As cars get older, parts wear out and need replacing. When it comes to the front suspension, a common part to wear out over time is the ball joint on the upper and lower control arms. The ball joint connects your upper and lower control arm to the spindle, and it pivots, allowing the spindle to travel up and down with the suspension. Troubleshooting the ball joints on your Honda Accord isn't difficult; it just takes some visual inspections and a little bit of help.
Things You'll Need
- Jack stands
- Tire iron
Have an assistant push down on the fender where the ball joint is located while you shine a flashlight into the fender well onto the ball joint. A ball joint should only go forward toward the engine and outward toward the fender, so if you notice any side-to-side movement or see the ball joint stopping short when it should continue, then it must be replaced.
Lift up the front of the Accord using the jack, and secure the car on jack stands. Make sure the vehicle is secure on the jack stands before you crawl underneath it. Remove the front wheels using the tire iron, and place them to the side.
Hold the spindle with your hands, and push in and out on the spindle without lifting the suspension up or down. If the ball joint is bad, you may hear a clicking sound when you do this, indicting that the ball joint hasn't been greased in a while and must be replaced. Also, pull and push the spindle in and out of the fender well, listening for any clicking sounds or movement. The ball joint should not allow movement in and out; if it does, it must be replaced.
Visually inspect the ball joint boot that goes around the ball joint. If it's torn or damaged, you must at least buy a new boot for the ball joint. This boot holds the grease that lubricates the ball joint; so if it cracks, there will be grease around the joint and it may cause damage. Also check to see if the top of the ball joint is flush with the control arm. Honda ball joints tend to pop out of the control arm, causing alignment issues. If this happens to you, replace the ball joint and potentially the control arm.
Reinstall the tires using the tire iron, and place your Honda back on the floor with the jack.
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