In your car that you drive around all day everyday, the ball joints are spherical bearings that connect the control arms to the steering knuckles. The control arms, also known as A-arms, are hinged suspension links between the chassis and the wheel hub, and the steering knuckles are the components that contain the wheel hub and spindle.
Since the lower ball joint connects both of these parts that directly work with the wheels and the steering of the car, you can see why this ball joint is so imperative to the workings of the vehicle. Therefore, it is crucial to know the lower ball joint price when determining what kind of repair you need to have done. The lower ball joint price for a replacement is around $326 as an average.
What is a lower ball joint?
The ball joint consists of a bearing stud and socket that are both contained within a small casing.. The bearing is tapered and threaded, and fits into the steering knuckle. The protective casing prevents any debris from getting inside and adds some extra protection. This rubber-like boot allows movement and a flow of lubricant. The motion-controlled ball joints are controlled with an internal spring, which prevents any excessive vibration during the linkage.
So – what is the real purpose? In modern cars, the lower ball joint is the pivot between the wheels and the suspension, the system of tires, tire air, and springs that connect a vehicle to its wheels and allow motion, allowing the car to move. With almost all cars in production today, they are used in the front suspension, but can also be found in the rear suspension in luxury automobiles. If you're planning on replacing both in your car for the rear and front suspension, this can obviously increase the lower ball joint price.
Many automobiles today use suspensions that contain one lower ball joint per side between the strut and control arm, using articulation at the top of the strut. So, this means there are usually two ball joints in the suspension.
Sealed lower ball joints do not require lubrication over time, since they are primed for their entire lifespan, reducing the lower ball joint price. Before, ball joints were designed for periodic lubrication, however, this was minimized to reduce the maintenance requirements and lower ball joint price.
Further, adding new lubricant extended the lifespan of the lower ball joint. This could make it so that you do not need service until every 1,200 or so miles.
Since the lifespan is so long, this can reduce the replacement of the lower ball joint price. Even though there is no exact lifespan of a lower ball joint, they can fail around 80,000 miles in modern vehicles, and sooner in older cars. Signs of wear and tear of the lower ball joint include when a sudden bursting sound is heard by the driver and can result in the ball joint falling apart completely.
This will be followed by a snapping sound while you are turning the wheel, and a squeaking sound in the gas pedal when you are hitting bumps or driving on uneven terrain. Another symptom that is common with lower ball joint issues is consistent thud noises coming from tech suspension. This can lead to a higher lower ball joint price when replacing them.
What is a lower ball joint replacement?
When you decide you finally need to replace the lower ball joints in your car, this can obviously increase the lower ball joint price. Replacing a ball joint, however, is fairly simple and will not break the bank for most people. It can take a while to remove all of the different pieces that comprise a lower ball joint, but it will not be too complicated.
Your mechanic might find other problems along with the lower ball joint though, which can increase the total lower ball joint price for replacement. If you want to avoid having to pay for a lower ball joint replacement too soon, you can just pay attention to the roads you drive on, the terrain you are driving on, and the type of driving you usually undergo. If you concisely drive on uneven terrain and bumpy roads, this can increase the likelihood of a replacement and raise the lower ball joint price.
Benefits of lower ball joint replacement
Once you have to replace the lower ball joint, you will not succumb your tires to a lot of wear. You will put less wear and tear and strain on the various parts of the car, including all steering and the wheels, saving you from the more expensive lower ball joint prices in the long run.
In addition, issues with the lower ball joint can become a safety issue later on if you continue letting it sit, and the sooner you fix the issue, the less risk you will put yourself at. In addition, the quicker you get the fix done, the less you will pay for the lower ball joint price.
What is Done During Lower Ball Joint Replacement?
The first step in getting ready to replace the lower ball joint is to prep the work area. Make sure your car is positioned on a flat surface and block both of the rear wheels, making sure they do not roll anywhere by accident. Jack the front wheels off of the ground for some extra clearance, and use some jack stands if you have them.
Next, inspect the lower ball joint and make sure this is the real issue. You don't want to replace a working ball joint just because you have noticed some of the symptoms without confirming. Determine if your vehicle has a strut suspension or a control arm , checking for wheel play near the ball joint. If there is any space between the lower ball joint and point of contact, the lower ball joint needs to be replaced, which enhances the lower ball joint price.
Third, buy the correct replacement ball joint assembly for your car. Check out your local auto shop and make sure they have the right par for your specific lower ball joint make and model. Usually, a new ball joint replacement will cost you about $80-$90 if you purchase it new. In comparison to using a mechanic or a local professional shop to do the lower ball joint replacement, this is a significantly reduced lower ball joint price for the fix.
After you have the new lower ball joint, you can remove the wheel and make sure you can access the lower ball joint. Depending on your specific car’s steering setup, you might have to move the brakes as well. In addition, try to avoid hitting or moving the brake rotor, caliper, and the line without removing the entire set up. If you do, you will have to bleed the brakes, which is much more time consuming and might require a mechanic, which will increase the lower ball joint price replacement.
Lastly during the set up for the lower ball joint replacement, soak the bolts with WD-40 or PB Blaster to remove all of the built-up dirt, debris, and road grit.
Now that you are set to start the real work on replacing the lower ball joint, you can pull the cotter pin and loosen the castellated nut. Then, pop loose the ball joint. The main goal is to try and guide it through the hole in the steering knuckle. Using A wrench, remove the largest nut for the ball joint and replace it with a new one. By putting the castellated nut on before you begin the hammering, you will avoid having the lower ball joint from coming out completely.
After this, you can remove the allen bolts and slide the control arm free. Sliding out the ball joint can then help you access the other components.
Now, you are ready to install the new lower ball joint. Start by guiding the new joint through the hole in the knuckle, and then bolting the joint into place using the hardware. Then, torque the bolts to the right specifications. You are now at the last step. Screw in the new grease fitting and pump grease into the assembly, reattaching the brake and wheel if you remove them.
Now you have completed the lower ball joint replacement, lowering the overall cost of the lower ball joint price by preventing you from going to a mechanic shop.
When to get lower ball joint replacement
Your vehicle’s lower ball joint will likely succumb to wear and tear and break down at some point in the vehicle’s lifetime and need repairs or replacements. This is why you shouldn't be too taken aback or surprised when your mechanic suggests that it is finally time to replace the lower ball joint, especially since the cost is pretty low for a lower ball joint price.
In addition, you can look for signs that will clue you in to when you might need to get a replacement done. You might notice a clunking or knocking sound when you turn the wheel furthermore, the ball joint might also be leaking fluid, which will be only a little bit harder to notice.
Sample lower ball joint replacement costs
In order to get a good idea of how much you will spend for a lower ball joint price in terms of a replacement, we have compared several common and modern cars that you will find on the market today.
One of the least expensive options for a lower ball joint replacement is the Ford Fusion, Toyota corolla, Nissan Altima, or Ford F-Series. All of these cars have similar prices, with the labor usually costing between $132 and $167, and the parts only running between $93-$118. This shows that the total cost of the lower ball joint price is just $225-$285, which is pretty low for an automobile repair.
Some of the more pricier options are the Chevrolet Silverado, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, and Honda CR-V. These models are only slightly more expensive than the cheaper ones, since the lower ball joint price is low all around. The labor costs for these cars is between $167-$211, and the parts cost for these makes and models is between $76-$240, which shows kind of a big gap for the parts prices.
Do some ball joints last longer?
Some lower ball joints can last longer than others, meaning the overall lower ball joint price will be much lower since you will not have to replace them as much. Since ball joints will last a long time, sometimes they are forgotten – which can be dangerous if you leave it too long, since they do wear out over time.
They work extra hard on bumpy and windy roads, uneven terrain, and roads with potholes, so it depends on the certain mileage, types of roads, and conditions the lower ball joint has been exposed to which can determine how long it will last.
Ball joints on each side of the car sometimes have similar wear, since they are on the same side, which means it is common to get lower ball joints replaced in pairs.
Furthermore, not all ball joints are created equal. Parts that are made with higher quality materials have a greater strength and durability, meaning they can last longer and reduce the overall lower ball joint price. Lower ball joint parts that are made from lower grade steel or not enough heat can lessen the lifetime of the lower ball joint by almost half.
The lower ball joint is a huge part of your steering and the wheel mechanisms within your vehicle. This ball joint holds together the wheels and the suspension, creating a safe and secure mechanism to help you steer correctly and smoothly. Knowing the total lower ball joint price for replacement and buying on your own can help you make educated decisions about what to do with your vehicle.