How Much Does Ball Joint Replacement Cost?
Ball joints, the necessary connectors between the steering linkage and axle assembly in your car, may degrade after years of use. This can be due to lack of lubrication and some dirt that accumulate in the vehicle’s joints. Ball joints are an essential part of a vehicle’s suspension system.
There are usually four ball joints in a car’s front suspension, with an upper and lower one on each front wheel.
How much does ball joint replacement cost?
- The cost of the replacement may vary depending on the model of your car. It will also depend on which ball joint will have to be replaced. Depending on your vehicle, you may have ball joints located on the front and back of your vehicle. There are also two joints per each wheel.
- If you want the basic parts for a do-it-yourself ball joint replacement, it may cost around $35 to $75 per ball joint or $130 to $300 for four. If you own a high-end or luxury vehicle, it can cost you more.
- To have these ball joints professionally installed, the price can be anywhere between $200 and $400 per ball joint. It will greatly depend on the condition of the car and the mechanic performing the job. Four-wheel drive cars will be near the higher end, while a front wheel drive car will be near the lower price range. Take a look at our table below for common ball joint repairs for popular makes and models.
- Some ball joints are connected to the control arm, and therefore, the whole unit must be replaced. The charge for this can even be higher, sometimes amounting to $450 to $750 for the entire replacement kit.
- According to a forum thread on Topix, many members claimed to have paid anywhere from $400 to $800 for professional labor. Many also noted that the parts shouldn’t cost any more than $250 for the complete set. Again, it all comes down to the make and model.
- A mechanic on Angie’s List noted that the costs could be anywhere from as little as $200 to more than $1,000 if a tire alignment is involved. It’s noted that some cars may have up to four ball joints and only the faulty ones will have to be removed.
|Make/Model||Ball Joint Estimate (labor + parts PER joint)|
|Chevy Silverado||$250 to $475|
|Chrysler Sebring||$175 to $325|
|Dodge Dakota||$200 to $400|
|Dodge RAM||$250 to $450|
|Ford 350||$350 to $500|
|Ford Explorer||$250 to $425|
|Ford F150||$250 to $450|
|Ford Ranger||$200 to $375|
|Ford Taurus||$180 to $325|
|Honda Accord||$125 to $275|
|Honda Element||$250 to $450|
|Jeep Liberty||$275 to $450|
|Jeep Wrangler||$250 to $450|
|Trailblazer||$220 to $325|
What is going to be included?
- The ball joints are part of your car’s suspension system and will be responsible for connecting your steering knuckles to the control arms. This flexible ball will allow the suspension move, and during the same time, allowing the wheel to steer. Depending on your car’s suspension system, there may be multiple ball joint assemblies.
- During the repair, the wheels will be removed, followed by the control arms. Once the control arms are removed, the mechanic will be able to reach the ball joints, which he or she will remove and replace.
- The average job will take one to two hours.
What are the extra costs?
- During the ball joint replacement, the mechanic may find other defects which need immediate attention. For example, some vehicles may require a wheel alignment after replacing the ball joints This can be an additional $70 -$200, depending on the shop. See: “How much does wheel alignment cost?“
- For those who are considering the job themselves, additional tools may be required such as a pickle fork and torque wrench. Most of these tools can be rented out but will result in additional fees.
Tips to know:
- What are the signs of a bad ball joint? You will usually know if you need a new ball joint if you hear a clunking noise when you make turns or even hit a bump. With ball joints, though, it’s often hard to tell when the part is becoming weak. Always trust your gut and try to get it inspected as soon as possible. Other symptoms may include a steering wheel that shakes or tires with abnormal wear.
- By bringing a car in early, a mechanic may be able to perform the repair before things get out of hand. If you wait too long, suspension parts could be required, costing more money.
- Most ball joints tend to wear out at 100,000 to 150,000 miles.
Ball joint noises
- Refer to the video below to see what a ball joint will sound like when it’s bad:
How can I save money?
- It is best to check with at least three mechanics in your area. If you have a warranty with your car, check with the manufacturer to see what is covered.
- If you are a regular customer, you can potentially get a discount. Most shops offer discounts to their loyal customers.
- Always take the time for regular check-ups and perform routine maintenance to make sure the parts last longer.
- Some mechanics will allow you to bring the parts in. If they allow you to bring them the parts, this is a great way to just pay for labor. Call ahead to see what you can take advantage of.
- Ask friends and family to suggest a reliable mechanic so that you do not get ripped off.
- Consider doing the job yourself if you have worked on cars before. There are a handful of guides online that can assist with the process. Keep in mind that you need powerful tools such as a spring compressor to help successfully complete the job. By doing it yourself, it can save a few hundred dollars. Remember, this is a job for the professionals. If you have no idea what you’re doing, it’s best to spend a few extra dollars. Failing to do so can lead to greater problems down the road.