When adding a lift kit or other modifications to your vehicle's suspension, remember that control arms can affect wheel travel, suspension durability, wheel alignment, and wheel travel. If the control arm is bad, the steering wheel may start to pull left or right. This can make it challenging to go straight because you have to use more force to control the steering wheel. The car will need more force to maintain its straight course as the control arm worsens. If you're looking for suspension modifications that increase vehicle performance without compromising on quality, replacing control arms is a great place to start. Do you need an alignment after replacing the control arms?
With that in mind, which parts will affect the alignment?
There are several components of alignment: toes, cambers, and casters. Additionally, every suspension component, from bushings and ball joints to control arms and shock absorbers, plays a role in the primary alignment angle.
Do you need an alignment after replacing control arm bushings?
The control arm bushings don't actually affect alignment. They just help position the arms properly during suspension movement. If they are destroyed, yes, your alignment may suffer, but you'll notice steering issues before that.
Do you need an alignment after replacing the upper control arms?
The need for calibration after lowering the car is not the same as replacing the upper arm. If you're just replacing your upper arm, you shouldn't worry about alignment unless your old arm is badly worn and has significant play.