Tuesday, 22 March 2016

How to prolong the life of a Ball Joint

The pivot between the wheels and the vehicle Suspension, the ball joint is a very important part of an auto-mobile. They transfer the weight of the vehicle from the suspension to the wheel hub so that the wheel can then transfer that weight to the ground, and there is need for them to be flexible as they influence the car steering too. Ball joints often range from 2-4 depending on the type of suspension being used by the car.
They are designed to last a long time, but they will eventually wear to the point where they need replacement. Although many think Faulty ball joints are only affect  Honda cars, this is wrong.

The following factors may also influence how long the Ball joints last,
  1. - How the vehicle is driven.
  2. - The quality of the roads it is driven on.
  3.  -  How much turning is part of the normal pattern of driving.

Ball joints can last from 70,000 miles to 150,000 miles before needing replacement. Regular lubrication of the chassis, to include the ball joints, will help prevent premature wear, but cannot delay it forever.

Signs of a bad ball Joint

For most people, the first indication that they have a problem with their ball joints is a faint, intermittent banging sound that seems to be coming from a corner of the vehicle. This sound is usually more pronounced when going over a bump or dip, or when going around a corner. This is not the same as the clicking sound made by worn CV joints (constant-velocity joints) when going around corners. This sound is more like somebody hitting a piece of the metal structure with a hammer.
As time goes on, this sound becomes louder and more frequent. It is especially pronounced when the weight of the vehicle is transferred off and onto the wheel, such as when driving through a pothole. Left long enough, the sound of a worn ball joint can become a loud, creaking bang, similar to the sound of the bottom of the car hitting the ground.
Worn ball joints can affect the vehicle’s steering. This can manifest in a number of different ways, usually making the steering sloppy or stiff. Which effect it has is largely dependent upon how the ball joint is wearing. If a vibration can be felt in the steering wheel when the vehicle is being driven down a straight, level highway, it could indicate a worn ball joint.

Tire Wear
Another easy way to recognize worn ball joints is uneven wear in the tires. If the outer or inner edges of the front tires are wearing faster than the rest of the tire tread, then there is a good chance that the ball joint is worn. If both edges are wearing faster than the middle, the problem is not the ball joint, but rather, under inflation of the tire.
Cupping on the inner edge of the tread is also an indication of bad ball joints. This cupping is not usually visible, but should be discernible by touch if a hand is run over the tread of the tire.

How to Prolong life of ball Joint.
Lubricate the Chassis regularly - The most important thing to do to ensure long-lasting ball joints is to lubricate the vehicle's chassis. Grease should be added to the ball joints and all other Suspension and steering parts that have grease fittings, using a grease gun, every time the vehicle's oil is changed. Enough grease needs to be added so that it forces some of the old grease out of the ball joint's rubber boot. This excess grease can be left in place, although wiping it off helps prevent contamination of the new grease.

Check the car Rubber boots - When the grease is added, check the rubber boots for signs of tearing. A torn boot will not protect the grease from dirt, water, or falling out. Torn boots should be replaced. Any time that suspension members are taken apart, new boots should be installed, as the act of breaking loose the ball joint will tear the boot.

Remove Dirt - If the vehicle is driven off-road, in mud, or in sand, the under-body should be washed to remove dirt and sand. This will reduce the risk of that dirt and sand entering into ball joints and other greased fittings in the suspension and shortening their life.

The aforementioned tips can only help prolong the life of the ball joint, but on the long run it will eventually fail and need replacement so there is the need to check it regularly with more experienced technicians which can be done Here or by calling us on +234(0)908-1155-505

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