Worn Ball Joints Tech Tips

If your car makes noises while turning, it is a sign of a worn ball joint. Ball joints can be worn out if not lubricated properly or if they are in prolonged use. Worn ball joints should be replaced. 

Ball joint push out test

Measures the force required to push out / remove the ball-pin from the housing. It is an important safety check to ensure the part can withstand forces applied to the vehicle suspension system in real road conditions. If the force required to push the ball-pin out from its housing is below OE requirements, there is a risk the joint could fail. Delphi performed within the one percent tolerance required.



Ball joint pull out test

Measures the force required to pull the ball-pin out from the housing. If the force required to remove the ball-pin is below the OE spec, there is a risk the joint could fail during normal driving conditions, causing the vehicle to lose directional control since the wheel hub would no longer be anchored to the suspension arm. Delphi performed within one percent required of the OE specs.

Rotational test

The rotational test measures the force required to rotate the ball-pin within the housing and validates the smooth movement of the steering joint. The break-away test measures the force required to move the ball-pin when the steering wheel turns. Delphi matched the OE part in both torque tests. The competitors ranged from below the accepted range to four times the torque required. With higher torque values than the OE, steering could be stiff and difficult to self center after turning, rendering the vehicle unpredictable. If lower than the OE, the steering could feel loose and unstable.


Ball-pin angular movement test

If the ball-pin angular movement is lower than the OE specification it could restrict the movement of the steering or the suspension, causing excessive stress on other system components and leading to premature failure of the parts. In this test, Delphi matched the OE specifications.