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The ball joint allows the wheels and suspension of the car to move. As a small socket joint, it permits movement and it needs to be functioning properly for much of the car to operate like it should. Once this small part starts to rust, wear out or otherwise not work as it should, the entire car begins to suffer for it.
The ball joint is a small part of your car, and the part itself is only going to cost between $20-$150 or more, depending on where you get it from and what kind of vehicle you own.
It can take a little over an hour to get it replaced, so the full ball joint replacement cost will be between $100 and $400. You never know how much the mechanic is going to charge you until you get the replacement done, but it can help to have an estimate beforehand. If possible, get a written estimate for the dealership or auto repair shop before they start work in it. That way, you can hold the to it if there is any discrepancy in the price. The lower ball joint replacement cost will likely be similar to the upper ball joint replacement cost, as the parts and labor costs are very similar.
Ball Joint Replacement Cost Comparison
We’ve collected some sample pricing for parts and labor from some of the leading garage chains and parts suppliers in the country. Prices will vary depending on the type of car you own and where you live, but the below costs should give you an idea of how much you’ll pay.
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$92 – $312|
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$114 – $289|
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$127 – $415|
|Parts & Labour||24 months||$138 – $338|
|Parts||Limited||$19 – $115|
|Parts||Limited||$22 – $145|
What is Ball Joint Replacement?
As you may have taken from the name of the repair, it involves the replacement of the ball joint which allows the wheels and suspension of the car to function properly. Having a faulty ball joint can cause numerous issues with the way the car handles and ignoring the issue could led to further damage or may be the cause of an accident, so having it repaired quickly is always the best option.
Benefits of a Ball Joint Replacement
By fixing the ball joint as soon as it starts to give you problems, you can prevent a lot of additional wear and tear on your vehicle. You can keep your car from steering poorly and ensure that your tires last longer. You can also make sure that your vehicle functions like it should, allowing for safer driving and better handling.
The ball joint may not be big, but it has a big role to play in the vehicle’s operation. You want to make sure it is in great condition ad that it won’t give you any problems. Because it affects so much of the car, it is in your best interests to deal with any ball joint problems right away and replace it as soon as serious wear has occurred.
When Should You Have the Ball Joint Replaced?
You obviously need to replace the ball joint if it isn’t working at all. If it is cracked, damaged or otherwise in risk of completely failing, you need to get it replaced right away. Normal wear and tear will take its toll on the joint, but not every vehicle undergoes the same amount of stress.
Still it is advisable that you have this joint checked with each tune-up of the car. If your mechanic reports that the joint is in danger of failing or causing you trouble, then you need to get it replaced immediately.
How do you know if it is time to replace the ball joint? Look for these warning signs:
- More wear and tear on the car (and tires specifically) than is to be expected
- Clunking noises from the tires
- Shakiness from the steering wheel
- Car is out of alignment and veers one way or the other
- Car steering or alignment suffers after a bump
Now these are signs that your joint is not working like it should anymore, but you still should have your mechanic check for excessive wear on the joint during regular checkups to catch problems before they become serious.
What Is Done during a Ball Joint Replacement
- The car will need to be jacked up first as tires need to be removed to get at the ball joint. It is not safe to suspend a car by a jack alone, so a mechanic will usually use some other means of suspension, since at least two wheels will be removed.
- Once the car is suspended, the mechanic will remove the required wheels. Some vehicles have the joint in the front, while others have it located in the back.
- Then the control arms that are part of the suspension system will need to be removed. There may only be a single arm to take off or there may be several. Because the joints are part of a much larger system, most of the system will need to be taken off to allow for smooth removal of the joints.
- Then the ball joints themselves can be taken off and replaced with new ones. This isn’t the kind of part that can easily be repaired or mended. Because it is so small and inexpensive, a replacement is always recommended.
- Once the new joints are in place, the arms and wheels will be placed back on the vehicle. Then the mechanic will check the vehicle for any problems. This includes testing the steering and suspension and listening for any unusual sounds.
How to Save Money on a Ball Joint Replacement
Replacing the ball joint is a moderate to hard auto repair job. For most vehicles, it’s not too difficult to take out the old joint and put in a new one, but if there is a spring compressor involved, the process becomes much more complicated. At that point, it is a good idea to use a machine instead of trying to do it on your own. You can save money by doing the job for yourself, but you do want to be sure you understand the process and take your time doing it right.
You would be removing a lot of vital parts of your car to get to the joints, and you want to be sure they are reattached the right way when you are finished.
The best way to make sure you are saving money on this job is to ensure that all necessary procedures are being followed by your mechanics. You want to be sure that the mechanic is aligning the tires after the ball joints are replaced and that they are also checking the entire suspension and steering system. These are procedures that need to be done to spare you from unnecessary expenses later.
Sample Ball Joint Replacement
Below are some example replacement costs for some of the most popular cars in the country. While prices will vary from place to place, it will give you an idea of the cost of repair for your brand or size of car.
|Ford F-Series||$136 – $174||$41 – $48||$177 – $222|
|Chevrolet Silverado||$228 – $291||$38 – $120||$266 – $411|
|Ford Focus||$170 – $264||$45 – $100||$215 – $364|
|Toyota Camry||$228 – $291||$38 – $120||$266 – $411|
|Toyota Corolla||$228 – $291||$38 – $120||$266 – $411|
|Nissan Altima||$94 – $121||$29 – $42||$123 – $163|
|Honda CR-V||$102 – $131||$32 – $152||$134 – $283|
|Honda Civic||$102 – $131||$24 – $105||$126 – $236|
|Honda Accord||$102 – $131||$21 – $48||$123 – $179|
|Ford Fusion||$102 – $131||$21 – $48||$123 – $179|