Guide To Ball Joint Replacement Costs

Guide To Ball Joint Replacement Costs


Replacing your vehicle's worn-out ball joints will help ensure that your ride remains smooth and safe, but it can be expensive. This cost guide to replacing ball joints will help you make an informed decision when it comes time to replace them, without overpaying.

What is a ball joint?

A ball joint is an integral part of a car's suspension system, connecting the steering knuckle or control arm to the wheel hub. To help imagine it easier, you could think of it like a shoulder socket and arm on the body. This connection allows for the movement of the suspension and wheels by providing a pivot point.

Depending on your car, you either have two lower ball joints or four in total, with two upper and two lower ball joints. They both work together to keep steering reliable and responsive.

Upper Ball Joints

Upper ball joints are designed to reduce wear and tear on the steering wheel by absorbing any radial loads, such as turning forces, that occur when driving or taking corners. Ball joints use a follower design which allows them to maintain alignment throughout the rotation of the steering knuckle.

Lower Ball Joints

The lower ball joint acts as a pivot point for the steering system, they can either be load-carrying or follower types depending on the suspension design.

What are the signs of a bad ball joint?

When the ball joints are worn, they can cause your car to experience a variety of issues.

  • Excessive vibration and clunking noises will be most noticeable when driving, particularly over bumps or uneven terrain.
  • You might notice that tires are wearing down unevenly or that alignment problems have started to occur.
  • You might also experience loose steering control.

If any of these symptoms start to arise, it is important to get them checked out as soon as possible in order to avoid further damage and costly repairs.

Even though there are definite warning signs to look out for, most worn ball joints get diagnosed during your MOT or routine service at the garage.

What does a worn ball joint sound like?

If you're not the most experienced driver, then you might find it easier to listen out for audible indicators of a worn ball joint as these are easier to identify. It will produce a loud clunking noise when turning or going over bumps or potholes, which is caused by the metal rubbing against metal due to the ball joint being loose or worn out. 

This type of noise indicates that it’s time to replace your ball joints before they cause further damage. A mechanic can inspect and diagnose the issue quickly and easily, allowing you to determine if replacing your ball joints is necessary and how much it will cost.

Which ball joints wear out first?

Generally, front ball joints wear out first due to their location in the suspension system and the fact that they are responsible for providing steering capabilities. The stress of turning and manoeuvring puts more strain on the front ball joints than those located at the back. 

There are two main types of ball joints - rubber and metal. Metal ball joints are considered to be more durable than rubber due to their hardiness, but this also means they come with a higher price tag. Rubber is usually cheaper but may not last as long under intense conditions such as regularly going off-road or driving over rugged terrain.

Ball joint replacement cost in the UK

The average cost of replacing a car's ball joints in the UK is around £75 to £180, depending on the type of vehicle and the type of ball joint being replaced.

The cost of replacing ball joints can vary greatly depending on the specific repair that needs to be done. Labour costs are a major factor in the total cost, as more complex repairs may require specialized tools and experienced technicians.

The type and number of ball joints being replaced will also contribute significantly to the total cost; certain vehicles may have more than one ball joint that needs replacement, while other models may only need one. 

In addition, any additional parts used during the repair process such as nuts & bolts or gaskets must also be taken into consideration when estimating overall repair expenses.

Average ball joint cost by car make

  • Audi Ball Joint Cost: £120-150
  • BMW Ball Joint Cost: £115-130
  • Ford Ball Joint Cost: £110-140
  • Land Rover Ball Joint Cost: £115-140
  • Mercedes Ball Joint Cost: £110-130
  • Peugeot Ball Joint Cost: £140-160
  • Renault Ball Joint Cost: £100-115
  • Vauxhall Ball Joint Cost: £100-120
  • Volkswagen Ball Joint Cost: £100-120

If you’re concerned about the cost of replacing your ball joints, then consider Bumper. Bumper splits the cost of car repairs into 0% interest monthly instalments!

How long does it take to replace a ball joint?

The time required to change a ball joint can vary depending on how much work needs to be done, but it generally takes a mechanic between two and four hours.

Can you drive with failing ball joints?

Driving with a failing ball joint is strongly discouraged due to the increased risk of loss of control while driving. An unstable suspension connection can cause your steering wheel to shake or pull as well as excessive tire wear, which could lead to further damage. 

Driving with a failing ball joint is not only dangerous but also illegal in some areas; therefore, it is important that you get the issue resolved before continuing on your journey.

If you must drive with a failing ball joint, make sure to stay within the speed limit at all times and watch for any signs that the car is not handling properly like pulling to one side or vibrations in the steering wheel. You should avoid driving on highways and other high-speed roads, and take special care when going around corners or braking.

Is it worth replacing ball joints?

Replacing your car's ball joints is not a cheap job, and it can be an intimidating proposition. However, the cost of replacing them is usually justified; these parts are essential for providing proper steering performance and ensuring the safety of you and your passengers. 

Without functioning ball joints, it may become difficult to steer properly or even dangerous if they are too worn out.

Replacing them with new ones will restore the vehicle’s handling characteristics to their original levels so that you can drive safely once again. Additionally, replacing defective ball joints early on can help prevent more extensive damage caused by other components wearing down prematurely due to misalignment in suspension geometry. Ultimately, while costly, replacing car ball joints will typically pay for itself in terms of improved driving experience and peace of mind when behind the wheel.

Are ball joints easy to replace?

Replacing a car's ball joints can be quite difficult, as they are located in the suspension system and have many intricate moving parts. It is important to understand the complexity of this task before attempting it. Here at Bumper, we always recommend that you leave this job to an experienced professional who knows all about car suspension systems and has access to all of the necessary tools needed.

Should I replace all four ball joints?

If the cost of parts and labour for all four exceeds your budget, then you may only want to replace the bad ones first. This will save you money in the short term while giving you time to save up for a full replacement later on.

However, if all four need replaced at once, then it’s advisable that you do so as soon as possible since not doing so could cause further damage to other components of your car’s suspension system. Replacing them one at a time also allows you to spread out costs over a longer period of time which can be helpful if finances are tight. Ultimately though, when deciding between replacing all four ball joints at once vs gradually; what matters most is that they are replaced before any further damage is done!

How long do ball joints last?

The average lifespan of a ball joint is between 50,000-70,000 miles depending on use and maintenance.

When it comes to ball joint longevity, there are a few important factors to consider. If your car is driven in rough conditions or not regularly serviced, then the life expectancy may be lower than expected. Furthermore, different types of vehicles can have different lifespans for their ball joints as well.

Regular maintenance checks are essential when it comes to keeping your car's ball joints functioning properly and extending their lifespan as much as possible. Paying attention to these details will help you get the most out of your vehicle's components and save some money in the long run!

Final words

In conclusion, replacing your car's ball joints can be costly but necessary for safety and proper steering performance. It is important to pay attention to signs of wear and tear so that you can catch any issues before they become dangerous.

Bumper knows car parts are often the last thing you want to spend your money on. Look after your car and your bank balance by splitting the cost or repairs into monthly instalments, interest-free. 

Join the Bumper community and get access to the best care for you and your car. Choose a dependable dealership and split your repair bill into monthly chunks. 

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