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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

New to this forum, so forgive me if my post sounds dumb, or if there's a thread discussion already out there for this issue that I missed.

My son is a new owner of a 2010 Mazda3 GS sedan, he's had it for about 3 months now. It needs both the left and right front lower control arms replaced. My mechanic says each arm assembly is CAD$240 for OEM (I'm from Canada). Is this considered expensive? I've been looking online for aftermarket alternatives, such as Mevotech, Moog, Tor or Dorman, which seem to range from CAD$120 to CAD$220. Anyone have experience with these brands? All told, cost to replace, plus labor and alignment, will come out to CAD$800 if going with OEM. Ouch!

Also, the car needs the O2 sensor (upstream) replaced. I know there are major brands like NGK, Denso and Bosch sensors, but could I get away with using any cheap brand from ebay or Amazon? I know it's not very wise to buy control arms off those sites, but I figure I could get away with getting an O2 sensor.

Any insights would be much appreciated!
 

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Stick with OE NTK O2 sensors and avoid CHEAP. Pay once, cry once, or else you'll be chasing gremlins for months.

As far as the lower control arms, $240 in Canuck bucks isn't bad, but if you want to go aftermarket Mevotek are good. Again, DON'T GO CHEAP. The mechanic's estimate of $800 isn't too bad considering he'll be doing pre-load on the arms and an alignment. They'll be good for another 100,000 kilometers or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Stick with OE NTK O2 sensors and avoid CHEAP. Pay once, cry once, or else you'll be chasing gremlins for months.

As far as the lower control arms, $240 in Canuck bucks isn't bad, but if you want to go aftermarket Mevotek are good. Again, DON'T GO CHEAP. The mechanic's estimate of $800 isn't too bad considering he'll be doing pre-load on the arms and an alignment. They'll be good for another 100,000 kilometers or so.
Thanks for the reply. Hmm, I guess it's better to be safe than sorry. My mechanic says the OEM O2 sensor is $200, labor $80. So total would come out to over $1,000 🤦‍♂️. For the control arms, I read online that reliability comes down to where they are manufactured. North America (better) vs overseas (not as good). I don't know how fair of a statement that is?
 

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I put Mevotechs from Rock Auto on my 3. They were $40 each including shipping with a lifetime warranty, and it took me about 30 minutes each in my garage to put them in.

I know prices are different in Soviet Canuckistan, but still. $80 + $80 for an alignment vs $800 seems like downright highway robbery.

A professional mechanic shouldn't be charging more than an hour labor for both to be fitted. It's really just that easy of a job.
 

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My son is a new owner of a 2010 Mazda3 GS sedan, he's had it for about 3 months now. It needs both the left and right front lower control arms replaced.
Were you told what, specifically, is wrong with the control arms? (Presuming you didn't evaluate them yourself...) Is your son getting clunks or wobbly handling? Since you're already paying for the alignment with the job, you might consider evaluating whether the outer tie rod ends would benefit from replacement. For my 2006, I went with Moog control arms (my ball joints were worn out; retailed about $74 USD each, though I got one for $23 with Amazon Warehouse) and Moog greaseable outer tie rod ends ($27 USD each). Like @theblooms , I replace all the items myself to save on labor. There are good YouTube videos out there for this work.
 

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I put Mevotechs from Rock Auto on my 3. They were $40 each including shipping with a lifetime warranty, and it took me about 30 minutes each in my garage to put them in.

I know prices are different in Soviet Canuckistan, but still. $80 + $80 for an alignment vs $800 seems like downright highway robbery.

A professional mechanic shouldn't be charging more than an hour labor for both to be fitted. It's really just that easy of a job.
I replaced mine myself and they were a serious pain in the ass. The job itself is simple and pretty straightforward but the bolts were all rusted and had to get cut out because the amount of force required to break them loose were starting to weld the bolts to the collar. I'm guessing the climate in Canada is gonna cause similar rusting to where I live. I would definitely still agree that its worth it for a DIY, I was quoted at $800 USD, and I would buy replacement bolts for bolt 5 in the diagram before you get started because those are the ones that snapped for me. Job ended up being a couple hours and around $250 for all parts and the alignment by dealership.
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I replaced mine myself and they were a serious pain in the ass. The job itself is simple and pretty straightforward but the bolts were all rusted and had to get cut out because the amount of force required to break them loose were starting to weld the bolts to the collar. I'm guessing the climate in Canada is gonna cause similar rusting to where I live. I would definitely still agree that its worth it for a DIY, I was quoted at $800 USD, and I would buy replacement bolts for bolt 5 in the diagram before you get started because those are the ones that snapped for me. Job ended up being a couple hours and around $250 for all parts and the alignment by dealership. View attachment 106328
This post is why I believe the OP is better off letting the shop handle it. Most guys who wrench on their own cars don't take into account the headaches the guy at the shop is handling. Remember, you're paying for the experience. Hell, I wrench on my vehicles all the time (as a search of my posts will show); however, disposal of fluids, along with other aspects of maintenance is such a PITA that I'm going to take my '14 Patriot to the dealership for a complete flush of all fluids (brake, cooling system, and transmission), transmission filter change, and the differential service. Time = $$, and in my case, it's a better use of both. Same for the OP.
 
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A few hints to make the job go really easy:
On the passenger side, the AC compressor is in the way for the front bolt to slide out. Don't move the AC compressor, move the engine!

To do this, place a block of wood on your floor jack, and raise it enough to touch the oil pan. Then, under the hood, unbolt the two passenger side motor mount bolts. Now raise the engine about 2" with the jack, and that LCA bolt will slide right out.

As far as breaking the lower ball joint from the knuckle, after you remove the ball joint cross bolt, simply stick your foot onto the LCA and jump on it. The ball joint will almost instantly release.

Like I said, this really is an easy and fast job, assuming your undercarriage isn't rusted to hell and back.
 

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A few hints to make the job go really easy:
On the passenger side, the AC compressor is in the way for the front bolt to slide out. Don't move the AC compressor, move the engine!

To do this, place a block of wood on your floor jack, and raise it enough to touch the oil pan. Then, under the hood, unbolt the two passenger side motor mount bolts. Now raise the engine about 2" with the jack, and that LCA bolt will slide right out.

As far as breaking the lower ball joint from the knuckle, after you remove the ball joint cross bolt, simply stick your foot onto the LCA and jump on it. The ball joint will almost instantly release.

Like I said, this really is an easy and fast job, assuming your undercarriage isn't rusted to hell and back.
Thanks I appreciate the info and will implement it A+ Zoom Zoom
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone for your input and suggestions. The ball joints and bushings on both control arms are worn out, the right more than the left. While driving, you can hear a slight clunking and the steering is a bit "loose" when turning all the way right. The mechanic checked other components like tie rod ends and he says they're okay. It would be nice to learn to replace the control arms myself since it looks straightforward enough, but encountering issues mentioned above and/or missing steps is my biggest concern. Doing brakes, oil changes and other general under-the-hood/under the car parts replacement is okay, but generally I'm not quite as mechanically adept as some of you guys, LOL.

If only RockAuto shipping to Soviet Canuckistan wasn't so expensive. Too bad I couldn't find anything on Amazon Warehouse. Nothing good for Black Friday sales either. Oh well, the search continues.
 
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