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The bearing knuckle known as the lower ball joint provides support to the steering column and steering wheel. Working with the wheel assembly, they allow the suspension to move freely as you turn the vehicle. Over time, this component can wear out or break down, and you’ll have to get it replaced.
For replacing the lower ball joint, you will pay about $250, on average. The labor ranges from $225 to $285, and the parts can cost you anywhere from $90 to $120.
Lower Ball Joint Replacement Cost Comparison
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$225-$475|
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$211-$490|
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$199-$525|
|Parts & Labour||24 months||$220-$460|
What Is Lower Ball Joint Replacement?
Replacing ball joint is fairly simple. It can take a while to take apart the different pieces that need to be disassembled to get to the joint, and your mechanic may find other problems as he works through all that. If you want to avoid having to replace the joint too soon, however, you can just be careful about how you drive the car, turning gentler and staying off rough roads. If you abuse your vehicle with rough roads and quick turns, you will not only cause the ball joints to need replacement sooner, but you will also damage other parts of the car.
Benefits of Lower Ball Joint Replacement
Once you have the ball joint replaced, you will not wear out your tires so quickly. You will be putting less wear and strain on various components of the car, saving you from expensive repairs at a later date. This can also become a safety issue at some point, and the sooner you get it fixed, the less risk you will put yourself and other passengers in.
What Is Done during Lower Ball Joint Replacement?
To get the ball joint replaced, the mechanic will need to hoist the car up and take off the front wheel. This can also be done by simply putting the car on a jack, for those DIYers. The mechanic will use a ball joint separator to take off the ball joint and disconnect it from the control arms and the steering knuckle. Then the new part can be installed and the other parts put back into their places.
In some cases, this will be a more involved process, requiring more parts to be disconnected and then put back later.
Once everything is in place again, the mechanic will need to test drive the vehicle to make sure it is working properly.
When to Get Lower Ball Joint Replacement
Your vehicle’s ball joints will likely break down at some point and need repairs, so you shouldn’t be too surprised when your mechanic says you need to have them changed out. You can look for signs yourself that they may need replacing. You may notice a clunking or knocking sound when you make turns. The ball joint may also be leaking fluid, but that’s probably not something you will notice unless you are looking directly at it.
You want to be careful about driving while the ball joint is damaged. You can damage your tires severely the longer you drive on it, and it’s best to get it fixed just as soon as you can.
How to Save Money on Lower Ball Joint Replacement
If you wanted to save some money on this repair, you could do the work yourself. It’s considered to be an intermediate DIY project, and you have to be comfortable with working on parts under pressure and working with a lifted vehicle and you’ll need a ball joint separator, but other than that, it is a fairly simple procedure.
Another way to get the work done for less is to compare costs between mechanics and garages in your area. You may find that some of them are much cheaper than the average, and you might be able to get a good deal on a lower ball joint replacement.
Sample Lower Ball Joint Replacement Costs