Common Symptoms Of Bad Ball Joints?

Steering in our car is an exciting thing that makes us love driving. People who love driving will get to the rough road experience for their happiness. During the turning at the rough road, sometimes you may lose control of the steering, which is a symptom of bad ball joints.

Whether it may be an old car or a month-old new car. You should experience some of the symptoms of bad ball joints. During the encounter of this problem if you want to return to the home of being safe and to get rid of this. Surf through the remaining article to know how to identify the symptoms, precaution steps, and how to rectify them?.

What Are The Symptoms Of Bad Ball Joints?

First of all ball joint is a flexible connection. It allows the movement of the two parts of that connection in more than one direction at the same time. There are two ball joints located between the front wheels. One is the lower ball joints it gets attached to the steering knuckle. Another one is the upper ball joint which is attached to the front suspension.

When we are going down the road the tire hits the bumps here the ball joint provides suspension. At the same time when the car is going down the road and also needs to turn ball joint has to provide suspension and the work of turning the wheels.

It can do these two things at the same interval. When the problem arises in this area you may decide that they are the symptoms of bad ball joints. Some of the common symptoms are

1. Clunking Noise

When you are driving on the uneven level of roads like bumps, debris, and potholes, etc… You can hear a clunking noise during driving in those places. If you hear a clunking noise while applying the brake, it may have some other reasons such as failure of disc brakes, pads, or callipers.

But if you hear the clunking noise while turning the car in these types of places, we should assume that it is a severe sign indicating the bad ball joints. Though the noise is for bad disc brakes or bad ball joints we need to sort out this by use of auto-mechanic.

2. Vibrating And Shaking

Due to the wear in ball joints, you may experience vibration and shake. This may cause discomfort while you travelling. This will leads to the following symptom.

3. Losing Driving Control

We were all overcome by an accident. Either personally or by watching it on television. The most common scenario is the driver lost his steering control. He can’t able to turn the car. All the efforts would go in vain. This is another notable symptoms of bad ball joints.

The driver experiences loose feeling steering and drifting of the car to one side. Hence no longer you can drive your vehicle. This makes your wheel folded on one side. It leads to excessive tire wear. This could lead to several accidents.

What Are The Causes For Bad Ball Joints?

There could be several reasons for the damage of ball joints. Few have been listed here

1. Wear And Tear

The most common cause for bad ball joints is wear and tear. The quality of steel used for making ball joints plays a vital role. Ball joints made of high-quality steel provide high strength, greater durability, and extended lifetime. There is no specific time for replacing ball joints. it depends upon the manufacture’s innovative design. Based on the survey it is advisable to change the ball joints between 70,000 to  1,50,000.

2. Stocking Of Debris And Dirt

Ball joint wears out due to the stocking up of dirt, debris, and lack of grease. Due to lack of grease, it can’t move down freely. The ball stud comes out of the ball socket. when it gets damaged.

At this stage when a high load pushes the ball joint it loses the ability of suspension. Over a period of time ball joint doesn’t move inside the ball socket. Deposition of oil, dirt, and grease is the reason for this to happen.

How To Inspect Ball Joints?

Some of the ball joints have been designed with grease fittings which can be used as wear indicators. When the grease gun will not couple to the grease fittings the ball joints have to be changed.

A Belleville washer is a coned-shaped disc spring. It is used to solve thermal expansion, vibration, and relaxation problems. When it is mounted on the socket, it maintains tension on the bearings to maintain zero axial endplays.


If there is lateral wear on the ball joint, it causes the ball stud to move inside the bearing. It will affect camber and tire wear. So the Belleville washer doesn’t compensate for lateral wear

We can also inspect by checking the loaded joint. Fix the jack stand under the lower control arm. It supports the weight of the vehicle. The dial indicator is attached to the lower arm. To measure axial runout at the steering knuckle, locate the dial in the vertical position.

To check the joint with the independent SLS suspension, the upper control arm is supported to unload the joint. In another way, the upper arm can be blocked and the joint can be compressed.

Bad ball joints for a strut-type suspension can be done by placing the jack under the cradle for allowing the strut to fully extend. Fix the dial indicator clamp to the lower control measure the axial run-out at the steering knuckle, place the dial in a vertical position. Now raise the jack and load the joint by placing the jack under the ball joint. Observe the ball joint to check lateral run-out by turning the steering wheel.

How To Rectify The Symptoms Of  Bad Ball Joints?

Since they require some basic and advanced auto tools, we can’t do it on our own. we need an auto mechanic to rectify the bad symptoms of the ball joints.

First, take off the axle nut. Pneumatic impact wrench will be easier to take off. Lift the car by using the jack. you may also use penetrating fluid to get bolts easier. Remove the calliper by taking off calliper bolts. Take the upper control arm ball joint bolt.  Take the snap ring out. Now use the ball joint press to remove the lower ball joint.

Replace it with the new ball joint. Ensure that the ball joint is pressed perfectly. Put the lower control arm ball joint to get into the lower part of the knuckle. Use a jack to slide the upper ball joint control arm into the knuckle. Then follow the steps in reverse.

Can You Drive With A Bad Ball Joint?

No, you definitely should not! There can be serious consequences, so its better you get your car checked by a mechanic first.


The above-mentioned things are the most common symptoms of bad ball joints. In simple words don’t take a drive with the bad ball joint. It may even cost your life. Kindly sort out this by contacting your auto mechanic.

Hope we have provided relevant information about the symptoms, how to identify them and how to rectify them. Kindly if you have any queries comment below.


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