The chassis and suspension of a modern car are composed of various elements, the purpose of which is to provide maximum comfort while driving the vehicle, as well as to reduce stress on other elements.
A ball joint is one of the most important elements of a car’s suspension. The name of the piece indicates that it serves as a support. In this case, the levers of the car’s swivel wheels and the hub rest on it. Depending on the car model, the ball joint will have a slightly modified structure, but practically all are similar to each other. They are in the form of a ball, which has a fixing pin, which is housed in a metal housing.
The purpose of the ball joint is to allow the wheels to rotate smoothly but at the same time to prevent them from moving along the vertical axis (to give the wheels a constant vertical position).
How Much Does Ball Joint Replacement Cost?
The price of replacing the ball joints of your car is influenced by many factors like the make and model of the vehicle and which ball joint has to be replaced. These can be placed either in front or on the back of the car, depending on its model. Also, there are two joints for every wheel.
In case you want to do this job yourself, be prepared to pay anywhere between $40 and $80 for a ball joint, or $140 to $330 for a pack of four ball joints. Of course, these costs are higher for luxury or high-end cars.
On the other hand, if you choose to go to a car service and have these car parts replaced by a professional, expect to pay $220 to $450 per ball joint. These costs are greatly influenced by the mechanic doing the job and the car’s condition. You will pay a lower price for a front-wheel-drive car, while the costs for a four-wheel-drive car are much higher. In the table below you will find the price estimates for the ball joint replacement for some of the most common types of car make and models.
|Make/Model||Ball Joint REPLACEMENT Estimate|
|Chrysler Sebring||$200 to $350|
|Chevy Silverado||$275 to $500|
|Dodge RAM||$275 to $475|
|Dodge Dakota||$200 to $400|
|Ford Explorer||$275 to $475|
|Ford 350||$375 to $525|
|Ford Ranger||$220 to $40|
|Ford F150||$275 to $475|
|Honda Accord||$150 to $300|
|Ford Taurus||$200 to $350|
|Jeep Liberty||$300 to $475|
|Honda Element||$275 to $475|
|Trailblazer||$250 to $350|
|Jeep Wrangler||$275 to $475|
There are vehicles where the ball joints are connected to the control arm and in this situation, the entire unit must be replaced. The whole replacement kit would cost anywhere between $460 and $780.
According to many members of the Topix forum, a professional ball joint replacement costs anywhere between $450 and $820. Also, they mentioned that a complete set of parts should not cost more than $260. Again, it all depends on the car’s type.
According to a post a mechanic made on Angie’s List, the prices for ball joint replacement can start at around $220 and go up to more than $1,100 if a tire alignment is necessary. It must be said that in the cars with four ball joints not all of them have to be replaced, but only the faulty ones.
Ball joint details
The ball joints are a crucial component of your car’s suspension system. They connect the steering knuckles to control arms, allowing for easy movement while also guiding wheels in different directions with just one motion.
When replacing the ball joints the mechanic will remove the wheels, followed by the control arms. This is necessary in order for him to reach any ball joints that need repair and replace them with new ones.
This process will take around two hours.
What are the extra costs?
When you have your car serviced, the mechanic might find other things wrong with it. For example, if they’re replacing ball joints and there’s excessive looseness in the steering wheel or alignment issues after installation of new parts it could cost an additional $80 to $220 to have everything fixed, depending on the shop.
If you are thinking to replace the ball joint yourself, consider the cost for the extra tools like the torque wrench or pickle fork. The majority of the tools can be rented, resulting in an extra fee.
Important things to consider
A bad ball joint may be hard to detect. However, signs that you need a new one include hearing noise when turning, and even when hitting a bump. In addition, the steering wheel shakes or tires are worn out more than usual.
If you bring your car in early, it may be possible to fix the problem before things get worse. If not dealt with quickly enough or at all for that matter – suspension parts might need replacing which will cost more money as a result.
In most cases, ball joints tend to fail at around the 100,000 to 150,000 miles mark.
How can I save money?
It’s important to get a second opinion when you’re unsure of the condition of your car. If your car is under warranty, then talk directly with the manufacturer to see what is covered. But in most cases cars don’t have a warranty, so call up at least three mechanics nearby and ask for price offers.
Loyal customers can get discounts at their favorite car service.
It is important to take care of your car in order for it to operate at its best and most efficiently. Regular checkups can prevent problems, as well as save you money on costly repairs down the line.
Some shops will let you bring the parts in without any charge and pay only for the labor. This can be a great way for customers who are on tight budgets and need their car fixed quickly but don’t want (or cannot) to pay full price. Call ahead before coming out; they might not offer this service otherwise.
To save you from getting ripped off, ask your friends and family for a mechanic they would recommend.
If you’re a skilled mechanic and have experience working on cars, consider doing the job yourself. There are guides online that can help walk through this process step-by-step so it will save you some money.