2008 Ford Escape Hybrid - Ball joint issue

Excessive play in the front ball joints.

My crystal ball says… you should replace them. :rofl:


Agree before you drive it to the scene of the accident. :upside_down_face:


The front wheel’s aren’t bolted to the car’s chassis. Instead they are attached by a heavy duty spring, and held in the correct orientation by control arms, tie rods, struts, and ball joints. The ball joints are part of what allows the front wheels to change the direction they point to effect a turn. This rotation requires one part of the ball joint rub against the other part, so they eventually wear out, play develops, and they have to be replaced to keep the car safe to drive. The ball joints on my 50 year old truck are original and no excessive play yet, just checked the other evening, so it is possible at least in theory for them to last a long time. High speed turning, going over bumps while turning, pretty much all forms of aggressive driving increase ball joint wear rate. Car’s w/higher center of gravity also may stress ball joints a little more. So driving slower, generally taking it easy on the car, is another way to prolong their life. Ball joint replacement one of the more common jobs at a shop, considered replaceable parts, designed that way, ball joint replacement done all the time.

For a 2008 Escape, I’m seeing about $300 for the parts and 1.5 hours labor to replace the lower control arms and ball joints on both sides; i.e. not overly expensive. A front wheel alignment is required as part of the job, cost for that is extra.