The parts of a car can get worn out from time to time which puts us in a fix. As a result, it’s good to check the vehicle parts every so often. If any part of a car is most likely to cause a failure, we can take the situation under control before things get out of hand.
Ball joints are an essential part of the wheel assembly. One lousy ball joint can take you to replace almost all ball joints. So you should check it very often if you doubt that something is wrong. The question is, how to check ball joints with a pry bar? Easy! You need to pull apart the control arm and steering knuckles.
Below I have written step-by-step instructions for your better comprehension.
How To Check Ball Joints With Pry Bar?
Ball joints often get worn out by debris or dirt. Sometimes poor lubrication is a reason why ball joints cause failure. When you notice significant signs of bad ball joints, check them immediately. One of the easiest ways to check ball joints is using a pry bar.
However, if you are unaware of how to check ball joints with a pry bar, have a look:
- To check vertical looseness, set the pry bar between the steering knuckle and the control arm. Now check if the ball joint is showing extreme movements. If it is moving a lot, then be sure that the ball joint is loosed
- For axial, take a pry bar. Put it under the tire and elevate the tire. Now you have to repeat the same step. Check if the ball joint is moving or not. You could hear uneven sounds as well, which indicates a loosed ball joint
So, When you discover that ball joints are loose or damaged, you need to replace them as soon as possible. Staying longer with loose ball joints can cause a big disaster.
Other Ways To Check Ball Joints
At times, you may not have a pry bar with you, but some tools might be available at home to check the ball joints. In this case, check the below ways out:
Lift the front end of a car
- With a jack stand, elevate the front end of the car
- Place the jack stand below the control arm and elevate it
- Now see, if there is any play in the ball joint
- If you notice excessive movements of ball joints, the ball joints are loose
- First, grab the top and bottom of the wheel
- Take the wheel backward and forward
- Bad ball joints will show excessive play when you do that
- Notice if you hear grinding or clicking sounds; it’s a sign of a bad ball joint
- Replace it if you hear the sound
Drive the car
You can take the car for a drive to check for worn ball joints. When you drive the vehicle, you will hear crashing sounds coming from it. The steering wheel also vibrates when the ball joints have a problem. So when it happens, you can understand that your car’s ball joint is bad.
Signs Of Bad Ball Joints
When you go for a check of ball joints, several signs indicate that your car’s ball joint has a problem. It can create a tragedy that will leave you with lifelong injuries. Check out below to learn about it.
When the ball joint is loosed, you can hear a metal rattling inside its section. When you go through any uneven road, the ball joint will start to rattle more, and you can hear its sound clearly.
Improper alignment of wheels
A bad ball joint will cause the car’s wheel to move left or right even when you are driving the vehicle straight forward. If you don’t get it fixed in time, you might have to pay a huge price.
Vibrations in the steering wheel
You will feel quaking in the steering wheel when you steer the car. This vibration is a sign that your car’s ball joints are damaged.
How To Replace A Ball Joint
It’s not that hard to replace a ball joint. All you will need is some tools and proper knowledge to replace a ball joint. Follow the steps below to learn about it:
- Take a jack stand that will support the car to elevate up. Place it below the car so that you can work properly on the ball joints
- Now take out the tire, unscrew all nuts, and take the wheel out completely
- Open the bolt of the ball joint with a wrench, and there could be a cotter pin binding there to secure it. You need to remove that as well
- Now disengage the steering knuckle with a ball joint separator
- Remove the rings one by one
- Detach the control arm from the ball joint with a ball joint press
- Now it’s time to install a new ball joint. Use a ball joint press to install a new ball joint
- Reinstall everything back the way you took it out
- Finally, a new ball joint is installed
If your car’s ball joint is worn out, you can securely change or replace the ball joints following the above guidelines. However, you can also take the vehicle to an auto repair shop if you don’t want to do it yourself.