Ball joints are part of the front suspension of your car, truck, or SUV. The front suspension is composed of bushings, bearings, links, and joints that allow the front wheels to steer left and right together, but also to move up and down independently as changes in the road surface are encountered. This is to maximize the amount of contact the front wheels have with the road, allowing the driver to maintain control, and reducing potential tire wear.
Similar to the human hip joint, an automotive ball joint consists of a lubricated ball and socket which are attached to the suspension control arms and steering knuckles. This allows a freedom of movement that provides precise vehicle control, and a smooth, safe ride for the occupants.
There are serviceable ball joints which allow for lubrication during regular maintenance. This lubrication helps to keep water and other contaminants from entering the joint and wearing the bearing surface inside. These are highly recommended as replacements for failed factory sealed units.
Worn ball joints
Never ignore a vehicle with worn ball joints. Once they begin to wear, damage accelerates until the joint fails. That failure will result in a partial, or complete loss of steering control, which can be fatal! If worn ball joints are suspected or diagnosed, replace them immediately.
Signs of worn ball joints can be steering wheel vibration, a loose feeling when steering the vehicle, unusual noises when steering, and an inability of the vehicle to hold a front wheel alignment. Because of this, your tires will wear prematurely, costing you time and money, not to mention the potential for an accident!
Whenever your steering seems loose or “disconnected” from your steering wheel, stop the vehicle and have it towed in. Like bearings and other parts, ball joints once damaged can fail catastrophically causing a loss of control and a potential for injury. We’re here to serve you with all of your automotive needs, so play it safe and keep your front suspension inspected regularly.
At Anderson Alignment Services, your complete automotive care center in Hutchinson, KS we install only quality replacement parts. Give us a call and let us help keep you safely and economically on the road. We serve Hutchinson and the surrounding areas.