Vehicle ball joints are essentially the pivot point for the steering knuckle on your automobile. They operate in a “ball and socket” fashion. A metal ball lies at the center of metal housing and pivots when the steering wheel is turned. It is crucial for the ball to be lubricated to allow for fluid movement.
Like many car parts, wear and tear can cause ball joints to decay, needing repair or replacement. Symptoms of worn out ball joints can include loose/sloppy handling, rattling, squeaking, and popping noises in the suspension area and premature tire wear. Sometimes, no symptoms may occur. A total ball joint failure would allow the ball to come out its socket, resulting in steering control loss.