Ball Joints - Scotty’s Automotive Repair Owning a car is a tremendous responsibility, and it is crucial to keep up on routine maintenance and make repairs when they arise to ensure the safety of your family and the longevity of your car. The front-end suspension is responsible for providing a smooth ride and safe steering, but when parts wear out, you will experience problems that will need to be fixed. At Scotty's Automotive Repair we have educated and certified mechanics who can specialize in ball joint repair, ball joint replacement, front end suspension work, and front-end repair. We have a section of our facility designated as a front-end suspension shop that is stocked with the proper parts required to fix any suspension issue you may be experiencing.
What Are Ball Joints? The purpose of ball joints is to connect the suspension control arms to the steering knuckles with a rod and socket that rotates allowing the wheels to have a wide range of movement. Depending on the design of the suspension, a vehicle may have upper and lower ball joints. Most vehicles are equipped with sealed ball joints that eliminate the need to grease them, but it is still essential to make sure the external seals are adequately lubricated.
Signs That the Ball Joints are Failing Like the other parts of your vehicle, the ball joints can become weak or worn over time and will require either ball joint repair or ball joint replacement. Listed below are some common signs that your vehicles ball joints are failing:
1. VibrationWhen ball joints become loose and begin to fail, they will cause a vibration in the front end of the car. Usually, this will be because of one ball joint, so the vibration when the vehicle is moving will emanate from one side of the vehicle.
2. Uneven Tire WearIf you notice that the tread on the outer or inner edges of the front tires is wearing unevenly from the rest of the tread it is most likely from a failing ball joint.
3. Wandering Steering WheelIf you notice while you are driving that the steering wheel is wandering to the left or right, it is a sign that you have a bad ball joint. When ball joints are functioning correctly, they will keep the wheels adequately aligned so if you are experiencing steering wheel wandering, it is time to get the ball joints serviced.
4. Clunking NoisesOne of the most common and apparent signs of a failing ball joint is a clunking noise coming from the front suspension. When ball joints become loose and begin to fail, they can cause a knocking or clunking noise when driving on rough terrain, over bumps or when turning.
What is Front End Suspension? A vehicles front end suspension is responsible for making driving more comfortable by absorbing the imperfections of the road. The front-end suspension is composed of parts that include ball joints, control arms, bushings, track bars, and shocks or struts.
Signs Front End Suspension is Failing While it can be challenging to diagnose the exact reason your vehicles front end suspension is failing, the signs that there is a problem are obvious and are listed below:
1. Pulling from Side to SideIf you find when you are driving that the car is pulling to the right or left, it is most likely a suspension problem, and it should be looked at.
2. Difficult SteeringOne sign that the suspension is failing is that you will have a difficult time steering, even at slow speeds.
3. Bumpy RideSince the purpose of the front-end suspension is to absorb the imperfections of the road allowing for a smooth and comfortable ride if you notice that you are feeling all the bumps in the road, it is time to have the suspension serviced.
4. Car Sits Low in One CornerIf you notice your vehicle sitting low in one corner and you are parked on a level surface, it is an indication that the suspension is failing and will need to be serviced.