Tire rubbing against control arm

  • 1988 FORD TAURUS
  • 0.5L
  • 3 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 150,000 MILES
The front right passenger tire is rubbing against the control arm.
Do you
have the same problem?
Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 AT 7:38 PM

1 Reply

The steering and suspension systems need to be inspected at a tire and alignment shop. Ford has more trouble with parts separating leading to loss of control and crashes than any other manufacturer, so this should be done at least once a year and any time there is a new clunk or rattle. Ford is also the only manufacturer that did not bother to design in a means to adjust "camber". That is one of the three main and most important alignment angles. What you have is what you get, and when ride height sags with age and the alignment changes, the only way it can be "fixed" is with new coil springs, and hope the alignment is close enough to minimize tire wear.

Since there is no camber adjustment that could have slipped, a rubbing tire can only be caused by a bent strut from hitting something, or a seriously-worn part. In this case I would suspect the lower ball joint is about to fall apart You should have noticed clunking long before it got this bad though. The original ball joint was a very poor design so it is pretty likely you have better aftermarket replacements already. Regardless, tension on the joint will try to pull the ball and socket apart, and if there is enough wear, the outer end / socket will rub on the inside of the wheel, not the tire.

The only other thing that can let the wheel move enough to rub is a sloppy wheel bearing. Here again, you would have had a year or two of warning in the form of a buzzing noise, then clunking and poor handling. Long before any rubbing would occur, you would also have observed the brake pedal going too far to the floor due to the wobbling brake rotor pushing the piston back into the caliper. I have only seen one wheel bearing that bad. The owner chose to ignore the symptoms for over three years even though he destroyed numerous tires from rubbing on the strut.

Any chance you can post a photo of the rubbing parts? What led up to this or what is the recent history of the car?
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Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 AT 1:15 AM

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