Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: When replacing ball joints can you just replace the ball joints or do you need to just replace the control arm?

asked by on

I live in MA and was told I need new ball joints to pass inspection but they would have to replace the whole control arm because they can't just replace the ball joints.

My car has 68000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Suspension components on modern vehicles ar...

Suspension components on modern vehicles are not as heavy as they used to be. Components like control arms can be lighter and thinner. Ball joints are riveted or pressed into control arms. Sometimes bolted/screwed. Since replacing a ball joint will usually involve removing the control arm from the vehicle to either press or drill rivets out - which is more labor intensive, it can be a time and money saver labor wise to simply replace the entire control arm.

You are removing the old control arm and replacing it with a new one, complete with new ball joint and control arm bushings. Even if the control arm bushings are in good shape at the time the ball joint is replaced, they will eventually require replacement. You then have parts and labor involved again to remove the control arm, replace the bushings, then reinstall it on the vehicle.

Sometimes the ball joint replacement can be more cost effective in the long run, to simply replace the entire control arm. If you’d like to have this done, consider YourMechanic, as one of our mobile technicians can come to your home or office to service your ball joints.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
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

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Loss of brake pressure

Hello there, thanks for writing in. With bad ball joints and brakes that lose pressure, this vehicle should not be driven until repairs are made. If you have to pump the brakes up several times before they build pressure the...

Q: The lower control arms keep breaking the bushings, what could be the problem?

This may suggest that the control arms themselves may be bent or not properly aligned when installed. As you know, the control arm is designed to bend and flex according to road conditions and the way the driver controls the...

Q: My car has like a winding noise when driving if i turn the steering wheel left the noise goes away but then when i steer straight

Hi There, What you are describing sounds like a wheel bearing that may be starting to fail. If the sounds is more pronounced when turning specific ways, this indicates that it is usually the opposite wheel bearing of the way...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.