The ball joint works similar to a person's shoulder joint. This is the pivot between the suspension and the wheels of a car. Even though this is a small part, it plays a very important role when it comes to the safety of every trip. Just like most parts, it's inevitable for the ball joint to wear out, especially if it's been used for a long time or hasn't been replaced. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you diagnose a bad Toyota Pickup ball joint.
With your car parked with the emergency brake engaged, lift the hood and look for the negative battery cable and disconnect it. Take a good look at the rubber boots on the lower and upper ball joints, which can be found underneath the car. If you discover that they're flat or collapsed, then it's an indication that they don't have enough grease. This will require you to get replacement ball joints.
Drive around a neighborhood with speed bumps and listen intently to the noise coming from your car. If you hear clicking, squeaking, or clunking noises, then it definitely means that the ball joint is going south. You can also vary your speed and turn the wheel while your automobile goes up on the peak of the speed bump. You can also do different techniques such as rolling over the bump in different angles and turning the wheel back and forth. If you hear metal-to-metal noises coming from the front end of the suspension, it means that the ball joints are dry or damaged.
Raise your car from the floor and place the jack underneath the control arm. Basically, all you have to make sure is that the wheel is not touching the ground. Adjust the dial indicator and dial arm to rest at the wheel rim. Grab the wheel and rock it in and out to be able to see the dial indicator reading for the horizontal movement of the ball joint. Take note that it should not exceed 3.18 millimeters. If it's higher than that, you'll surely have to get the ball joint replaced.