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Toyota Pickup Ball Joint

Diagnosing a Bad Toyota Pickup Ball Joint

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.

Flat rubber boots

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.

Squeaking noises

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.

High dial indicator reading

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.

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  • Taking Good Care of the Toyota Pickup Ball Joint

    Basically, the ball joint is a very important part of the steering mechanism as it makes it easier for every driver to man the wheel. Its role is to connect the steering wheel to the tires to allow it to pivot and turn whenever you want to. However, just like any other part, this also gets worn especially if proper upkeep is not done. To avoid any hassles, here are some maintenance tips for you so that you can take good care of the Toyota Pickup ball joint.

    Regularly inspect the ball joint.

    As much as possible, you must check on the ball joint regularly. It's not a good idea to just wait for it to get completely worn out before you inspect it. If you keep driving your vehicle with a damaged ball joint, it can greatly jeopardize the performance of the car.

    Lubricate it when needed.

    It's important to lubricate the ball joint regularly so that it won't get all dried up and difficult to control the steering wheel. This is also an important maintenance tip that you should bear in mind. A suggestion would be lubricating it once a year or whenever you feel that it's needed. Take note that small ball joints don't necessarily need to be greased. These kinds are sealed, which allow them to keep their fluidity without the need for re-lubrication.

    Replace the ball joint when needed.

    Driving with a bad ball joint can be extremely dangerous as it can affect your driving and performance. It will also jeopardize the vehicle if you continue to use it with busted joints. So, if you discover that they have completely worn out, that they cannot be restored by just lubricating them again, have them replaced right away to ensure safe trips all the time.

    Visit an auto shop.

    The last option would be to visit an auto shop and have a professional mechanic inspect the vehicle. This way, you'll be able to get expert opinion on the condition of the ball joint and get further tips and tricks on how to take good care of it.