99 Taurus steering noise - Thanks for any help!

I?ve had my 99 Taurus for 3+ years now and it makes a creaking noise when I turn (hear it mostly when going very slow). I brought it to my trusted mechanic who told me older Taurus? make such noises and I have no reason to worry and greased up the ball joints for me (so I remember it going 2 years back). So for years I didn?t worry ? had him check it once again, no problem.

No problem - until last week when I went to get my annual inspection (I live in MA) and I failed because of a ?loose front end.? Now I begged and pleaded with the guy telling him my mechanic has tested it out several times, but there was a line of people waiting and he could care.

I am a poor college student and really don?t want to get new ball joints/tie rods if I don?t have to. Can my mechanic just grease it up again or tighten something up to get me through my inspection (unfortunately my mechanic doesn?t do inspections) or will I need to get the work done? Should I try a less strict inspection shop or now that my car has the ?R? for rejection red flag will I have a harder time? How much does such work usually go for? Thanks for any and all advice.

If the front end parts are worn you have no option but to replace them. Worn front end parts are a safety issue, which is why the car failed inspection. Fix it or walk.