Information - Ball joint

The ball joint represents a removable tie rod end, consisting of wedges, housing, ball pin and protective cover. Such a construction of the ball joint provides exploitation convenience of this part. If the vehicle is operating in normal conditions, and the owner is driving with accuracy, the ball joints can serve for a quite long period of time. Furthermore, the owner should also think about the condition of hinge covers, which often let dirt through, and they must be replaced even if there is only a small crack on them. How do you know that a ball joint is out of order? Very simple – by the sound, as when driving off a clicking sound is heard. Also, an unpleasant sound is heard while turning the front wheels. Broken parts can also be detected by a noticeable noise underneath the car and a strong vibration.

If you follow the rules of the normal operation of the vehicle, ball joints can last up to 60,000 kilometers. However, if you do drive off abruptly, speed up on bad roads or if your car is skidding, for example, in mud or snow, you can be sure that the service life of the drive shaft joints and ball joints is greatly reduced. By the way, improper operation of the car leads to deterioration not only of these parts, but also many other. At the same time every car owner has the right to handle his car as he wants, depending on operating conditions, but in this case he should be prepared for changing auto parts quite often.

To avoid wasting a lot of money on parts for your car, you can use our online store that offers a huge selection of original spare parts at reasonable prices. If you need a strut bearing, a water pump or a working cylinder, you will always find the right part at a reasonable price in our online store.

What you need to know about ball joint replacement: lifetime limits, common defects and their signs, tips and recommendations

Service life of the ball joint can reach 100,000 – 120,000 operational kilometers.

But if the car is used in off-road conditions, component service life can significantly reduce.

The front and rear ball joints lose their operability as a result of lifetime ending, abrasive wear, drying of greasing material. Breakage of the ball joint also can take place.

Need of component diagnostics is pointed by knocking in the suspension during driving on the rough road or obstacles overrunning, as well as wheel rocking from side to side. Uneven tyres wear-out, screeching at steering wheel turning can also be signs of ball joints defectiveness.

Component defect diagnostics is performed at a service station with the help of a special stand and lifting equipment. In order to replace the component you should also address to a service station. Specialists will lift the car, demount the wheel, unscrew the fixation nut of the ball joint to the steering knuckle. Sometimes there is a need to unscrew fixations of the stabilizer link and disconnect it from the lower arm. Then, using a special remover tool, the joint is pressed out of the steering knuckle and is removed from the lower arm. Then a new component is installed and assembling is performed. The lower and upper ball joints are replaced together.

Advices for our customers

How to replace ball joint yourself?

It is not recommended to replace the ball joint yourself. It is better to perform replacement of the components with the help of special equipment. For ball joints pressing out and in you will need a remover tool or a press. And for removing of the ball stud from the steering knuckle bracket sometimes a special wedge tool is used. It is prohibited to perform components demounting without a remover tool, using materials at hand, as you can damage the mounting seat in the arm or the socket of the ball joint itself. Wheels alignment may be necessary to be done after installation of new parts. It is recommended to replace the ball joints by a kit on the whole axle: for example, if the front right joint is broken down – it is advisable to replace all joints of the front axle: both lower and upper ones, if they are present. Also dust boots of the ball joints are to be replaced.

How to examine ball joint?

You will need a lifting platform or a jack to examine the ball joint. For inspection of the lower ball joint you need to lift the corresponding vehicle axle, set a support under the ball joint body and slightly lower the car to apply load on the part. At the same time, the wheel should remain in unloaded condition and should be able to rotate freely. Ask an assistant to slowly rotate the steering wheel in both directions while performing the inspection, as defect can be detected only at a certain position of the wheel. Grasp the upper and lower parts of the wheel and try to rock it. Presence of free play points at possible breakdown of the ball joint, but may also indicate defectiveness of the hub bearing or the arm bush. In order to more precisely estimate condition of the component, insert a crowbar between the steering knuckle and the arm and press the handle. A serviceable part should not have a free play. The upper ball joint can be checked without a lifting platform. To do so, you need to try to rock the wheel firstly with disengaged brake mechanism, then – at activated. On demounted ball joint you can also check the easiness of stud rotation: it shouldn’t rotate too freely.

Which ball joints are better to install?

It is better to install the ball joints of famous firms on your car. Their products undergo numerous tests, thus, they are notable for high quality and serve for many years. The best manufacturers of the ball joints nowadays are Delphi, Mapco, Meyle, Ruville, Sidem, Lemförder, Stark Professional Line, TRW, Triscan, Febi Bilstein, Sasic, Ridex, Swag, ABS, Metzger, Vaico, NK and other companies. You can always purchase spare parts of these brands in our online-shop at profitable price.

What signs indicate defectiveness of ball joint?

Defectiveness of the ball joint is typically indicated by such signs as:

  • wheel wobbling;
  • uneven wear of tyres;
  • wheels misalignment;
  • knocking of the ball joint, that is heard at cornering;
  • increasing of force required for steering wheel rotation;
  • deviation of the car from its trajectory and clicks in the suspension during braking.

You can learn about how to define defectiveness of the part in our answer to the question concerning ball joint inspection. Inspection is performed in service station conditions with the help of a special diagnostics stand.

Suspension ball joint at low cost: Top Spares

Ball Joint Front Axle, Lower, Left (RIDEX, 2462S0009) -22%
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Ball Joint Left, Right, with fastening material (RIDEX, 2462S0111) -22%
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Ball Joint MCPHERSON SUSP. Front Axle China (A.B.S., 220363) -22%
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Ball Joint Front Axle, Lower, Left and right, Outer, with fastening material (LEMFÖRDER, 33773 01) -22%
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