Guide To Truck Ball Joints

The front suspension is made up of links, joints, bushings and bearings that allow your front wheels to move up and down on their own. The motion of the suspension maximizes the tire’s contact with the road for optimum vehicle control and the truck ball joints of your front suspension give you a smooth ride and allow you to control your car.

truck ball joints

What do truck ball joints consist of?

Truck ball joints have a metal housing. The stud can move around. The housing has metal or plastic bearings inside. The sockets are filled with grease to provide lubrication, keep debris and water out, and maintain noise free operation. There is a rubber boot opening in the joint. Many equipment ball joints are sealed. Water and road debris can cause ball joint failure if the boot fails. An improved design of ball joints allows lubrication to extend the life of the joints.

How many ball joints does a truck have?

Most trucks have 4 ball joints, 2 for load carrying and 2 follower ball joints. The load carrying truck ball joints are larger and experience wear and tear faster due to the weight that is resting on them. 

What happens when ball joints are going to turn bad?

When a truck ball joint starts to wear out, it will become loose and can create vibration when driving. The steering wheel will wander to right or left because it pulls the direction on its own.

What are the risks of driving with a bad ball joint?

A worn ball joint is not a problem you should ignore.

This type of damage is often caused by poorly maintained equipment or inappropriate driving techniques. Driving the vehicle without a seatbelt is dangerous and can result in serious injuries.

You should have your car checked out by a professional mechanic who has experience with diagnosing suspension problems.

When should ball joints be replaced?

Truck ball joints need to be replaced between 70,000 to 150,000 miles of driving. If left unreplaced, your suspension could collapse, and you could lose control of the vehicle.

Should I replace all ball joints?

It is recommended to replace all of the joints at the same time when you are servicing. If you replace only one, two or three, chances are the other joints may also be nearing the end of their service life. If they haven’t, additional wear and tear may accelerate their chances of malfunction. 

How much does it cost to replace ball joints on a truck?

Truck ball joints are affordable and typically cost between $20 to $80 each. Labor or installation costing will vary greatly by model. Starting from as low as $80, it can go to as high as $200 per truck ball joints. It is recommended to do your homework before buying or heading down to any garage for repair. 

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