Bad Ball Joint? [Expert Advice to Diagnose & Fix]

Bad Ball Joint?
Expert advice to diagnose & fix

If you think your car is experiencing suspension issues, our mechanic shows you what bad ball joint looks like in the video below. The car he’s working on had just failed a Massachusetts state inspection because it had loose, worn ball joints. Watch now:

How To Diagnose a Loose or Worn Ball Joint

What are ball joints for? What do they do?

Ball joints or rubber control arm bushings are mounted to a vehicle’s control arms, and allow control arms to smoothly rotate up and down. You can read more about control arms in our Control Arms 101 article.

What are symptoms of a bad ball joint?

Bad ball joint symptoms can include the following:

How can I diagnose a bad ball joint?

After safely raising your vehicle off the ground, we recommend inspecting your suspension for the same items that were tested in our Chevy Equinox in the Massachusetts state inspection that it failed. Those suspension items include:

Front suspension:

Shake the tires up and down and back and forth to confirm your ball joints are loose or worn, and that other parts, like your tie rods or wheel hubs, aren’t also loose.

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Steering knuckle and control arm:

Now, shake your tire back and forth. If you see your steering knuckle move independently from the control arm like in our Chevy Equinox, that’s a definite bad ball joint sign.

To learn more about replacing bad ball joints, we recommend reading Control Arms 101: What Do Upper And Lower Control Arms Do?

Need to replace bad ball joints? Shop our replacement parts now:

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