Knowing When You Have a Broken Ball Joint

The ball joint plays an important part of your safety when driving an automobile. The ball joint is very similar to a joint socket in the human body. It is a bearing stud and socket enclosed in a casing. Its purpose is to allow freedom of movement across two planes at the same time. A broken ball joint can cause an accident, because it involves the steering and suspension of the vehicle.

Locating Your Ball Joints

Most automobiles carry their ball joints in the front end of the vehicle. They are the pivot that holds the wheel and the suspension of a vehicle together. However, higher performance vehicles can have the ball joints in the back of the automobile. There is an upper and lower ball joint on a vehicle, and it is a known fact that the lower ball joint wears out faster than the upper ball joint.

Check for Bad Ball Joints

A good way to check to see if the ball joints in your vehicle are bad is to check the struts. You can do this by pushing down on the front end of the vehicle. Push down on the area that is located just over the bumper. If the car bounces more than three times, it would be a good idea to replace the struts. Over time, bad struts can ruin the ball joints of a vehicle.

Check the Rubber for Wear and Tear

Preventative maintenance will help to prolong the life of your vehicle. It is important that you do minor repairs before major problems occur. With regard to checking the ball joint, it is important that you check the rubber seal that surrounds the ball joint for wear and tear. If it shows a tear, it is vital that you get the ball joint replaced as soon as possible. There should be no gaps or movement between the ball joint.

Check the Mileage of the Vehicle

It is important to keep tabs on the mileage of a vehicle. Sealed ball joints can break at roughly 80,000 miles. Standard or unsealed ball joints need to have a high viscosity lubricant added to them periodically. Signs of a failing ball joint also include popping, snapping, or clicking sounds when the wheel is turned. It is vital that you have this checked out immediately if you happen to hear this while driving. This could signify that your ball joint is broken or damaged, which can only lead to further mishaps.

It is important to take your vehicle to an auto repair shop should you think that a ball joint is broken on your vehicle. In fact, consider it an emergency repair that should not be put off. The ball joints’ failure could cause the angle of the wheel to be uncontrollable. When this happens, the vehicle will react on its own accord, and an accident could occur. The vehicle could suddenly stop, the tires could become damaged, or any of a number of other scenarios could take place. Most of those scenarios end with an auto accident.