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#1 2017-02-21 19:24:37

dont.kill.the.messenger
Designer ad absurdum
Supporter
From: Chicago (Roscoe Vlg)
Registered: 2007-05-02
User Number: 2008
Posts: 1280

Frequent Ball Joint Replacement

Hey all... its been a while.  Could use some opinion and conjecture:

Took my car in today to (finally) have recall work done (control arms and airbag).  Asked them to check the front end as well, I'm hearing a lot more noise when going over bumps than I expect to.  As has occurred before, the mechanic called and said a ball joint needs replacing (right front lower ball joint) - which is showing about 1/4" of play.  So, I checked my maintenance history... and it looks like I had the front ball joints replaced at 50,149 miles in Sept 2013 and again (under part warranty) at 56,128 miles in Sept 2014. Right now I'm at 68,857 miles.

Is this normal?  Seems like I'm replacing ball joints more often than one typically would.  I do a lot of city driving.  Someone here in my office asked whether I turn the steering wheel to the stops frequently, and that does happen when I am maneuvering into my garage (off an alley).

My chief concern is: is this normal, if not, why is it happening?  Is there another part that may need replacing, the degradation of which is imparting more wear on the ball joints?

tl:dr - front ball joints are requiring replacement every 6-12,000 miles, is this normal, if not, what is the cause?


Red '06 Aero -- BBS wheels, 5MT, tint, stock mechanicals, Custom Yakima roof rack w/ cargo basket, Cobb AP V2 - Stage 1 (91 octane)

"There is an art, or rather, a knack to flying.  The knack lies
   in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."

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#2 2017-02-21 20:23:09

mbandi
Mmmmmmm Scooby!
From: Transfer, Pa
Registered: 2011-01-31
User Number: 5179
Posts: 275

Re: Frequent Ball Joint Replacement

I've never known them to be an issue. Our one was over 200k on the original ball joints. Poor roads and very low profile tires can make them wear out quicker. There are also poor quality aftermarket replacement parts out there. Your scenario seems to be very extreme.


SOLD: The Wife's 2005 9-2X Aero, 4EAT, Midnight Black Mica
SOLD: 2005 9-2X Aero, Manual, Arctic Silver, 2.1 Stroker
Mine: 2005 9-2X Aero. Desert Silver, 5 speed

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#3 2017-02-21 20:34:58

dont.kill.the.messenger
Designer ad absurdum
Supporter
From: Chicago (Roscoe Vlg)
Registered: 2007-05-02
User Number: 2008
Posts: 1280

Re: Frequent Ball Joint Replacement

mbandi wrote:

I've never known them to be an issue. Our one was over 200k on the original ball joints. Poor roads and very low profile tires can make them wear out quicker. There are also poor quality aftermarket replacement parts out there. Your scenario seems to be very extreme.

Low profile tires... check (215/45R17 on BBS RK).  In hindsight I wish I would have picked an option with more sidewall.  I'm stopping by the mechanics shop in the morning so I can see for myself.  I don't suppose there is some way for me to visually confirm the quality of the currently installed parts...


Red '06 Aero -- BBS wheels, 5MT, tint, stock mechanicals, Custom Yakima roof rack w/ cargo basket, Cobb AP V2 - Stage 1 (91 octane)

"There is an art, or rather, a knack to flying.  The knack lies
   in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."

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#4 2017-02-21 23:28:59

itsnotmeitsyou
Potato, Patreason...
Supporter
From: San Antonio, Texas
Registered: 2011-07-31
User Number: 5779
Posts: 2239

Re: Frequent Ball Joint Replacement

I replaced both of mine since they were looking sorry but that was after over 120k miles of hard driving...


2005 Saab 9-2x Aero:  More than you've had done to your car.
2015 Forester XT Touring

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