One of the features that make Audi owners raving fans is its smooth, tight handling. So it can be upsetting to discover your Audi isn’t managing turns like it used to, or the car has started to creak going over bumps. When this happens, it is often the ball joints in your Audi’s suspension that are to blame.
If these symptoms are ignored, a ball joint could ultimately fail and potentially result in a loss of control. In this article, we’ll cover the warning signs of a worn-out ball joint, why they wear out, and how you can avoid a ball joint failure.
Explanation of a Ball Joint
A ball joint is essentially a stud with a round, ball-shaped end that fits into a lubricated casing, often made of polymer. A simple way to think of a ball joint is to think about the shape and function of a hip joint. There is a protective casing around the socket to keep dirt out, often made of rubber.
The purpose of a ball joint in your Audi is to connect the wheels to the suspension, creating a smooth experience in handling the car. The ball joints allow the suspension to move freely as it responds to bumps without jolting or tilting the wheels.
Some warning signs to be aware of when a ball joint is wearing out are:
- Drifting: If your Audi drifts to the left or right, you are likely experiencing a suspension issue that you should get checked out immediately.
- Loose, Shaky Steering: Steering that has started to feel less than solid is a sign that the ball joints are not moving easily and are no longer enabling a solid connection between the wheel and suspension. You should get this problem checked out by a professional.
- Creaking and Squeaking: Troubled ball joints will cause creaking or squeaking sounds when your car goes over bumps or rough patches.
- Uneven wear on tires: Tires should wear evenly over time. If you notice your tires are wearing more to the inside or outside, or differently from one tire to the next, you’re observing uneven wear in your tires that is likely a sign that the ball joints aren’t working properly.
Reason for Failure #1: Lack of Grease
We mentioned that the ball joint was in a lubricated casing, and a lack of grease is one way these joints can wear out more quickly than necessary. Grease might escape through a loose fitting or just seep out, so making sure ball joints are well-greased is important to extending their lifespan. At World Class Auto Repairs of Boca Raton, we ensure your Audi stays safe and its handling smooth by checking your ball joints during inspections.
Reason for Failure #2: Debris Inside of the Joint
Dirt and other impurities can find their way into a ball joint and create excessive wear. Just like any other part of a car, ball joints need to be kept clean to operate well. Ball joints typically have a rubber boot on them that fits snugly around the stud, but as it ages, it may start allowing dirt and grit to get inside the housing as it moves. When this happens the ball joint will quickly start to degrade and will eventually lead to failure.
Reason #3: Normal Wear
Ball joints will eventually wear down naturally, no matter how well they are maintained. At World Class Auto Repairs, we will replace your ball joints with top-quality parts to ensure optimum handling and long, smooth operation of your Audi.
We Will Repair your Ball Joint Failure
World Class Auto Repairs understands that you want to keep your Audi running smoothly and safely throughout its lifetime. That’s why we have highly-experienced and knowledgeable mechanics on our team at our location in Boca Raton, FL to diagnose and resolve any suspension problems you might encounter. We’ve handled every issue that can arise with your Audi and can promise you’ll be in excellent hands.
Come and visit us at Word Class Auto Repairs and get to know our ASE-certified mechanics today or schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving you, as we’ve served clients all over the Boca Raton, FL area.