Question: How can you tell if a ball joint is bad?

What are the symptoms of a bad ball joint?

Here are the important symptoms to watch out for with bad ball joints:

  1. Excessive Tire Wear.
  2. Steering Wanders From Side To Side.
  3. Vibrating & Shaking.
  4. Squeaking & Clunking Noises. If only the joints in our bodies announced their problems so audibly (and were so easily replaced) as the ones in our cars!

How do I know if my ball joints need replacing?

The lower ball joints are usually larger and wear out faster due to the weight of the front of car that rests on them.

What’s a ball joint? A quick refresher

  1. Clunky or squeaky noises.
  2. Drifting to the side.
  3. Loose or shaky steering.
  4. Uneven tyre wear.

Is it dangerous to drive with a bad ball joint?

By far the worst that can happen, when driving on a bad ball joint, is breakage. When the ball joint completely breaks, the wheel is free to move in any direction. Typically, the wheel will turn outwards, slam against the fender and drag the tire until the brakes are applied.

How would you check a ball joint?

Checking your ball joints when driving is straightforward, simply:

  1. Take your car out for a drive.
  2. Drive over speed bumps.
  3. Turn the steering wheel.
  4. Check your tyre wear.
  5. Loosen the lug nuts.
  6. Jack up the car and place wheel chocks behind the wheels.
  7. Rock the tyre on its axis.
  8. Remove the wheel.

How long can you drive on a bad ball joint?

short answer is it depends on how bad they are. the lower ball joint typically gets more wear than the upper. i’d say, if there’s just a little wiggle in either joint, you should have no problem driving 500 miles. they start to clunk when they’re really bad.

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What sound does a bad ball joint make?

Metallic clunking noise: One of the most noticeable and common symptoms of a bad ball joint is a clunking or knocking noise when the suspension moves up and down. A worn ball joint will begin to rattle inside the socket when driving over an uneven road, rough terrain, potholes or speed bumps.

Can I replace just one ball joint?

If you change the ball joints due to wear on one side of the vehicle, then the other side will likely go bad in a short time. I would recommend replacing both sides at the same time so only one alignment needs to be done and you have the peace of mind that your front ball joints will be good for a long time.

What happens if a ball joint goes out while driving?

A broken ball joint may be the cause of a mysterious clunking noise or drifting steering. And once they’re worn, they will seriously affect your steering and suspension. If a ball joint fails completely, it can even result in the wheel dramatically falling off the car.

Can I replace ball joints myself?

Can You Replace Your Ball Joint? If you feel comfortable doing your own car maintenance, you can replace ball joints yourself. This can be accomplished using a tool called a ball joint press (Available through Loan-A-Tool).

How much does it cost to replace a ball joint?

The ball joint is a small part of your car, and the part itself is only going to cost between $20-$150 or more, depending on where you get it from and what kind of vehicle you own. It can take a little over an hour to get it replaced, so the full ball joint replacement cost will be between $100 and $400.

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How do I know if my ball joints or wheel bearings are bad?

If the tire rocks by any noticeable degree, and especially if the movement is accompanied by a clinking or clunking sound, you likely have a bad ball joint or two. This test can also indicate a bad wheel bearing, but that will also grumble and vibrate as you drive in a straight line.

Which ball joints wear out first?

Because the ball joint can move in two different directions at once, the suspension can, too. Depending on the type of vehicle and suspension in question, there may possibly be an upper and a lower ball joint. The lower ball joint usually takes the biggest hits and wears out first.

How long do ball joints last?

Generally speaking, you should expect to have to have your ball joints replaced between 70,000 to 150,000 miles of driving. Excessive play in the joint can cause additional wear, and if a ball joint fails, your car’s suspension could collapse and you could lose control of the vehicle.

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