How to tell if a ball joint is going bad on your vehicle
We get it, you have a lot to look out for on your vehicle. Between the oil changes, transmission flushes, wheel alignments, and all the other maintenance needs your vehicle will need over its lifetime, it can be frustrating when another component goes bad. Ball joints are one of those things that usually don’t get much attention until they’ve already gone bad. Don’t wait til it goes bad though; learn how to tell if a ball joint is going bad on your vehicle!
What do ball joints do?
Ball joints are an essential component of the suspension system on your vehicle. A spherical bearing in a socket, they allow each of the wheels to move freely both back and forth as well as up and down. Over time, these ball joints can go bad from extended wear and tear resulting from hitting bumps or potholes. Fortunately, it takes some time before they go bad and you’ll notice a few warning signs before they actually give out. Some of those warning signs include:
- Clunking noise. Pay attention to this sound coming from the front suspension, as loose ball joints will cause a rattling sound when you go over bumps or when you turn.
- You may feel this vibration coming from the front end of the vehicle and sometimes it will also be felt through the steering wheel.
- Steering wheel pulls toward one side or the other. When you’re out on the open road, take your hands off the steering wheel for a quick second or two. While this could also signal the need for a wheel alignment, it could also be due to a loose ball joint.
Don’t wait until the ball joint gives out and you’re left stranded on the side of the road. Bring your car into our Hall Mazda service center and let our team look it over for you!