How to Check if a Ball Joint is Bad
How to Check if a Ball Joint is Bad

Hey guys, ChrisFix here and today I’m gonna show you how to check your ball joint to see if it has gone bad or if it’s still
good so here’s what a bad ball joint sounds
like when you turn the steering wheel or your suspension moves and upon visual inspection you could see
the boots to the ball joints are cracked allowing dirt and water and everything to get in there
and these are non grease-able so these need to be serviced. This is
the lower ball joint that we’re looking at here’s the upper ball joint and you can see
it’s the same story the upper bowl joint can’t be replaced the whole control arm must be replaced but with the lower ball joint we can replace just the ball joint I’m now gonna show you how to check the ball joints with the truck jacked up off the ground so with both tires securely off the ground You wanna grab the 12 the 6
o’clock positions on the tire wiggle it back and forth, pushing in and out, feeling for any play when I say play you’re gonna feel some
type a movement your tires should be solid and if it moves or there’s a clicking
feeling or a like a clunk feeling, then you could
potentially have a worn-out ball joint and since then the truck lifted off the
ground you might as well check the 3 and 9 positions when you wiggle this back and fourth and play could indicate a bad tie rod bad bushings or even a bad bearing and then what you might want to do is get a
crowbar or some type of long bar go under the tire and you just want to move it up and see if there is any clicking and I feel nice clock and I’ll show you
know what’s causing it there should be there should be no upward and downward motion in a ball joint so
when you’re doing a test with the tire on you will feel this clunking. Also when you’re
driving you might even feel or hear this clunking from this moving
up and down. So I showed you how to do the wiggle test with the tire on and how to visually inspect them but
here’s how to check them when you have the ball joint off the knuckle so you can see the ball joint is very
loose not only is it loose it’s clunky so when you try and moved it back and
forth its not smooth like it should be a good ball joint will feel tight and it’ll
be smooth and as you have already seen, there is upward and downward motion so this ball joint shot the upper ball joint is even worse It has way too much play in it could be moved way too easily and it’s barely being held into place I’m glad I’m replacing these ball joints Now let’s compare the new ball joint to the old ball joint The new one is tight with no play and it’s difficult to move by hand when you move it, it feels smooth and feels solid and you have already seen the old ball joint. It’s loose and clunky. so these are the methods you can use the
test the ball joints hopefully this video was helpful If it was,give it a thumbs-up also consider subscribing I publish “how to” videos weekly and I answer all of the question
and comments you guys leave Up on the screen are three different videos if you want to see any of these videos you can click on the videos on the screen or you can find the links to these videos in the description below also in the description below are the links to the ChrisFix Facebook and Twitter pages so if you use Facebook or Twitter, go check it out!

100 thoughts on “How to Check if a Ball Joint is Bad”

  1. Albert Medina says:

    Reeevvv your engines!!! 😏

  2. AphexTwin says:

    What a Ford ranger sounds like every day. That's not the ball joints man but might as well replace them.

  3. Adolf Galland says:

    My lower ball joint actually dropped down and grind against the inside of the front brake rotor on the driver's side

  4. Christopher Wilson says:


  5. Ser Pinfingers says:

    Everyone check your Pajeros! they are notorious for it, but its easy and cheap to fix

  6. pirate jack says:

    short straight to the point pro info no complaints here

  7. Eldin Copelj says:

    Hey Chris. You wouldnt happen to know what might be wrong with a car that produces a knock on the right front side. Its not a constant sound, its just a knock, especially when turning right or going over speed bumps?

  8. Andres Raygoza says:

    Good advice thanyou

  9. Austin Murphy says:

    What is that bracket on the lower control arm for on the left side of the screen at 0:06

  10. Ready/ facts Ready says:

    Thanks Chris- Everyone else videos take 3 hours to get to the Point!!

  11. OvRdoSe69 says:

    Moog parts are the best

  12. Kevin Kalyn says:

    after a 3 min video i feel like a mechanic now. im over here diagnosing all my neighbors cars. o riley’s should be paying me a cut for the amount of ball joints i helped them sell. very helpful, great video

  13. Neo Overby says:

    you should show them how to check loaded lower control arms the right way…

  14. E'raan Lue says:

    I find front back play in the wheel but it is the ball joint that was bad. It doesn't always mean tie rod or steering.

  15. Adam USMC says:

    yooooo you just helped me so much man! like always!

  16. bodhi tree says:

    Customer: The Labour on fixing those ball joints, how much does that cost?

    Mechanic: yes.

  17. J B says:

    thanks buddy it helped alot first video same sound same clunk thanks again

  18. TheDevilsCorpse says:

    I wish I found this video sooner. My car sounds exactly like a bad ball joint. Luckily my ball joint broke in a safe area. I turned my wheel and car collapsed.

  19. Shai Mckenzie says:

    Hey Chris I got my R front ball joint replaced last year 2018 in March at 42k miles. It’s now June 2019 (10k miles on my car since fixed, car is now at 52k original miles) it’s a 99 Grand marquis and my mechanic is saying it needs replaced again. Is this Normal for an older car ?

  20. ol' Denny says:

    I have a slight popping or clunking sound when I turn the sterring wheel. Mostly when im going slow or just barely turn the wheel in either direction. Anyone have ideas what this couold be?

  21. Ben Ault says:

    There are ball joints that need up and down movement, specifically dodge solid axle trucks. The upper ball joint stud will move up and down and is designed like that from the factory for proper install.

  22. harleybynature says:

    You have a new subscriber. Not only was the video of good quality, it was easy to understand, clear and to the point. I will watch more videos from you!

  23. Jeremy JMIAH Williamson says:

    Best and MOST informative video on BALL JOINTS altogether… Now I just need a tutorial for a 2007 Jeep Liberty to fix my daughters lol

  24. Jeffrey Cheng says:

    Another great screw ya stealership video!

  25. Tania Sims says:

    Thank you

  26. Mario Guillen says:

    Oh man im just doing ball join on my dually

  27. didi riyadi says:

    good job

  28. Ken Call says:

    I check my balls and joint every day, they are in very good w orking condition.

  29. Raj Bahadur says:

    Good video sar

  30. Nathaniel D. says:

    Where do you purchase your Moog brand ball joints from?

  31. Todd bob says:

    Aftermarket ball joints will last 20k miles tops… buy oem parts from Dealership.

  32. Sister Mary Clements says:

    Cars are the best waste of money. I don't fix shit. I just let shit fall apart. Then I buy another car with the money I save from not doing repairs. Unless it's something my vehicle absolutely needs, I care less of my car isn't 100 percent.
    But don't listen to me. I like to live dangerously. My methods and lifestyle are alien to most lol

  33. pepe la pew says:

    Up and down play dos not mean bad joint .

  34. Xander Rabie says:

    thanks awesome

  35. Syed Imran SHAH says:

    Knee joints can be damaged by radiation. One trick is to sleep under a wooden planck or metal plate so save yourself and all the joints from possible exposure to radiation.

  36. Down South says:

    She said my bushing ,ball joint and drive shaft are in great shape…

  37. AdrianJayeOnline says:

    I check my ball joints every night

  38. Francisco Moreno says:

    That is not the right way to check the balljoints, and all balljoints can be lubed or greased, you can teach what you don't know, do not confuse people

  39. Serdar Yuksel says:

    Cheers Chris….all of your videos are very helpful.👍👌

  40. Sickentist says:

    is it possible a ball joint can be bad even if the boot looks okay? like not ripped or anything? my 04 Envoy is making these exact same sounds and there is a ton of play in the wheel, but when I look, the ball joint boots look good.

  41. Hank KLab says:

    Chris good morning. How are you? Thank you for the video and have a good day.

  42. Erik Frankfurt says:

    Hey! I bought Moogs for my Ranger too!

  43. Terry G says:

    Great information. Thanks

  44. Lan Astaslem says:

    keep wooter out of the joint of your balls

  45. D says:

    I wish I had a car so I can check my ball joints LOL

  46. tony salvatera says:

    We repair balljoints good as new

  47. Billie Bob Norton III says:

    My late husband's "ball joints" were always bad. His nut sack would sometimes drop below his knees!

  48. Litivious Spartus says:

    You didnt ramble on and on like some of these clowns do, thank you.

  49. Ca Par says:

    Hi. Chris.
    How to fix noisy came from when turn handles sound metal grinding bottom of engin or tire?
    What's wrong?

  50. Ashour Noiya says:

    As always mate, straight to the point, clear exploitation. Now i can check my Balls and relax 😉

  51. mitchell price says:

    My ballpoint was bad but I ignored it up tel I had a failure on the highway doing 80 it was scary

  52. Larry M says:

    Yeah, and these are so much fun to change, but worth it for safety and handling. Nice video Chris.

  53. Scratchin' for Stackz says:

    That’s obviously a POS Ford he is using for the demo because all you can hear is that signature ford power steering pump whine

  54. Michael Anis says:


  55. SD SHakya says:

    Can bad ball joint cause steering wobble?

  56. jason Geer says:

    There's a much easier way to check your ball joints drive your car up to a slope leaving your back wheels on flat ground your front wheels on the slope apply the brake and put it in reverse if you hear grinding you need new ball joints

  57. AA App says:

    Very nice

  58. Dan Bogardo says:

    You should actually place the jack under the lower control arm and then use a pry bar to make the wheel go up and down.

  59. Dvera97 says:

    What about rear ball joints??

  60. Michael Myers says:

    I'm fixing to purchase and mid 1990 will drive pickup the ball joints shocks are all Factory wore out components you can feel it when you driving it some of it could wait for a while but I'm going by an old saying if in doubt throw it out I do a lot of highway driving so I do not want no second guesses if those are going to stay together or not so I'm turning it all down to the bare frame and putting all new control arm bushings and ball joints as well as new coil springs and shocks tie rod and drag link bars over the weekend it has a very strong 318 and transmission so well worth the trade for my minivan


    rev up your ball joints

  62. Adam Parker says:

    Wiggle wiggle

  63. Gman nubs says:

    If yer front end goes all PIDGEON TOED and KNOCK KNEED, yer balljoints are probably screwed

  64. Fred says:

    I'm about to go check my ball joints and make sure there isn't any wooter in them.

  65. Ryan Adam says:

    Check THESE balls, joint!

  66. Wilfred Myers says:

    Change the rubber. Put grease in the boot. Then strike the metal plate on top of the ball joint. You'll find it cures that clonk. Just long enough to save up for a new part.

  67. konasteph says:

    Chris should have pointed out that it is DANGEROUS to keep a vehicle on the road that has ball joints like the ones he shows. If you hear noise, clunking and general looseness in the chassis it will not get better, but a failed ball joint at any speed is a disaster. The wheel will just flop over and the car is out of control TOTALLY!

  68. Xtermin8r187 B says:

    How many miles do ball joints typically last?

  69. Matt J says:

    Neat. But wrong. You need to put a Jack stand under the lower control arm, lower the vehicle onto that and then check for play with the pry bar. Next, dodge allow for some movement in the ball joints so you actually need to measure with a dial indicator to make sure it's out of spec before just throwing parts at it

  70. Penelope L Goss says:

    Just replaced front end suspension and shocks front and back on my '99 Ford Ranger. OMG! What a difference! Lovin' my truck as it just turned 20 years July 2019 and 184,000 miles! Woohoo! Thanks Chris!! Love your vids!

  71. Dallas Deak says:

    good video, only problem is that your jackstands are positioned incorrectly. They need to be as close to the wheel member as possible to simulate vehicle weight load on the suspension. This is only required on an SLA suspension, which is what you are dealing with here. And Don't use a bar to check lower balljoint that creates immense leverage that is unnecessary, just use your hands. With enough leverage you can make a brand new balljoint have slight movement, proving that test to be incorrect.

  72. Johnny Speedy says:

    one knowledgeable man’s car video is better than a channel with a bunch of Asians who only clown around and don’t show anything about cars. Or know any thing about cars for that matter. Can you guess who I’m referring to?

  73. Ravinder Saini says:

    Very helpful

  74. Travis Worthington says:

    A 6 and 12 position with play can also be a bad bearing also some balljoints are allowed a small amout of play which can be measured with a dial indicator gauge . You also have the jack placed wrong for checking them.

  75. Brandon Jagger says:

    Love your videos bro I wish I lived closer to ya so u could give me little tips on my project car

  76. NikTheGeek says:

    I have side to side play and a clonking noise when moving the wheel at the 3 & 9 positions. Also noise on a rough road, but smooth as you like on a smooth surface. So not the bearing. What do you suggest?

  77. AnotherSoulja says:

    Power steering pump is sounding rough

  78. stephen bernsen says:

    You need to add some power steering fluid as well. But good video.

  79. allanandjana says:

    Great help ! You answered all my questions in a 3 minute video !

  80. Pritam Majhi says:

    I like it your information

  81. Alan Jones says:

    Saturday night and I've got a bad ball joint. Cloncking my rite hand, any sexy girls…

  82. Nigel Wilson says:

    Now go wash them hands !

  83. Alexander Robbins says:

    In the UK we have MOT's which is a mandatory test every car has to have in order to be deemed road worthy and this is just one of the tests involved.

  84. Livethecreed says:

    Next video should be “common transmission problems and how to fix them” 😩 like are transmissions unfixable even with the right parts? My trucks transmission is going out and the mechanic quoted me the cost of a used car 😫

  85. SilvrDragon52 says:

    Really well made video. Good up-close footage and direct explanations.

  86. John Erway says:

    Thanks for the shop tip, great overview.

  87. Gregory Perry says:

    You can replace the upper ball joint by cross referencing the Ford Ranger/Motorcraft Part Number and pressing the ball joint out for Mazda B Series Pickups.

  88. Tony Hickson says:

    good video

  89. Cole Lutz says:

    Me and my car: replaces struts and shocks. Steering goes out soon after. Replaces steering rack and pinion. Steering goes out again. Replaces power steering pump. Then a clunking noise begins happening from the front end. Probably ball joints. Also my car started going through coolant like crazy. Leaking coolant somewhere. What a bad couple months it’s been for my car…

  90. Gabb Industries says:

    I just learned i have a ball joint problem. I Respect the good sound quality of this channel

  91. Scott Schmitz says:

    I have an 09 charger and it squeaks when I push up and down on the front end

  92. Victor Velazquez says:

    Finally a short video you’re learning.

  93. Prasad A says:

    Hi want to work for u.

  94. M V.G. says:

    That is a dry ball joint. A greeased ball joint may not make noise. You want to check for movement. Lift the vehicle you can do the wiggle test. Best way use a pry bar to check for sight movement. You don't want to let your ball joint get as bad as the one in the video. Chances are you could have diagnosed that one just by the tire leaning way in at the top.

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  96. Hand Meover says:

    I was wondering why my car made such a racket while driving over small imperfections in the road?…."I GOT UP-DOWN, SQUIGGLY-SOUNDS, coming from bad ball joints 😭

  97. Angel Arroyo says:

    Just checked my balls,they look ok

  98. klepetar says:

    jeez Chris.. you've been so useful for me since i bought that used 350z.. thanks for this one..

  99. Jhon R Marak says:

    Very nice video 👌👍 🇧🇩

  100. asconajuenger says:

    Use Crowbar in Place of the Ball joint, you whanna test, and you can see is it Broken or not.

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