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Automotive Q & A

Ball Joints

Question: When do you need to replace ball joints?

Answer: Any joint that exceeds the vehicle manufacturer’s maximum allowable wear needs to be replaced. Ball joints typically last 70,000 to 150,000 miles depending on their usage and road conditions. Clunking noises, poor handling, pulling, and abnormal wearing of your tires are all signs of a worn ball joint. If you see uneven tread wear patterns on your tire, you should have your ball joints checked. This can save you much money in the long run. Ball joints should be checked whenever the vehicle’s lubrication is checked. If the rubber boot which holds the joint’s lubrication is damaged or missing, chances are water has gotten into the joint. This can lead to rust and wearing, and your ball joint should be replaced. You can also check on your own to see if your ball joints are bad. You can give your tire a strong tug and see if you feel any extra pull or play. You can also jack the tire up and give the top and bottom of the tire a pull. If you feel any extra pull or play, you should have your ball joints checked immediately by a professional.

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