Q: Loud noise and tire locking up while driving. The left ball joint control arm is bad.

asked by on November 12, 2016

We fixed the left outer tie rod but we have a bad lower ball joint control arm. Yesterday my husband was driving and he heard a really loud noise and the tire locked up. Then he started driving again and there was no sound and the car was driving better than before.

My car has 215000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. Knowing the lower ball joint is bad leads me to believe that the really loud noise and wheel lock-up may be related. A bad lower ball joint typically will cause the vehicle to track (veer) towards any groove or rut in the road. Eventually, the ball joint will break and control of the vehicle will be lost. Given the high mileage, you may want to consider replacing the control arm as an assembly. This is a safety concern and should be repaired sooner than later.

I recommend having your vehicle’s left ball joint inspected by a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who can suggest the appropriate repairs.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

What others are asking

Timing issues? Weird noise when accelerating.

Hi there. Although it's true that faulty or incorrect ignition timing will impact how smooth an engine runs, other issues like mass air flow sensors, O2 sensors and crankshaft position sensors can also cause similar symptoms. The best way to...

I Have a 2004 Jaguar That I can not push when I put it in neutral, the parking brake is off? What to do?

Hi B. Thanks for contacting us tonight. Since you've just purchased this vehicle, it's probably best to have a professional mechanic complete a detailed inspection, since there are several trouble issues apparently with your Jaguar. It might be best to...

the car will rotate but it won't crank and when it does rotate it sounds faster than it needs to be

This sounds like potentially a timing belt that has jumped. If this is the case this can cause major damage to the cylinder heads. This model is known to have this problem and it is somewhat common. I would suggest...

Where on the alternator is the amp stamp

If your vehicle has the optional, factory installed towing package you will have the 160 amp alternator. If you never intend to tow anything the lower capacity alternator is fine and will fit. If you do not know whether your...

ran out of gas, now won't start

Your first attempt at resolving should indeed be to simply add more fuel to the tank. Three more gallons will be sufficient if the problem is low fuel. If the starter motor itself is not functioning (i.e., no engine cranking),...

Brake lights won't turn on

If all of the brake lights aren't working, I would suspect either a switch or wiring problem, possibly a fuse. I would have a certified mechanic, like one from YourMechanic, test for voltage at the connector and trace it back...

Speedometer broke.

Hello, to check the operation of the speedometer, a scan tool needs to be connected to monitor the speed sensor output and see if it has any output, and if it is smooth. You will probably need the aid of...

Can't pass emissions.

The system should be scanned and the 02 sensors checked when the system is enriched to see if the sensors respond correctly. You could just have a defective sensor or a convertor that is bad. Only these tests can determine...

Engine will not turn. Neither key cranks.

Anti-theft systems are great deterrents for would be thieves. However, when the system malfunctions, the owner of the vehicle is left out in the cold. Unfortunately, it is highly likely that the Passive Anti-Theft System (PATS) in your Explorer has...

Related articles

How to Use a Ball Joint Press
Ball joints support a hub that connects car tires with the wheel assembly. A ball joint press installs and removes ball joints from the socket.
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Ball Joint (Front)
Common signs include clunking noises and excessive vibration from the front, and you may start steering to the right or left unintentionally.
Symptoms of Bad or Failing Differential / Gear Oil
If your car has exceeded its gear oil service interval, or if you hear the differential whining, you may need to replace the differential/gear oil.