Does your vehicle make a snap or pop when you turn the steering wheel? Does it make a noise like an old, very rusty door hinge? Does the steering wheel shake while going down the road... a shake that can be stopped by lightly tapping on the brakes? Does the steering have a lot of free play causing you to steer just to keep it in your lane? Then you may need ball joints.
Ball joint is short for Ball & Socket joint. The design is similar to the joint in your hip. Because the front wheels of your vehicle have to twist back and forth (steer) and go up and down as the vehicle goes over bumps, ball joints are used to connect the front wheels to the suspension system. Some ball joints are pressed in, some are bolted in, some are riveted in, and some are made into another part called the control arm so the ball joint cannot be seperately replaced. If the ball joints have to be replaced, the vehicle will also need a Wheel Alignment.
All ball joints require lubrication. Some manufacturers use ball joints that come with a way to periodically add grease. (Caution: If you have your oil changed by people that don't know, it's quite possible that your ball joints have not been greased in a very long time.) Others use ball joints that are sealed at the factory and have no way to add grease. Either way, sooner or later, ball joints wear out.
If you think your vehicle may need ball joints, you should have a comprehensive inspection of the Steering and Suspension systems of your vehilce NOW! Bring your vehicle to Clearview Tire & Auto Service for a correct diagnosis and professional guaranteed repairs which includes our Certified Auto Repair Nationwide Warranty. We're in Hopkinsville, not far from Ft. Campbell and we've been here since 1952. Most repairs include one year FREE towing and roadside assistance, good 24/7 coast-to-coast.