Troubleshooting a Worn Mazda Miata Ball Joint
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.
Steering and handling problems
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.
Easy Ways to Keep your Mazda Miata Ball Joint in Tiptop Shape
Keeping your Mazda Miata ball joint in good working condition will help lengthen its service life and avoid problems like loose steering or sloppy handling. Bad ball joints can make it difficult for you to steer your Miata properly, preventing you from making sharp turns and switching lanes when needed. This can greatly jeopardize your safety, so make it a point to regularly check on the condition of your vehicle's ball joints to avoid unfortunate accidents on the road. Follow the maintenance tips we've listed below to keep your Mazda Miata ball joint working in optimum condition.
- Watch out for clicking noises.Complete ball joint failure can be prevented as long as you pay attention to early warning signs and symptoms of damage. A worn ball joint will perform poorly, and you'll start to hear clicking noises as its condition deteriorates. These sounds can be heard in the steering wheel, and they tend to get louder as time passes. If you don't take out the bad ball joint right away, the small clicking noise will eventually turn into loud clunks and thumps. These sounds can be extremely annoying and can also be very hard to ignore, especially when you're driving over rough roads filled with potholes and bumps. Inspect the ball joints for signs of damage once you start to hear clicking noises. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You'll save up on expensive repair costs in the long run if you'll address your ball joint problem right away.
- Regularly lubricate the ball joints.Lubricating the ball joints regularly can greatly help reduce friction and minimize wear. Proper lubrication can also extend the lifespan of the ball joints, so you don't have to replace them every so often. If the ball joints in your Mazda Miata come with maintenance-free seal and lubrication, then you don't need to grease them anymore when doing routine maintenance. Usually, this type of ball joint is non-serviceable, as its seal and lubrication will last for the entire duration of its projected lifespan. Just make sure the seal won't get damaged and the lubrication won't leak out to prevent contaminants from entering and damaging the ball joints.