ball joint

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  #1  
Old 03-27-09, 07:22 PM
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ball joint

Took our '92 Honda Accord into the auto repair shop for an inspection of the suspension and brakes. All was fine, they said, except the lower ball joint on the driver side, which they said needs to be replaced. We did notice some squeaking sometimes coming from that area when driving. Maybe thats what it was. Anyway, the main mechanic there said that ball joint has to be replaced. He said if you don't take care of it, it can "split". So I agreed to have him to it as soon as he gets the part.
So how would somebody normally know when/if a ball joint is bad or going out? What could happen if I chose to ignore the mechanic's advice to get this thing fixed right away? Can I drive around once in a while until it's fixed or will it split on me for sure if I do that?
 
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Old 03-27-09, 07:38 PM
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You mean like the average person driving the vehicle? They may know something in the suspension is a little loose or you may have a shimmy which you may or may not notice. Some of us are just more in tune with those things.

If you are into these things under the heading of maintenance and ongoing car care, you would, every twenty thousand miles or so, raise the front tires off the ground and see how much wiggle you get out of them. With a tight wheel bearing and a play of around 1/8 inch at the top/bottom of the tire (in and out) you would look for some suspension play. It could be in the ball joint or it could be somewhere else, honestly.

The mechanic checking your car would have checked for ball joint wear about the same way or he may have pried on the joint itself, looking for play in the joint.

To say when the ball joint goes from needing replaced to completely gone is a question without an answer. It could be tomorrow or forever. You just can't say. The course of action you take is when they need replaced (as in showing the wear) you replace them.

Normally I would replace both sides for a couple of reasons. Both sides may not wear exactly the same, but they are in the same ballpark. And replacing the second would be cheaper in the pair, than by itself. The guy can use the same shop towels = no double charge .
 
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Old 03-27-09, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by marbobj View Post
To say when the ball joint goes from needing replaced to completely gone is a question without an answer. It could be tomorrow or forever. You just can't say. The course of action you take is when they need replaced (as in showing the wear) you replace them.
Correction, he said the upper (not lower as I previously posted) ball joint needs replacing. Quote to do the labor including part a whopping $230. Honda parts are always rather spendy, and of course the labor is spendy too. Yeah, as average people we really didn't notice any particular looseness to the suspension, and haven't noticed any shimmy either yet, but we're not too in tune with those things anyway. Anyway at least the guy in my experience has been an honest mechanic and doesn't usually tell people they need something fixed when they don't. So I'll pay the $230 to git r fixed, since I know I'd have a tough time tackling the job myself. thanks for the input/info
 
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Old 04-23-09, 05:35 PM
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the $230 dollors you paid is a fair amount if it makes you feel better i am a mechanic myself at a tire kingdom. and your mechanic is right. what he means by splitting is that when the ball joint becomes so worn out then it will break and "split" open. this will cause the joint to fall apart and the wheel will no longer be supported by it, dangling. Basicly your wheel will fall off eventually if you dont have them done. just make sure to have the alignment checked after the work is completed
 
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Old 04-23-09, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by rednecksputter View Post
the $230 dollors you paid is a fair amount if it makes you feel better. just make sure to have the alignment checked after the work is completed
Okay that does make me feel better, that it was apparently a fair amount to charge for the job, including the part. The mechanic explained that for this particular vehicle in order to replace the ball joint the part comes with a whole new control arm, which apparently is one reason it was so spendy. So now I need to get the alignment checked now that the job is complete? Okay then there goes another bundle of dough, probably 100 bucks
 
  #6  
Old 05-03-09, 06:52 PM
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ya alignments are somewhere around that, but u should check back with him before because (granted if he has an alignment machine) he shouldve had it aligned right after the job. I may be wrong but im pretty sure.
 
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Old 05-03-09, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rednecksputter View Post
ya alignments are somewhere around that, but u should check back with him before because (granted if he has an alignment machine) he shouldve had it aligned right after the job. I may be wrong but im pretty sure.
They do alignments at this shop all the time, and have a good reputation for doing quality alignment jobs and also for doing quality work in general. Maybe they did align it after the ball joint replacement. When driving the car down the road now there is nothing noticeable to me that might indicate it's out of alignment, so maybe they already took care of it. It wasn't written up on the bill, if they did do it. But I'll should check with them, like you say. Thanks.
 
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