Q: Ball Joints / Suspension parts may be damaged.

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6 months ago, my mechanic told me my LOWER ball joints had very minor play (left side) and minor play (right side), and recommended a replacement.

Today, a different mechanic told me only the right UPPER ball joint bushings were worn and there was play within them, and needs replacement (i.e. the control arm).

The truck drives as normal and doesn't feel out of the ordinary. There is a VERY slight pull right (and the steering wheel doesn't "sit" perfectly straight if I let go...it is maybe 5 degrees turned to the right). Alignment check said it was off slightly for the right camber (just outside of spec).

I am worried that I might damage my tires (1 year old BFG KO2'S), and/ or run into a situation where the wheel could actually crack off (it happened to me on an old Mazda out of nowhere---dangerous).

My question: Am I ok to keep driving on it? What are the typical "symptoms" I'd feel when it starts to get really bad? I have to make a long distance trip this weekend and am worried

My car has 96000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The best thing to do is put the vehicle on jack stands and remove the tires to the suspension that is to be damaged. Then check the ball joints, control arm bushings, and the control arms and see if there is any loose or damaged parts. If the control arms can move around and if the ball joints have excessive play, then I recommend replacing the parts before driving the vehicle. If you need further assistance with your suspension being loose, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

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