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.

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?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. When replacing ball joints can you just replace the ball joints or do you need to just replace the control arm?

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: I need to remove torsion bar from lower control arm.

Be very careful messing with the torsion bar. It is under an extreme amount of force. Make sure you have all of the tension removed from the torsion bar by loosening the adjustment bolt. Count the number of turns you...

Q: Is the lower ball joint on the driver's side fixed as one part with suspension arm or detachable?

Hello. The ball joint is available separately, and as part of the control arm assembly as you note. Although it can be purchased separately, removing it and replacing it into the control arm requires heavy duty presses and tooling (great...

Q: Gas pump stops every few seconds while re-fueling. It takes a very long time to fill up the tank.

As you may know, the charcoal canister is what absorbs and stores the fumes in the tank. If the charcoal canister is not working correctly, the fumes will still be present while refueling and cause the gas pump to kick...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
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.