What to know about the Ball Joint Front:
Ball joints are a part of your vehicle’s suspension system that joins the steering knuckles to the control arms. A ball joint is essentially a flexible ball and socket that enables the suspension to move and, at the same time, the wheels to steer. Cars and trucks will have multiple ball joint assemblies with regards to their type of suspension system.
Like any other suspension device, ball joints will suddenly wear out and become loose. Excessive play in the joint can affect wheel alignment and tire wear. Loose joints can also cause suspension noise (typically a “clunking” sound when going over a bump). If a ball joint spoils, the suspension can collapse, causing a loss of control of the vehicle.
Facts to Note:
Depending on the suspension design, ball joints can be found either in the front or the rear. The vehicle may need to be taken to a shop for wheel alignment after this service. Mobile mechanics do not have the machinery to align wheels.
How to Fix:
Take out the wheels.
Take out the control arm(s).
Take out and change ball joints.
Check the entire suspension system for any faults.
When applicable, make sure the ball joints are lubricated during a major service.
Common symptoms indicating you may need to change the Ball Joint Front:
Clunking noise from front tires.
Steering wheel shakes.
Car moves to the right or left, especially going over the bumps.
Vehicle tires have abnormal wear.
Importance of this service:
The ball joint connects the control arm to the steering knuckle. As the wheels – and therefore the steering knuckles – move, the ball joints aid the suspension – and therefore the control arm – stay steady. And as the suspension moves, the ball joints aid the wheels steer. When the ball joints stop to function, the suspension and wheels have a hard time working independent of each other. This puts unnecessary strain on each component, which can alter wheel alignment and severely damage the suspension.