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Front Ball Joint Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your front ball joint replacement? Use Jerry's GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your front ball joint replacement.
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John Davis
Expert Automotive Writer
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does it cost to replace a front ball joint?

The average cost to replace the ball joints is $250-$500. Prices vary depending on your vehicle and labor costs in your area.
How long does it take to replace a front ball joint? It typically takes a certified mechanic around 2-4 hours to do a full replacement. This includes the time it takes them to inspect the suspension components and make a diagnosis.
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need for my front ball joint replacement and how much do those parts cost?

While it’s not recommended to go the DIY route, here are the parts your mechanic might use to replace the front ball joints:
  1. New ball joints: The replacement joints are your biggest expense for this repair. The ball joints connect your wheels to the steering system—each ball joint part costs between $100 and $200.
Your mechanic also uses a hefty list of tools and equipment to do the replacement. Here is what they might use:
  • Socket, torque, ratchet, and extension wrenches
  • Socket air tools
  • Ball joint separator (also called a pickle fork)
  • Ball joint press
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Tire iron
  • Screwdriver set
  • Side cutters
  • Axle press
  • Hammer
You can buy replacement ball joint parts for your car from auto parts stores like AutoZone, NAPA Auto Parts, and Advance Auto Parts, as well as online retailers such as Amazon and RockAuto. Three brands we recomment for reliabiltiy are Moog, ACDelco, and Mevotech. Keep in mind that the best options for your ball joint parts will vary depending on your’s year, make, and model.
When it comes to an important part like the ball joint, it might be worth it to go with the OEM part. This way, you’re guaranteed to get a quality part that fits your vehicle. Plus, if your vehicle is under warranty, you won’t risk voiding your coverage by installing an aftermarket replacement.
Head to auto body shops and auto repair shops, like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and NAPA Auto Parts for ball joint replacements. You can also check online retailers like Amazon and RockAuto. Don’t forget to check your owner’s manual or ask a mechanic for the replacement part number.

Where can I get my front ball joint replaced?

When it comes to extensive automotive repairs, you want to know you’re getting service you can trust at a price you can afford. Let Jerry's
GarageGuard™
help! Our free app compares fair price estimates from over 2,500 vetted repair shops in the US. 
Jerry's GarageGuard™ uses each shop’s real hourly labor rate and tells you what’s included in the estimate. Plus, you can read reviews from customers, so you can make an informed decision.
Take a look at a few of our vetted shops below and download the app to compare car repair quotes near you.
146 Reviews
Northtown Auto Clinic
address
2235 Taney St, Kansas City, MO
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$80
161 Reviews
Pep Boys Auto Parts & Service - Stevens Creek 873
address
3780 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose, CA
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$100
152 Reviews
Velasquez Auto Care - Morgan
address
5811 W Capitol Dr, Milwaukee, WI
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$35
114 Reviews
Tune Up Plus - Chesapeake
address
111 Gainsborough Square E Suite E, Chesapeake, VA
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$125
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic replace my front ball joint?

When you take your vehicle to a repair specialist, here’s how they’ll do the replacement:
  1. Raise the vehicle: The mechanic uses a floor jack, and jack stands to elevate your vehicle.
  2. Remove the wheels: This gives the technician access to the ball joint.
  3. Free the ball joint from the steering knuckle: Next, they’ll remove the nuts securing these parts.
  4. Remove the control arm and front ball joints: By unscrewing the bolts holding the control arm, the mechanic can slide out the ball joint.
  5. Replace the new ball joints: At this point, your mechanic slides a new rubber boot over the replacement ball joint and places the new ball joint into the steering knuckle. They’ll bolt the part in place.
  6. Replace the wheels and test drive the car: Finally, the mechanic works in reverse order to reassemble the suspension system before checking for problems. They’ll do a test drive to ensure that the new ball joints are working as they should.

What happens if I don’t replace my front ball joints?

Ball joints might not seem that a crucial part of your car, but they’re critical for your front suspension and control of the vehicle. Schedule an inspection at the first sign of a problem. It’s a safety hazard if you continue to drive with worn ball joints!
When a ball joint fails completely, the control arm could detach from the steering knuckle, so you can’t reliably steer or control your vehicle. If this happens while you’re driving, you could cause a serious accident.

What is a front ball joint?

Ball joints connect the wheels and tires to your car’s suspension system. Think of them like your hip bone. Each ball joint is basically a ball resting in a socket. The joint is connected to the suspension by a control arm. This allows for maximum flexibility, which means you can steer your vehicle! 
Depending on what type of suspension your car has, your vehicle may have multiple ball joint assemblies. For instance, your car might have upper and lower ball joints. Front ball joints simply mean the ball joints on the front wheels of your car.
Modern ball joints are sealed—housed inside a steel casing surrounded by lubricating grease and a rubber boot that stops contaminants from getting into the joint. Unfortunately, since these joints are sealed, you can’t service them. Plan on replacing damaged or failing ball joints along with their counterparts on the other side of the car. Ball joints are usually replaced in pairs. 

When should I replace the front ball joint on my car?

Your vehicle will give you plenty of signs that it’s time to do a front ball joint replacement. Here are symptoms to watch out for:
  • Looser or more difficult handling: It’s frightening when you feel like you don’t have control of the steering, and that’s what happens when the ball joints go out.
  • Vibration while steering: A steering wheel that shakes when you drive means your car’s suspension is off.
  • Side-to-side drifting: In addition to difficulty steering, you’ll also notice the car seems to drift to the side on its own. This is a major sign that your car is due for an inspection.
  • Strange noises: A failing ball joining may cause a clunking noise from the front tires. This is the sound of the ball joint rattling within its housing.
  • Uneven tire wear: This is a more subtle sign that something is wrong with your front ball joint.

How often should a ball joint be replaced?

The good news is that a new car ball joint should last you 70,000 to 150,000 miles, which is a pretty broad range. If you’re driving on smooth, even roads, the joints will last longer than if you’re regularly driving off-road or on rough roads.

Can I replace the front ball joint myself?

If you’re trying to save money on repair costs, you might consider replacing the ball joints yourself. However, unless you’re a mechanic that specializes in wheel assembly and suspension systems, it’s better to leave this replacement to the professionals. There’s just too much that could go wrong! Bring the car to a trusted mechanic or dealership service center. 

FAQs

It’s not a good idea to continue to drive with a ball joint that’s damaged because it’s harder to steer, and you’re more likely to get into an accident.
You don’t automatically need to schedule a wheel alignment. However, it might be a good idea to get one if your previous alignment was done when the ball joints were in poor condition.
As an essential part of your car’s suspension, ball joints typically get a lot of wear and tear. They can rust, and dirt or grit can work their way into the joints, which wears down the lubrication.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.