The ball joints connect the control arm to the steering knuckle and function as a pivot between your car’s wheels and the suspension. Depending on the type of car, you either have two lower ball joints or four in total with two upper and two lower ball joints.
The ball joint itself is a steel ball with an extruding stud encased in a lubricated housing. The stud is able to swing and rotate inside while lubricating grease keeps it clean and allows for noise-free movement.
The ball joint in the car is in charge of keeping the tyres flat on the road even if the suspension is moving up and down. This allows for smooth and, more importantly, safe driving.
Like many other parts of your vehicle, a ball joint in your car can wear out over time. This can happen quickly if the protective rubber boot on the joint doesn’t seal it correctly. When this happens, dirt and water can get in while grease can get out. Both can cause the ball joint to fail.
Worn ball joints loosen the front suspension, which can affect the steering and proper wheel alignment. These are some signs to watch out for, telling you that you may need to bring your car to a garage for a ball joint replacement:
How often you should replace the ball joint depends on your manufacturer’s schedule. Some ball joints are even serviceable and you just have to have them greased every so often. Other ball joints are sealed and the lubrication is meant to last as long as the joint lasts.
If you have a ball joint splitter and know how to use it, you can do the replacement yourself. However, keep in mind that you should have wheel alignment done afterward to make sure that everything is on track again. Therefore we recommend that you ask your garage to do the ball joint check or replacement for you.
Before you are due for an MOT, it is important to have the ball joints checked and replaced if necessary, as you will not be able to pass with a bad ball joint.
The ball joint replacement cost in the UK depends on your car make and how many ball joints have to be replaced. In some cars the track rod end has the ball joint as a screwed on component, making the replacement easier and cheaper. Other cars have joints that are integrated with the track rod. If that is the case, the entire part will have to be replaced if a ball joint has worn out.
On autobutler.co.uk you can request various quotes from garages near you for a ball joint replacement and compare the prices.
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