The Best Repair Shop in Los Angeles for Fixing a BMW 3 Series Ball Joint Failure
As the proud owner of a BMW, you want to ensure your vehicle stays up to date with maintenance and service to extend its longevity. BMW parts can be expensive to fix, especially when problems go undetected for a length of time.
Ball joint breakage can occur with wear-and-tear and will cause serious repercussions if not dealt with immediately. Let’s talk about the purpose of a ball joint, symptoms of ball joint failure, causes of ball joint failure, and what to do when experiencing issues with your BMW’s ball joints.
What is the purpose of a ball joint?
Ball joints are the pivot between the wheels and the suspension, allowing a limited range of movement in all directions. A single ball joint allows for movement in two planes at the same time, while two ball joints with control arms enable motion in three planes. All of this enables the front end of your vehicle to be steered.
Two kinds of ball joints exist: load-carrying and follower types. Load-carrying ball joints support the weight of the vehicle while providing a pivot point for the steering system. Follower ball joints maintain exact dimensional tolerances as well as offering a pivot point for the steering system. Each type of ball joint has a different wear and failure rate. Typically, load-carrying ball joints usually fail first.
Common Symptoms of Ball Joint Failure
- Expedited Tire Wear: Worn ball joints can cause the wheels to move in any type of direction from the force of inertia. This causes the wheels to stay in the same position until the force pushes them in another direction. This can reduce the lifespan of your car’s tires and cause expedited tire wear. If you notice your tires wearing down unusually quicker than normal, take it as a sign to have your ball joints examined for damage.
- Suspension Damage: Your vehicle’s ball joints can lock up. When this happens, the motion that it would normally absorb does not go away, having adverse effects on your car’s performance. This causes the motion to be transferred to another component not meant to absorb the motion, which usually ends up being the suspension control arm bushings.
- Inspection Test Failure: Some states require inspection tests as part of road safety standards. If you’re dealing with worn ball joints, your vehicle will fail this test. Taking your car in for routine maintenance and service can prevent ball joint issues from occurring.
- Poor Steering Wheel Balance: Worn out or damaged ball joints can cause poor steering wheel balance and subsequently, cause car accidents. Ball joints can detach from the sockets, and any breakage or damage means the wheel of your car can move in any direction, inhibiting you from having control over your vehicle and risking your safety as well as the safety of other drivers on the road. If you’re unable to steer your vehicle, pull over immediately and have your car towed to your trusted BMW repair center.
Common Causes of Ball Joint Failure
- Wear and Tear: Ball joints are susceptible to wear and tear, as all car parts. Staying on top of maintenance and keeping ball joints properly lubricated can help extend their lifespan. Rough roads, potholes, and curbs all contribute to ball joint wear and tear.
- Damaged Seals: Seals can dry out and crack as they age. A damaged seal cannot keep oil in and dirt and debris Ball joints must stay lubricated to avoid breaking, and if the seal is cracking, it cannot contain the oil needed to lubricate the ball joint. Dirt and debris can also damage the ball joint.
- The Environment: On hot days, the oil that keeps the ball joint lubricated can dry up. Humid and rainy days can cause the steel to be damaged, and ball joints can break.
Complete Automotive Systems Can Help
If you suspect ball joint failure with your BMW M3, Complete Automotive Systems is here to help. We serve the Beverly Hills, Culver City, Brentwood and Santa Monica California areas and can repair your ball joints and get your BMW back to optimal performance in no time. Give us a call to set up your appointment today.