Ball Joints

1997 Ford Explorer 4WD; 135 K. Had a rattle, then gone, noticed slight sway in ride. Replaced shocks. Found broken sway bar strut. Replaced it. Rides great.

My wife took the vehicle to repair shop, and was told that the ball joints need replacement.

The tires have 35,000 and are due for replacement - have uniform inside wear. Wheels are tight, no play; steering wheel tight without play; vehicle tracks perfectly well.

Aside for uneven wear on tires, not much going for worn ball joints. Do they need replacement?

Very likely. If they are worn and you can’t check them, you have to take the word of the people who do. There are other mechanics out there who have second opinions.