Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,770 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
During vehicle inspection at the time of the last oil change it was pointed out to me that the inner side of the front driver side wheel has been wearing out excessively fast. The mechanic showed me some kind of a joint near the wheel with a lot torn rubber on it. He said it's called the lower ball joint and it needs to be replaced. The cost estimate for this work is in 500s.

My question is, how urgent is this kind of work? I am unemployed right now, and would prefer to get this done about six months later rather than now. However, I plan to make at least one cross country trip. If this is urgent enough, I'll have it fixed now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
You can fix it by yourself with some help hands and relatively simple tools, refer to the ball joint thread in the suspension and brake forum for more info. Yes, it could be urgent depending on the amount and style of driving you do. a ball joint is a vital part of connection between the steering spindle and lower control arm that completes a Macpharson style suspension system. if it snaps then the suspension of side side will collapse from lack of buttom support and angle restraint from the lower control arm and vehicle will be out of control. since you are going on a long trip it will need to be done before you go. A genuine motorcraft part cost about $30 in Rockauto while needed tools(pickle fork, ball joint press) are rentable from autozone free of charge. Your life(and possibly, other motorist's) will certainly worth those $30 of cheap insurance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
Don't worry, its not urget. car is not gonna fall apart.
u can drive it till u save some money. i drove for good 14 months, before getting it done.
And plz dont try this unless u have good experience of working on suspension.. not that easy a job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
477 Posts
It is an inexpensive fix-it-yourself but unless you are used to suspension work it can be frustrating. If the tire is not in danger of blowing out I don't think you have to do it urgently, though if you put it off you should keep a close eye on it. I'd be more worried about the tire wear on the long trip than the part breaking. Maybe rotate the tires before you leave. Good luck on the job search!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,392 Posts
During vehicle inspection at the time of the last oil change it was pointed out to me that the inner side of the front driver side wheel has been wearing out excessively fast. The mechanic showed me some kind of a joint near the wheel with a lot torn rubber on it. He said it's called the lower ball joint and it needs to be replaced. The cost estimate for this work is in 500s.

My question is, how urgent is this kind of work? I am unemployed right now, and would prefer to get this done about six months later rather than now. However, I plan to make at least one cross country trip. If this is urgent enough, I'll have it fixed now.
If you don't want to attempt to DIY, shop around for prices. Those oil change places often charge more than what a dealer would. I would start with smaller mom and pop shops first, that do suspension work. I don't recall how much shop labor time is involved for 1 balljoint, maybe 1.5hrs labor?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,235 Posts
Part is $40. If time is 1.5Hrs and labor is $100/hr the job should cost $190. Look for a lower price and fix it before your trip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,770 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Part is $40. If time is 1.5Hrs and labor is $100/hr the job should cost $190. Look for a lower price and fix it before your trip.
I believe both of them are not looking good, so I need to spend this much, times two. Indeed, chain places are pretty expensive.

Anyone know a reputable mechanic in San Antonio?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
You can fix it by yourself with some help hands and relatively simple tools, refer to the ball joint thread in the suspension and brake forum for more info. Yes, it could be urgent depending on the amount and style of driving you do. a ball joint is a vital part of connection between the steering spindle and lower control arm that completes a Macpharson style suspension system. if it snaps then the suspension of side side will collapse from lack of buttom support and angle restraint from the lower control arm and vehicle will be out of control. since you are going on a long trip it will need to be done before you go. A genuine motorcraft part cost about $30 in Rockauto while needed tools(pickle fork, ball joint press) are rentable from autozone free of charge. Your life(and possibly, other motorist's) will certainly worth those $30 of cheap insurance.
Does anyone know where the aforementioned ball join thread is?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,604 Posts
I have done two of these and if you have not done any work like this on your car I would consider hard if you want to do it. I would take it to another place that does free alignment checks and they will confirm if the ball joint is bad because it could just be camber from weak front springs. Not that fixing that will be cheaper but it is not dangerous as a ball joint failing. The torn rubber is not how you determine a bad joint. They should see if there is any play in the joint by using a pry bar and trying to lift the tire and feeling the movement in the joint.

75K miles is not a lot to wear out ball joints because mine had 136K and they were still good but I replaced them because they groaned. I injected grease in them two years earlier.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,557 Posts
I think I replaced mine with Moog. Did both sides. They had a little bit of play in them. I don't think I paid anywhere near $500. Might have been around $100-$150 in labor for both of them plus the part. Look on craigslist, I've found ASE mechanics in the $30-$50/hr for labor. Get the part either from rockauto or from Advance when they're having a 40-50% off sale.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
815 Posts
Replaced my ball joints, had a shop to do it in so it was easier, but all in all I'd say its about a B level tech job. Required quite a lot of brute force like most suspension work does, especially if you live in an area with salted roads or haven't touched the front end in a long time. It's a pretty basic job, but like I said requires a lot of force to separate some things.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top