Ball joints are a critical part to a car’s suspension and steering systems. Ball joints are designed specifically to keep your vehicle’s tires flat on the road as your suspension moves with the ups and downs of the terrain. Even though ball joints last a long time, eventually they do wear-out and could begin to fail which will cause safety issues.
Signs Your Ball Joints Have Worn
1. Grinding Sounds
This sign is one of the most common symptoms of failing ball joints. From the corner of the vehicle, you will hear a faint banging or grinding. When the suspension goes up and down it will begin to move the ball joint. Over time, the sound will get worse and the ball joint will continue to wear down and potentially break.
2. Worn Tires
Outer or inner tire edges showing more wear than the rest of the tire is another indication or worn ball joints. Even though this is a sign of worn ball joints, it could also mean that your tires are under-inflated. You can easily check your tire pressure to rule it out by using a simple tire pressure tool.
3. Steering Problems
Since ball joints are connected to the steering and suspension systems, if they are worn you could begin to feel the vehicle pull from side to side. You may also experience your steering wheel shaking.
4. Worn Control Arm Bushings
If a ball joint locks up, the movement has to go somewhere which is typically transferred to the control arm. A vehicle’s control arm bushings are not intended for this type of motion and will wear out very easily.
It is important to keep an eye out for any of the above signs to stay safe on the road. A detached ball joint could have a catastrophic result. If a ball joint completely breaks, the wheel can move freely and potentially drag until you are forced to completely stop leaving your stuck on the road.
Don’t wait for your ball joints to completely let you down. Give us a call today to schedule an inspection.