How much does it cost to replace a ball joint?

Try not to freak out if your mechanic just informed you that your car, truck, or SUV needs ball joints because any skilled mechanic should be able to complete this very simple task, but how much does it cost to replace a ball joint? If you don’t often put your car’s ball joints through a lot of hard driving, they won’t cause you too much trouble.

However, due to years of use and abuse, even the most cherished cars will ultimately develop defective ball joints. The most typical signs include extreme shaking and uneven tire wear. Any experienced driver will typically notice that their automobile balance is off when they are driving on faulty ball joints since the suspension is weak. Thus, in this article we’ll be discussing the following;

How much does it cost to replace a ball joint?

  • What is a car ball joint?
  • How much does it cost to replace a ball joint?
  • Factors Affecting Ball Joint Replacement Cost.
  • Effect of driving with a faulty ball joint.
  • Why do ball joints need replacement?
  • If I replace my ball joints, do I still need an alignment?

So, let’s dive in!


What is a Car ball joint?

A stud that spins inside a metal housing and a socket inside a greased casing make up a ball joint in a car. It is a small but important shock-absorbing component of the front suspension system of the car. Like the hip or shoulder bones in a person, the ball stud constantly moving while you are driving and facilitates steering and support.

The wheels of your car are connected to the steering and control systems by ball joints. Upper and lower ball joints vary based on the kind of vehicle and suspension system. While upper ball joints are frequently not load-bearing, lower ball joints are.

How much does it cost to replace a ball joint?

Depending on the make, model, and year of the vehicle as well as the type of ball joint utilized, the price of suspension ball joint repair varies. One ball joint replacement for a typical car is anticipated to cost between $200 and $350, components and labor included.

Non-greaseable ball joints cost between $100 and $200 less, but they have a shorter lifespan. Ball joints that can be greased are more durable and cost between $150 and $350.

Replacement prices for complicated suspension systems in high-end or luxury automobiles could be above $350. Parts and labor are included in the cost breakdown. Prices for ball joints range from $20 to $150, while hourly labor costs typically range from $80 to $200. It takes one to three hours to replace a part.

For repeated ball joint replacements, several shops offer package packages to reduce labor expenses. Wheel alignment often comes after replacement and costs $50 to $150.

Vehicle owners should seek thorough price quotes from reliable mechanics, taking into account the particular vehicle and suspension system, in order to budget for replacement. It’s easier to drive safely and smoothly on the road if you understand the breakdown.

Factors Affecting Ball Joint Replacement Cost

Depending on the type of ball joint used in the suspension system of the vehicle, the price to replace a suspension ball joint can change. Two primary types are:

  • Non-Greaseable Ball Joints

Although these pre-sealed ball joints don’t require lubrication, they may eventually need to be completely replaced. Although they are less expensive, they have a short lifespan.

  • Greaseable Ball Joints

These ball joints are a little more expensive, but they have a longer service life because they can be lubricated while being maintained.

The price is heavily influenced by the vehicle’s year, model, and make. Locations with easy access to a ball joint cost less to employ. The cost is also affected by the availability of specialized or aftermarket parts. The design of the vehicle and the repair facility’s location affect labor expenses. After the replacement, additional services like wheel alignment may increase the final cost.

Effect of driving with a faulty ball joint

Driving with a broken suspension ball joint can seriously affect how well the car performs and how safe it is for the occupants. Following failure to heed the warning signals can result in:

  • Reduced Control.
  • Tire deterioration.
  • Damage to the Suspension System.
  • Safety Risks.
  • Costly Repairs.

Reduced Control

The stability and alignment of the vehicle are compromised by a damaged ball joint, which reduces control and handling. This may lead to erratic steering responses and trouble keeping the intended course.

Tire deterioration

uneven tire wear brought on by a malfunctioning ball joint might result in early tire deterioration, necessitating more frequently expensive tire repairs.

Damage to the Suspension System

Using a worn ball joint continuously can place additional stress on the suspension parts, perhaps causing failure or damage to other components of the suspension system.

Safety Risks

Driving with a damaged ball joint increases the likelihood of accidents, reduced braking effectiveness, and loss of control during turns or emergency maneuvers.

Costly Repairs

Ignoring a broken ball joint might result in more extensive suspension system damage, which will ultimately cost more to repair.

Why do ball joints need replacement?

How much does it cost to replace a ball joint?

Ball joints experience regular wear and tear, just like every other component of an automobile. The ball stud becomes looser with repeated movement and extensive use of a vehicle. It slides around more than is ideal because there is more room between the stud and socket. Deterioration can also be accelerated by dirt and other contaminants. Another reason for faulty ball joints is a lack of lubrication.

When the ball joint degrades more than the manufacturer’s specified threshold, it poses a major safety risk. If the ball stud pulls out of its socket, the wheel may only partially come off. If the car is in drive, you can end up losing control of it as a result.

If I replace my ball joints, do I still need an alignment?

Theoretically, a front-end alignment is optional while replacing ball joints. However, it is rather typical for a mechanic to additionally realign the car’s wheels after a ball joint replacement because the ball joints affect steering and how the vehicle rolls down the road. You can argue against it, but in doing so, you’re assuming a level of knowledge that you don’t have. You are genuinely unsure of whether the car needs to be aligned. It makes sense to execute an alignment because it takes approximately as long to check alignment as it does to actually perform one. Typically, an alignment costs $100.

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Can you still drive with a bad ball joint?

In addition to being annoying, bad ball joints can impair your steering and make driving hazardous.

Is it worth replacing ball joints?

These components are crucial for delivering adequate steering performance and guaranteeing your safety and the safety of your passengers, thus the cost of repairing them is typically justified. If the ball joints stop working, steering may become difficult or even dangerous depending on how worn out they are.

How much should ball joints cost to replace?

A replacement ball joint (singular) typically costs between $250 and $500. Additionally, an alignment is typically included in the work and costs around $100. You will probably need a pair if the ball joints are worn out rather than broken. Most autos have four of these.

What are the symptoms of a bad ball joint?

  • Rattling and clunking sounds.
  • Uncertain, erratic steering feel.
  • Strong cabin tremors.
  • Uneven tire wear on the front.

What causes ball joints to go bad?

If grease leaks from a ball joint due to a lack of lubrication or if dirt, grit, and other impurities get within, the joint will deteriorate. Additionally, these suspension parts are harmed by rusting and regular wear and tear. Excessive play and looseness (beyond the manufacturer’s specifications) are the results of this degeneration.

How long can ball joints last?

Depending on how they are used and the state of the roads, ball joints typically last 70,000 to 150,000 kilometres. A worn ball joint will make clunking noises, handle poorly, pull, and cause your tires to wear down abnormally. Check your ball joints if you notice uneven tread wear patterns on your tires.

What noise does a bad ball joint make?

This sound may be clunking or squeaking. As the suspension moves up and down over the road, worn ball joints ratchet and make clunking noises. When the rubber boot that shields the oil inside the ball joint is destroyed, the ball joint will begin to squeak, which is what causes the noise.

How fast can a ball joint go bad?

Ball joints are known to break down, however, this often happens after 70,000 miles or more. On occasion, it even lasts twice as long. However, you will notice symptoms of a ball joint issue long before it entirely fails and separates.

That’s all for this article where we discussed the following;

  • What is a car ball joint?
  • How much does it cost to replace a ball joint?
  • Factors Affecting Ball Joint Replacement Cost
  • Effect of driving with a faulty ball joint
  • Why do ball joints need replacement?
  • If I replace my ball joints, do I still need an alignment?

Hope it was helpful. If so, kindly share. Thanks for reading.

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