of wear, the bushings should be replaced.