text.skipToContent text.skipToNavigation


The amount of allowable pivot in any direction is limited by the size and shape of the ball joint throat opening and the original design limits placed on the suspension system.



What is a Ball Joint?

Ball joints are the connection between the wheels and suspension of a vehicle. They are found on the front suspension of most vehicles today. The ball and socket design help the joint pivot.

How do Ball Joints Work?

The socket and bearing allow a smooth range of movement in all directions, which assists in the feel and ride of the vehicle and makes it easier to steer.

How are Ball Joints Made?

Ball joints are a ball attached to a threaded stud and inserted into a metal housing. A boot is installed over the housing to protect the internal components and grease, where applicable, from external contamination.

Why do Ball Joints Fail?

  • Ball joint becomes worn out
  • Damaged boot may allow dirt into the bearing
  • Dries out due to lack of lubrication
  • Not having your vehicle’s alignment checked after having any front-end work done on your vehicle

What are Symptoms of Ball Joint Failure?

  • Increased tire wear
  • Uneven tire wear
  • Clunking noise on bumps or turns
  • Front end shimmy
  • Hard steering

What are Consequences of Ball Joint Failure?

  • Angle of the tire can cause an abrupt halt or tire damage
  • Debris can cause damage to other vehicles

If you have questions or concerns about ball joints or any of your vehicle’s components, come into your local Pep Boys where we can answer any question, help you find any part, or perform any vehicle service you might need.

If you want to learn more about other car parts, especially as they apply to ball joints, we recommend reading up on shocks, steering and suspension services, and catalytic converters.