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Signs Your Ball Joint Needs Replacement

Your vehicles ball joints connect your wheel to the suspension. The possibility of a ball joint snapping or breaking off could be a serious problem while driving. The older your vehicle is the more attention should be paid to inspecting your ball joints. If your ball joint needs replacement, you should look out for these signs.

A few ball joint replacement signs include:

  • Sound: A clunking sound when turning or going over a bump is a typical indication of worn or loose ball joints. If ball joint replacement is delayed, the sound may and get louder over time.

  • Steering: Sloppy or stiffness in your cars steering could be a failing ball joint. If you feel a vibration in your steering wheel or you experience the vehicle drifting to the right or left side may also indicate ball joint replacement.

  • Tires: Next time you head out and about, check your tires for uneven wear. Particularly the inner or outer edges of your front tire tread. Ball joints that need replacing may wear the edges of your tires. However, keep in mind tire tread wear can be several causes including under inflated tires.

Ball joint replacement signs:

Clunking Squeaking Suspension Noises

As ball joints wear, the first usual indicator is clucking or squeaking suspension sounds. Whether from debris build up or lack of ball joint grease, the can squeak under pressure. As you drive over bumps, ball joint and socket motion may create a clunking noise, indicating it's time to replace ball joints.

Steering Vibration, Shaking, Drifting

Bad ball joints may cause a steering vibration or shaking as you drive. Your steering should drive in a straight line. As steering or suspension parts wear, it can cause your steering to drift to either side. Controlling a vehicle with bad ball joints will require more effort on the driver to keep the vehicle straight.

Uneven Tire Tread Wear

Another potential ball joint replacement sign is uneven or quicker than usual tire wear. Steering, alignment or suspension problems will affect you tires wear. A quick visual inspection of your tires before your drive is a good idea. A delay in replacing ball joints could also mean a cost in replacing tires.

How Much Is Ball Joint Replacement Cost?

The cost of a ball joint replacement depends on the vehicle type and number of ball joints to be replaced.

The typical ball joint replacement cost across all vehicle makes is approximately $150 - $500.

Its important to decide whether you should replace one ball joint or both sides.

If one ball joint begins to fail, it is likely the other side will need to be replaced soon.


In addition to ball joint repair cost, generally, when taking apart a suspension system your wheel alignment will be off set.

Therefore, wheel alignment costs are included with a ball joint repair.

It's also important before any repair to diagnose the suspension problem.

With so many components underneath the vehicle, it can be difficult to determine the replacement part or repair without seeing the vehicle.

For instance, a clunking sound could mean you need to replace ball joints.

Looseness felt in the steering may mean a steering repair.

And a vehicle with too much "bounce" may need shocks or struts replaced.


Before replacing ball joints, let our garage diagnose the issue.

Tell us your vehicle make, model and year and briefly explain your suspension problem and we'll give you an upfront quote for your ball joint repair.

When Should Ball Joints Be Replaced?

Ball joints can last a long time and generally don't need replacing until 100,000 km or so.

With that said, like any other part on a vehicle, they are prone to wear and work extra hard over bumpy, winding roads and rough terrain.

If your vehicle is a 4X4 for off-road use, inspect your ball joints regularly.

Upper and lower ball joints on the left and right side of your vehicle tend to wear fairly equal.

This means replacing both ball joints on either side is common with a ball joint repair.



Our mechanics discuss signs your ball joints need replacement

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