Jeep Wranglers are awesome. This is a fact, and one that hasn’t been contested since the model was conceived. But like everything in life, there are exceptions — and ball joints are one of them. They tend to fail at the worst possible time, and you’ll find it’s usually the front ones that break. So what happens when they break? And how much does it cost to repair a broken Jeep Wrangler Ball Joint?
What are Ball Joints?
Ball joints are a part of your car’s suspension system that connects the steering knuckles to the control arms. The ball joint is a small spherical bearing that allows the control arm to move as the suspension travels up and down.
Ball joints are critical to your vehicle’s handling and safety. If they wear out, your tires will wear unevenly and you may experience shimmy, vibration, or clunking noises. Additionally, loose ball joints can cause a loss of control when driving on bumpy roads or swerving to avoid an accident.
How much does it cost to replace ball joints on a Jeep Wrangler?
It depends on the year of your Jeep Wrangler and whether you are replacing just one or both sides. Most shops will charge $180-$250 per side to replace both upper and lower ball joints, but this price can go up or down depending on your location and the difficulty in getting to them.
The most common complaint about replacement is that it takes too long. Some shops may charge extra for labor if they need more than an hour to complete the job.
How many ball joints on a Jeep Wrangler
There are a total of 4 ball joints on a Jeep Wrangler, 2 per front wheel. The upper ball joint can be replaced by pressing down on the control arm to give you enough room to remove the old one. The lower ball joints are located at the bottom of the front axle and are held in place by two bolts each.
They can be removed with a breaker bar or impact gun. If you have an air compressor handy, you can also use compressed air to break them free before removing them with hand tools.
How long do Ball Joints last Jeep Wrangler?
The ball joints on your Jeep Wrangler are expected to last for 100,000 miles or more, but that doesn’t mean they can’t wear out early. If you use your Jeep Wrangler off-road, it’s possible for water and mud to get inside them and cause them to rust prematurely. Living in a cold climate also takes its toll on them because metal contracts with low temperatures and expands when warmed up again.
How do you know if your ball joints are bad on a Jeep Wrangler?
If your Wrangler is making clunking noises, it may be that you need to replace your ball joints. Here’s how to tell if they’re bad. If the front tires on your Jeep Wrangler are showing uneven wear, there could be a problem with your ball joints.
Ball joints are an essential part of how your Jeep handles, and if they are bad, you may notice a number of symptoms. Bad ball joints can cause a host of problems for your vehicle, and in extreme cases, they can even cause drivers to lose control of their cars. If you notice any of the following symptoms, have a mechanic take a look at your ball joints as soon as possible.
Can I replace a ball joint myself?
Yes, it is possible to replace a ball joint yourself, but unless you have the right tools (a large press), doing it yourself can be a risky proposition. In most cases, the ball joints are pressed into place with a large press.
This can be quite dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. If a ball joint isn’t pressed incorrectly, it could break and cause serious damage to your vehicle. This is why we recommend having your ball joints replaced by a professional mechanic.
Even if you do have a large press and the right tools, repairing your own car means there’s no guarantee of quality work — something that could ultimately cost you more money in the long run.
Because ball joints are one of the most vital pieces of your Jeep, you should know whether or not you need to replace them. You can test it for yourself by moving the steering wheel from left to right and looking for “play” in the wheels. If so, you should replace them because they deteriorate over time when exposed to various dirt and road conditions.