ball joint life [Archive] - Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum

: ball joint life


dragoncharmer
07-28-2009, 08:47 PM
What is the average life of front ball joints? I have 54,000 miles on my 2005 trailblazer and just noticed a clicking in the front when I turn left. It does not do it all the time, just some of the time. Could I need new ball joints already?

the roadie
07-28-2009, 10:23 PM
Clicking that's related to speed? That's much more likely to be CV joints or wheel bearings than ball joints. If it's ONLY happening with one direction of turn, look into the brake dust shields being too close to the disks (usually a scraping noise, though), or the right wheel bearing. Or is it a one-time click when you start the turn?

Stuff starts to go bad around 50K, but more goes wrong at 100K. It's a bell-shaped curve, so everything has somebody that it fails on early, and other people which never have the problem. And the mass of folks are in the middle.

If I had to say, I'd predict more ball joints are 150K sort of items, depending heavily on random chance and number of potholes in your county.

dragoncharmer
07-29-2009, 05:39 AM
It is a one time click. I am not positive, but I don't think it is related to speed. I only hear it when I turn left, but not all the time.

91RS
07-29-2009, 08:08 AM
If I had to say, I'd predict more ball joints are 150K sort of items, depending heavily on random chance and number of potholes in your county.

I don't know about that, my truck is one of the nicest 100k trucks I've seen and the steering was nice and tight (just as in tie-rod wear, my truck had issues with wandering because of the balljoints). However, when I decided to replace the lower ball joints since I was upgrading everything else in that area, I found mine were completely shot. Not just loose, but they have verticle movement in them with me moving the joint by hand. I would imagine in an area with bad roads or with someone who just doens't give a flip about their vehicle, they would wear out sooner than 100k.

RayVoy
07-29-2009, 09:00 PM
It is a one time click. I am not positive, but I don't think it is related to speed. I only hear it when I turn left, but not all the time.A one time click is probably a creak.
I'm guessing a dry bushing in a control arm (I have one right now). Mine would only creak when I go out of the vehicle, a single and small creak.
Lately, it has gotten worse and now creaks when there is a weight change (bump, dip in road).
When your turning left, the weight is off-loading on the inside corner, perhaps causing a creak.

I have oiled them, but the only long term fix is to replace.

dragoncharmer
07-29-2009, 09:37 PM
So if it that is what it is, my wheel isn't going to fall off while I'm going 70 mph on the interstate, is it? :confused:

RayVoy
07-29-2009, 10:12 PM
Nope, just a rubber bushing that moves up/down with the suspension

MajesticLT03
07-29-2009, 10:31 PM
All my Balls and Links are still Original... just need the extra $$$ to get them replaced... :(

dragoncharmer
07-30-2009, 07:10 PM
Thanks RayVoy, that makes me feel better knowing that. Now I just have to hope that is what the problem is! :thx

How many miles do you have on it MajesticLT03?

RayVoy
07-30-2009, 08:29 PM
Now I just have to hope that is what the problem is!

We may be a little early (not making enough noise yet), but you can check it by bouncing the front left corner up and down.
You can probably hear the bushing complain as the control arm moves.

If it is making a noise, sometimes a squirt of WD-40 onto the bushing will quiet it for a little while (until it drys out, or gets wet).

I've mixed a little longer lasting lube by using linseed oil (month or two per application)

lynch55
07-30-2009, 08:51 PM
All my Balls and Links are still Original... just need the extra $$$ to get them replaced... :(

:crackup: All my balls and links are original too!:crackup:

MajesticLT03
07-31-2009, 12:36 AM
I just clicked over 85k earlier in the week..


they smack, slap and scream on every hard jolt or bump...


I need to replace all my links, balljoints and anti-sway bushings and Tie Rod ends.. :mad::(

EwingJK
07-31-2009, 06:48 AM
It's a bell-shaped curve. . .

Uh-oh. Engineerspeak! Just kidding. :hail:

dragoncharmer
07-31-2009, 08:35 AM
Well of course I have not heard the noise since I originally posted the question. It is not because it has been just sitting in the driveway, I drive around 80 miles a day. Sounds like I am going to have to jump up and down on the front of it to see if I can get it to make the noise (I'll probably end up breaking something else in the process - probably me). :o

gmac310
07-31-2009, 09:42 AM
I had a creak from my passenger side with a change in weight or a bump and it turned out to be the upper ball joint was dried out.