Ball Join Replacement Cost

How Much Does Ball Joint Replacement Cost?

Last Updated on April 4, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Ball joints are crucial components in your vehicle’s suspension system. When worn out or damaged, they must be replaced to restore proper steering and suspension performance. This article will break down the typical costs of a ball joint replacement and factors that impact the total price.

The ball joint connects the control arm to the steering knuckle on each wheel. It allows the wheel and tire to pivot while also bearing the weight of the vehicle. If ball joints fail, you’ll experience symptoms like clunking noises, steering wandering, and uneven tire wear. Avoiding a replacement can jeopardize your safety.

While specific ball joint replacement costs vary, expect a typical range of $300 to $700 for parts and labor. We’ll examine what mechanic shops charge for this repair on different vehicle makes and models. Understanding the price range helps you budget for these maintenance and shop repair prices intelligently.

How Much Does Ball Joint Replacement Cost?

  • Parts – Ball joints cost $25-$75 each, so $50-$150 for both upper and lower units. Premium brands run $90-$120.
  • Labor – With shop rates of $70-$150 per hour, total labor will be $140-$450 based on 2-3 hours of work needed.
  • Alignments – Front wheel alignments add $50-$100 to the overall bill. This is recommended after replacement.

The total cost of ball joint replacement, including parts, labor, and alignments is somewhere between $300-$700, varying by vehicle and shop rates.

According to, ball joints typically range from $40 to $200 from an auto parts store. The cost of replacing ball joints can vary depending on the type of vehicle and the number of ball joints that need replacement. For example, for a front-wheel-drive sedan, the cost can be around $250-$500 for both sides replaced, while for a 4WD vehicle, it can go up to $1,100 for all four ball joints.

AutoNation Mobile Service writes that the average cost for Honda Fit Ball Joint Replacement is reported to be $293. The service allows customers to drop off their vehicle at the shop and pick it up a few hours later or opt for delivery service for added convenience.

A user on the Scion xB forum mentions being quoted $230 for a pair of ball joints at Pep Boys. This provides a specific price point for ball joint replacement on a Scion xB.

A My Ford Freestyle Forum user shares their experience of changing the lower ball joints on both sides, costing $1,500 in parts and labor, with an additional $100 for other expenses. This anecdotal experience highlights the potential costs associated with ball joint replacement.

Cost of Ball Joint Replacement by Car Type

Here are typical ball joint replacement costs by vehicle type:

  • Compact sedans – $350-$500
  • Mid-size sedans – $400-$600
  • SUVs and trucks – $450-$700
  • Luxury vehicles – $600-$900

Labor accounts for 1-3 hours for disassembly, installation, and alignments. multiplying shop hourly rates by estimated labor hours produces the repair’s total cost.

Ball Joint Replacement Explained

The ball joint replacement process involves:

  • Removing the wheel to access the faulty ball joint.
  • Detaching the ball joint from the steering knuckle and control arm.
  • Pressing out the old ball joint and pressing in the new one.
  • Reattaching the steering and suspension components.
  • Realigning the wheel and performing a test drive.

Mechanics will replace both the upper and lower ball joints on an axle for optimal performance and to prevent premature wear.

Ball joints contain grease that keeps the internal bearings lubricated. They are sealed units that cannot be disassembled for servicing. Replacement is the only option when ball joints wear out.

Synthetic rubber, polyurethane, and premium alloy ball joints offer the best longevity. Avoid cheap designs that fail quickly.

Factors Influencing Ball Joint Replacement Cost

Prices fluctuate based on:

  • Vehicle – Parts and labor times vary by make/model. Luxury cars cost more.
  • Parts – OEM parts cost more than aftermarket ones. Premium ball joints are pricier but last longer.
  • Labor – Shop hourly rates range from $70-$150. More time equals higher cost.
  • Location – Prices in urban areas are generally higher than rural.
  • Additional services – Wheel alignments, suspension inspections add fees.

You might also like our articles about the cost of wheel alignment, CV boot replacement, or idler arm replacement.

Saving on Ball Joint Replacement Costs

Reduce ball joint replacement costs by:

  • Choosing reputable aftermarket or OEM parts to avoid premature failures.
  • Getting quotes from multiple shops to find the best labor rate.
  • Asking about combining alignments or other maintenance with the repair for package savings.
  • Checking pricing on premium ball joints which have longer warranties and service life.
  • Practicing preventive maintenance to get maximum years of service from each ball joint replacement.

Choosing the Right Service Provider

Ball Joint on CarThe right mechanic or shop for ball joint replacements has:

  • ASE certifications in suspension systems.
  • A solid reputation based on reviews and referrals.
  • A detailed repair quote listing parts, labor times, and cost breakdown.
  • Experience with your vehicle’s make and model.

Get estimates from 3-5 shops for the best price on parts and competitive labor rates. Ask about part warranties as well.

DIY Considerations

Replacing ball joints yourself requires:

  • A vehicle jack, jack stands, and basic hand tools.
  • Separating stuck suspension components.
  • Pressing out the old unit and carefully pressing in the new one.
  • Having an alignment performed after installation.

DIY saves on labor costs but has safety risks if improperly done. Ball joint presses cost over $200 for infrequent users. Paying a professional is advisable for most vehicle owners.

Final Words

Worn out ball joints jeopardize your steering and suspension health. While replacing them costs $300-$700 on average, neglecting the issue leads to more serious problems. Work with an experienced technician and source quality parts to get your ball joints operating smoothly once again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you drive a car with a bad ball joint?

It is not recommended to drive a car with a worn out or faulty ball joint. A defective ball joint seriously compromises your steering and handling, making driving extremely hazardous. Symptoms that indicate unsafe conditions include:

  • Excessive play or looseness in the joint and wheel
  • Clunking, squeaking, or knocking noises during turns
  • Wandering, jolting, or vibration in the steering wheel
  • Uneven tire wear patterns

While you may be able to slowly drive a short distance to a repair shop, any lengthy trips or normal driving with a bad ball joint risks total failure. The wheel could detach completely from the faulty components leading to a serious accident.

Have the vehicle towed if ball joint failure is suspected. Repair or replace any defective ball joints before attempting normal driving. Don’t endanger yourself or others by ignoring this crucial suspension issue.

Is it worth replacing ball joints?

Replacing worn out or damaged ball joints is worth the repair cost to restore safe steering and prevent further suspension damage. Driving with faulty ball joints leads to:

  • Dangerous loss of steering control.
  • Expensive damage to other wheel components like tires and bearings.
  • Misaligned wheels requiring realignment service.

New ball joints smooth out handling, eliminate knocking noises, and stop uneven tire tread wear. Performing the replacement promptly when issues arise minimizes collateral damage.

Ball joints are not expensive parts, typically $25-$100 each. The majority of the cost is labor for proper installation. This maintenance pays off in the long run versus needing more repairs later.

While ball joints eventually wear out again, high-quality parts can last 50,000 miles or more. Proactively replacing ball joints extends the life of your vehicle’s suspension.

What does a worn-out ball joint sound like?

A failing ball joint produces distinctive knocking, clunking, and popping noises indicating the need for replacement. Here are the common sounds:

  • A loud clunk when pulling away from a stop as the ball joint pops back into place.
  • Knocking or crunching when turning the steering wheel as the worn joint moves.
  • Squeaking rubbery sounds as the dry joint rubs without lubrication.
  • A popping noise when hitting bumps due to loose joint play.
  • Rhythmic clunking from under the wheel when driving over uneven roads.

These clunks, knocks and pops tend to get louder and more pronounced as the ball joint damage worsens. Strange new noises when turning or going over bumps demand inspection by a certified mechanic. Addressing the issue promptly improves safety.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *