Ball joints are small parts that are essential to your vehicle’s safety. They provide your vehicle with flexibility, allowing you to steer your front wheels and prevent drifting while driving. Keeping your ball joints well-maintained keeps you safe and helps your car’s overall longevity.
Just like any vehicle part, sometimes ball joints can fail and need to be repaired or replaced. Don’t wait until it’s too late to address this critical issue—the consequences can be severe. Know the signs of failing ball joints to keep you and your family safe on the road.
What is a Ball Joint?
Ball joints consist of a ball and socket, just like the joints in our bodies. They are a part of the front suspension of your vehicle. They permit the steering knuckles, which allow your front wheels to turn to move in different directions.
Ball joints also connect the steering knuckles to your car’s control arm. They prevent the steering knuckles from becoming unattached to the vehicle.
What Happens if a Ball Joint Fails?
In some cases, the ball and socket within your car’s ball joints may become separated. When bad ball joints are not properly replaced, it may result in vibrations or clunking noises when you operate your vehicle.
More serious consequences include drifting steering. In severe cases, ball joint failure can ultimately make your steering wheel completely unattached while driving. This could cause dangerous accidents on the road.
There are many ways to tell when it is time to replace your vehicle’s ball joints. Here are the top signs to look out for:
- Keep an ear out for clunking sounds as you drive. These noises are often the first signs of ball joint failure.
- You may feel vibrations within the floorboard of your car.
- Bad ball joints can also result in heavy tire wear, specifically on the inside or outside edges.
- As you drive, be aware of any resistance or wandering when turning the steering wheel. If you notice a wandering steering wheel, this may result from misalignment from faulty ball joints.
What To Do
If your car’s ball joints need replacement, it’s critical to schedule maintenance before the problem worsens. Visit a local auto repair shop like Big Chief Tire because we’ll never upsell you on parts you don’t need. Ball joint replacement costs are typically minor, and they keep you and your family safe on the road!
Ball Joint Replacement Cost
Depending on their condition, replacing ball joints usually costs between $200-$400. Every vehicle has upper and lower ball joints, but both do not always need to be replaced at the same time. Additional suspension parts like control arms, shocks, and struts also need to be inspected.
On performance cars, or vehicles with upgraded suspension systems, we also check the lowering springs and coil-overs to ensure there aren’t other issues causing your vehicle’s suspension to fail.
In some cases, a wheel alignment is required after ball joint replacement due to misalignment within your vehicle’s suspension system. Wheel alignment services can cost anywhere from $50-$150. At Big Chief Tire, we offer alignment checks for free.
Schedule an Appointment at Big Chief Tire
Upper and lower ball joint replacement should be performed by professionals only. This is not a do-it-yourself-job. Our team of professionals at Big Chief Tire will ensure that your car’s steering and suspension system is working properly and safely.
Know that we are the team you can trust to provide you with fair, honest recommendations for your vehicle. Unlike big box tire shops, we don’t try to upsell you or push services you don’t need.
Schedule an appointment with Big Chief Tire today. We’ll help you save money on services and make sure you feel confident in your car’s safety on the road.