Q: Ball joints and tie rod replacement

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My car is making a clunking near the front driver side. Took it to a local shop who said the left upper ball joint is falling out of control arm and both lower ball joints are loose. Additionally said the left outer tie rid was loose. Does this sound like something that would need replaced completely?

My car has 124000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The front end suspension of a modern car has to be "tight" in order to be safe, work properly and, indeed, even to be aligned properly. If the ball joints and tie rod ends are loose, that means your tires are wearing out prematurely and there is also a risk of a sudden separation (breakage) of a suspension part. So, basically, anytime loose or worn out suspension parts are identified, they have to be replaced, all of them. There are no optional, or superfluous, parts when it comes to the front end. Either it’s in good repair or it isn’t. If you desire that these parts be professionally replaced on a mobile basis, at your location, thus saving you money, I recommend that you simply request ball joint replacement as well as tie rod end replacement. The responding certified mechanic will of course first confirm that the parts are no longer serviceable and then the mechanic will let you know if it is possible to replace just the ball joint or if the whole control arm assembly has to be replaced.

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