Ball Joint Failure-See pictures Posted on: 09, January, 2015
This is the latest part failure added to our wall of shame. We saw this vehicle 42 miles ago. Customer declined repair at that time. Warned customer that vehicle shouldn't be driven. Very unsafe. Vehicle came back on a tow truck
When a ball joint is getting ready to brake you have very little warning. You will probably feel a shimmy in the steering wheel and about the time you ask yourself what that is, Boom it breaks. And hopefully you are not on the freeway doing 70 mpr with a car load of kids.
Your vehicle mileage can be deceptive. Lets say you have a 10 year old car but only 25,000 miles on your vehicle. You would think that your ball joints wouldn’t be worn out. But your vehicle is 10 years old and can be worn out. Sometimes not driving your vehicle a lot can be harder on your vehicle than driving your vehicle every day
In an automobile, ball joints are spherical bearings that connect the control arms to the steering knuckles. They are used on virtually every automobile made  and work similar to the ball and socket design of the human hip joint.
A ball joint consists of a bearing stud and socket enclosed in a casing; all these parts are made of steel. The bearing stud is tapered and threaded, and fits into a tapered hole in the steering knuckle. A protective encasing prevents dirt from getting into the joint assembly. Usually, this is a rubber-like boot that allows movement and expansion of lubricant. Motion control ball joints tend to be retained with an internal spring, which helps to prevent vibration problems in the linkage.
The "Off-Set" ball joint provides means of movement in systems where thermal expansion and contraction, shock, seismic motion, and torsional motions, and forces are present.