I had the lower front ball joints replaced on my car a few days ago. According to the mechanic who looked at my car, when the ball joints detached, the sway bar from them snapped. They say that this means there was a pre-existing problem with it that they can't identify now. Could that be true? Also, how urgent of a repair would this be?
It sounds like you had a ball joint failure. When the ball joints fail, it causes the suspension arm to fall lower and this can cause the sway bar end links to break. As vehicles age, the ball joints can develop side-to-side or up-and-down play. This causes them to fail and could be considered a pre-existing condition.
The ball joints also have boots which keep the dirt out and the grease in. When the boot is torn, dirt can enter the ball joint and cause it to fail prematurely. If the ball joints have failed, this is a cause for concern and the vehicle should not be driven until the fault is resolved. If you would like to have this diagnosed further, a technician from YourMechanic can come to your home or office to inspect your suspension. If necessary, they can replace your car’s ball joints or make any other repairs that are necessary.