When Ball Joints Wear Out



Ball joints are components found on a vehicle's front suspension system. They aid in the formation of the link between the control arms and the steering knuckles. This provides relatively smooth movement within the suspension.

The steering knuckles can travel in different directions while remaining attached to the car thanks to ball joints. This motion allows the wheels to travel up and down as needed, as well as side to side.

A ball joint is made up of a metal housing, a stud that may spin within the housing, and a lubricated socket. When you're driving, the ball stud is continually moving.

Upper and lower ball joints are available depending on the vehicle and suspension. Upper ball joints are normally non-load-bearing, whereas lower ball joints are typically load-bearing.

When Should Ball Joints Be Replaced?

Ball joints will endure daily wear and tear due to their position in the suspension system. They will need to be replaced at some point.

Because of the continual movement of the ball stud, it might become loose and move around inside the socket. As a ball joint wears down, there is more space between the stud and the socket, which can cause problems. If ball joints become too worn out, the stud can pull out of the socket and cause a wheel to become partially separated from the vehicle, putting your safety in danger.

Manufacturers frequently provide standards for the allowable amount of space between the stud and the socket, which you should get familiar with. You can also look for signs of worn ball joints, such as:
  • A vehicle pulling to one side of the road could be due to poor alignment, but it could also be a sign of worn-out ball joints.
  • Irregular tyre wear: Damaged ball joints can produce uneven wear on the inside or outside of the tyres.
  • Rattling or clunking noises: When moving over bumps or turning, ball joints that have become loose in their sockets can generate a variety of noises, including knocking, clunking, or slamming.
  • Excessive vibration: Rattling and shaking in the suspension or through the steering wheel can indicate ball joint wear and strain. 
It is critical that you send your car to a certified technician who is equipped to diagnose and repair this critical component of your suspension!