Broken Ball Joint

Ball joints are a crucial part of a car’s suspension. They’re attached to the steering knuckle or spindle, sometimes one at the top, as well as one at the bottom, and allow all the different directions of movement needed in those locations. If a ball joint breaks, that’s a big problem.


A ball joint could break in an accident, or just from wearing out. Sometimes if they’re getting old they’ll start making noise, or if you have the car up in the air you can check if they’re getting loose. If a car is at or over 200,000 miles it’s a good idea to replace them, otherwise this could happen. The lower ball joint broke on this car while it was being driven. As you can see from the picture, that shoved the wheel sideways and back, making the car undriveable.


When a ball joint breaks, it causes a lot more damage. Usually, when the wheel moves back, it pulls the CV joints apart on the axle, and can also rip out the brake hose and wheel speed sensor wire. Depending on how fast the car is moving when it breaks, it can also put a big dent in the fender. This car was going slow enough that the fender didn’t get damaged very much.


After I pushed this car into the shop with a floor jack under the left front suspension I replaced all the broken parts, and have a nice souvenir.

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10 Responses to Broken Ball Joint

  1. Pingback: Why does my Chevy shake on the freeway? - Taylor Co Domestic

  2. Tricia wise says:

    Hi I desperately need help my ball joint broke as I was driving it. It was the right front of my 1999 Honda cr-v. Ok we replaced the ball joint but now it don’t want to go into gear. I mean its a 5 speed it goes in gear but don’t go no where. Can u please tell me whats going on. My car got impounded so I’m broke. Prior to this I had nothing wrong with my transmission. Any advice helps thank u Trish


  3. Aaron Brown says:

    This happened to my friends kia soul today. The lower ball joint came apart from the control arm. Axel came out of tranny (drivers side) no money for a tow so I drove to her and was able to put the ball back in the socket of the control arm and slide the axel back into the tranny.
    To get the ball joint back together I first scraped out the socket and cleared any pieces of metal that scraped or smashed to make the socket hole smaller when it all came apart.
    Then with the car held up by a jack stand I used a scissor jack to press up on the control arm while keeping everything lined up and it poooed back in. Then I was able to use a ratchet strap to hold the control arm up to the strut. (Turned left fine but not right so much) and was able to drive it home 3 miles and was able to save $200 on a tow.


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  6. Jordan says:

    What causes a ball joint to break in two months after replacement?


  7. Dan says:

    My guess would be a faulty new part or maybe the nut was overtorqued.


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