Automotive

Ball joint worn off! Should I replace the entire control arm

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[OP]
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Aug 5, 2012
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MISSISSAUGA

Ball joint worn off! Should I replace the entire control arm

I had a recent diagnostic of engine servicing done at Midas where the mechanic told me that my front left lower ball joint on the driver side has worn off.Iam thinking of replacing the entire driver lower front control arm.Is it a good idea to replace the entire control arm or should I replace only the ball joint.My assumption is that if the ball joint has worn off ,then the bushings too might also be reaching their end of life.
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Oct 11, 2007
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Not always true of the bushing wearing out as the ball joint does. What car do you have?
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The bushings could be fine or could be worn, no way to tell without checking.
It wouldn't hurt to replace the control arm, and to be hoenst, if the car is old + higher mileage, I would prefer to have the bushings changed as well.
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Aug 22, 2011
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Some ball joints can be replaced independently of the control arm, but not an easy DIY (need a press to get the ball joint out)!
If this is going to be a DIY, change the entire control arm.
[OP]
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Aug 5, 2012
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MISSISSAUGA
kvilkhu wrote: Not always true of the bushing wearing out as the ball joint does. What car do you have?
2006 Nissan Murano with 121,000kms.
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I would take it to another shop for a front end inspection. You either misunderstood or you are being given poor information and advice.
A ball joint does not "wear off". It is part of a rod, not the control arm. They wear and may cause looseness but the looseness may be as a result of other things.
It sounds like an upsell too me.
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Pete_Coach wrote: I would take it to another shop for a front end inspection. You either misunderstood or you are being given poor information and advice.
A ball joint does not "wear off". It is part of a rod, not the control arm. They wear and may cause looseness but the looseness may be as a result of other things.
It sounds like an upsell too me.
Not everyone here drives an Model T...old timer!
Many vehicles have ball joints as part of the control arm (my car has it)!

The cause of a worn out ball joint is likely due to a tear in the boot causing the grease to leak out.
With little to no grease, the ongoing friction the ball joint encounters will cause it to loosen and even break apart while in motion (can be catastrophic when driving at high speeds)
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Do you feel vibrations in the steering wheel when you make turns in highway entrances and exits? That is usually one of the first hints if ball joints are wearing out or leaking.
If not i'd say check the bushing and dont waste money replacing control arms they should last the life of the car.
[OP]
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Aug 5, 2012
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MISSISSAUGA
durrsak wrote: Do you feel vibrations in the steering wheel when you make turns in highway entrances and exits? That is usually one of the first hints if ball joints are wearing out or leaking.
If not i'd say check the bushing and dont waste money replacing control arms they should last the life of the car.
Thanks,no I don't feel vibrations in the steering wheel even during steep turns.
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Jul 19, 2014
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Midas may have the golden touch , get a second opinion .
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vkizzle wrote: Not everyone here drives an Model T...old timer!
Many vehicles have ball joints as part of the control arm (my car has it)!

The cause of a worn out ball joint is likely due to a tear in the boot causing the grease to leak out.
With little to no grease, the ongoing friction the ball joint encounters will cause it to loosen and even break apart while in motion (can be catastrophic when driving at high speeds)
I think you missed the point of obtain a second opinion on a situation that can easily be an upsell.
Regardless of being an "old timer", the 2006 Murano does not have a ball joint in the control arm, there is a bushing though.
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Aug 22, 2011
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Pete_Coach wrote: I think you missed the point of obtain a second opinion on a situation that can easily be an upsell.
Regardless of being an "old timer", the 2006 Murano does not have a ball joint in the control arm, there is a bushing though.
Try again...

DORMAN Part # 521086 Complete Arm w/Ball Joint
Front Right Lower; Includes Ball Joint and Bushings

DORMAN Part # 521085 Complete Arm w/Ball Joint
Front Left Lower; Includes Ball Joint and Bushings


MOOG Part # RK621719 R-Series
Rear Left Upper; Complete Arm With Ball Joint

MOOG Part # RK621720 R-Series
Rear Right Upper; Complete Arm With Ball Joint
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vik56in wrote: I had a recent diagnostic of engine servicing done at Midas where the mechanic told me that my front left lower ball joint on the driver side has worn off.Iam thinking of replacing the entire driver lower front control arm.Is it a good idea to replace the entire control arm or should I replace only the ball joint.My assumption is that if the ball joint has worn off ,then the bushings too might also be reaching their end of life.
As Pete_Coach and Northofseven have suggested get a second opinion. If the second opinion also says the ball joint needs replacing get prices both ways. With just the ball joint replaced and with the control arm replaced. I checked online with rockauto and they sell a ball joint starting at $21.00 and up not sure on shipping price. Hope this helps.
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vkizzle wrote: Try again...

DORMAN Part # 521086 Complete Arm w/Ball Joint
Front Right Lower; Includes Ball Joint and Bushings

DORMAN Part # 521085 Complete Arm w/Ball Joint
Front Left Lower; Includes Ball Joint and Bushings


MOOG Part # RK621719 R-Series
Rear Left Upper; Complete Arm With Ball Joint

MOOG Part # RK621720 R-Series
Rear Right Upper; Complete Arm With Ball Joint
Pretty much every control arm will come with the bushings and ball joints already installed so it's a quick replacement, but that doesn't imply that the ball joint is molded into the arm.
Some cars use ball joints that are molded into the control arms, and in this, case the Murano's *rear* control arms do this (the 2002-2006 Nissan Altima front control arms are another example).
HOWEVER, the Murano uses separate, replaceable ball joints in the front control arms.

Take a look at a picture of your 521085 control arm and you'll see that they're replaceable: http://www.amazon.com/Dorman-521-085-Fr ... B004AIMNM6
There's also listings for front ball joints from Moog and Raybestos on Rockauto.com for the Murano.
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vkizzle wrote: Try again...

DORMAN Part # 521086 Complete Arm w/Ball Joint
Front Right Lower; Includes Ball Joint and Bushings

DORMAN Part # 521085 Complete Arm w/Ball Joint
Front Left Lower; Includes Ball Joint and Bushings


MOOG Part # RK621719 R-Series
Rear Left Upper; Complete Arm With Ball Joint

MOOG Part # RK621720 R-Series
Rear Right Upper; Complete Arm With Ball Joint
I did not consider that part, feel better? Apologies, but you are still missing the point....
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Viperoni wrote: Pretty much every control arm will come with the bushings and ball joints already installed so it's a quick replacement, but that doesn't imply that the ball joint is molded into the arm.
Some cars use ball joints that are molded into the control arms, and in this, case the Murano's *rear* control arms do this (the 2002-2006 Nissan Altima front control arms are another example).
HOWEVER, the Murano uses separate, replaceable ball joints in the front control arms.

Take a look at a picture of your 521085 control arm and you'll see that they're replaceable: http://www.amazon.com/Dorman-521-085-Fr ... B004AIMNM6
There's also listings for front ball joints from Moog and Raybestos on Rockauto.com for the Murano.
Thanks for re-confirming what I aleady wrote on post#4

Some ball joints can be replaced independently of the control arm, but not an easy DIY (need a press to get the ball joint out)!
If this is going to be a DIY, change the entire control arm.
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vkizzle wrote: Thanks for re-confirming what I aleady wrote on post#4

Some ball joints can be replaced independently of the control arm, but not an easy DIY (need a press to get the ball joint out)!
If this is going to be a DIY, change the entire control arm.
My bad, missed that. I agree on changing the entire control arm especially if the ball joints are the screw-in or press-in kind.
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Aug 2, 2001
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Using a little logic - If you are getting your vehicle inspected and they tell you a single ball joint is bad, do you think they would also tell you if the bushings are bad too? I think it stands to reason they would put the bushings in the report if they were worn out because there is no benefit to them not to.

Therefore, I would say that you should not replace the bushings "just because" and instead wait until they are either faulty or your vehicle has much more mileage on it. Sometimes people replace parts prematurely, and often with lesser quality parts, which can cause problems such as those related with poor installation.

It is always good to get a second opinion, however if that second opinion comes with a fee then you might be better off just replacing the ball joint because paying $40 to double check a $60-$100 repair of a part that will eventually need to be replaced does not make sense.

(I have no idea how much the repair is on a Murano, but with the proper tools many ball joints are easily changed and a lot of suspension shops charge by 30 minutes increments, with 30 minutes being the minimum)

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