Steering your Mazda Miata to your desired direction won't be easy if you have a bad ball joint in your suspension system. This sphere-shaped Mazda Miata ball joint connects the steering knuckles and control arms together, allowing you to steer your Miata easily to whichever direction you prefer. In fact, this ball joint is responsible for holding your entire front suspension together as your Miata moves and turns in response to your steering commands. Over time, the ball joints in your Mazda Miata will wear out, and you'll most likely encounter suspension and steering problems when this happens. A bad ball joint will present several signs and symptoms before it eventually breaks down. We've come up with a list to help you troubleshoot your damaged Mazda Miata ball joint.
A bad ball joint will likely produce odd knocking or popping noises that can be heard as you drive over potholes and bumps. This means the ball joint is already damaged beyond repair, so it needs to be replaced right away before your tire comes off completely. Try turning your steering wheel while you listen for odd noises. Minor clicking sounds in the steering wheel mean the ball joint is just starting to become worn out, while loud thumping and clunking noises mean the ball joint is already severely damaged.
A worn-out ball joint may cause your Miata's tires to become loose, resulting in severe steering and handling problems. This can pose a threat to your safety, as you'll find it difficult to steer your vehicle to the right direction. Making sudden turns and switching lanes will also be next to impossible when you have a bad ball joint. Observe the handling of your car and watch out for loose or tight steering. Replace the worn-out ball joint immediately to restore your vehicle's steering performance.
Uneven tire wear is also a common warning sign of damaged ball joints. Since the suspension and the wheels are not aligned properly when your car's rolling on the road, the edges or the center of your tires will not wear evenly. Do a thorough inspection of each of your tires and check for abnormal wear. It would be best to replace damaged ball joints right away in order to preserve your tires' good condition.