Ball joints

Can I, as a weekend do it your-selfer, safely change out the lower ball joint on vehicle listed below? Is this usually done by replacing with a loaded lower control arm? This is not my car so I am not sure I will be dealing with a coil spring between the upper lower control arms, if so I don’t want to do the job for fear of injury in case the spring gets away from me.

Let the car’s owner take it to a garage. They’ll have the knowledge and special tooling necessary to safely change out the ball joint, and they’ll be able to do the necessary alignment on the vehicle at the same time.

You cannot complete this job without an alignment machine anyway, so why do half of it?

I don’t see any vehicle listed below.

I didn’t either. But whatever the vehicle, my thoughts would be the same.

Drop down menus for Make & Model were apparently added to the dialog boxes for asking a question. (I just looked).

If seems apparent, however, that it isn’t working.

I’m thinking that make & model (and year) could make a difference in terms of what I would say.

So, cmatthies, the make/model function on this site is not yet working. Provide that info (including year), but you also need to say some more about your own level of experience and tool access - including tools for safe list & support of the vehicle.

If you go plug the car’s info into Autozone’s website, you should be able to get a basic step by step.

I see it now, its on the right side of the page under tags. Pontiac G6. I agree with the same mountainbike.

Thanks for your response cigroller and all others. You are right on…I went to Autozone website and did get step by step outline to replace the right lower control arm with ball joint. One step is to replace the right engine mount. I hope this doesn’t get too involved!
This is a 2008 Pontiac G6, 6 cylinder with only 48000 miles.
I have done work on my cars in the past but with the help of a mechanic. I have access to a garage with a lift, compressor and tools. I’ll be doing this job on my own and my biggest fear was whether or not I had to deal with a coil spring. I can see now that I won’t as per sketch I got from the Autozone website.

According to my book, the ball joints on the G6 are not serviceable so you have to replace the whole control arm as a unit. Also on the V6, you have do remove either the trans mount or the engine mount depending on what side you are working on. Then the alignment needs to be checked after that. Normally ball joints are a DIY project but on this the labor would be small and the part high and probably just not worth fooling with.

An '08 with only 48k miles is a pretty young age at which to replace ball joints. Are you sure the ball joints are bad and what are the symptoms that led to this diagnosis?

If you live in a Rust Belt state, the car has seen some trips into deep rainwater runoff, and so on I could possibly see ball joints failing prematurely.

I’m not sure if they are bad…there are no symptoms. The garage that did the annual inspection is owned and operated by AAA. They passed the inspection but advised that sometime down the road have the right one replaced. Total charged is $460 includes $87 for four wheel alignment.

I’d get another opinion.

The garage that did the annual inspection is owned and operated by AAA.

AAA owns garages??? That’s news to me.

Many garages buy into the AAA service so they can get the AAA referrals. They also probably have to meet a certain standard AAA sets. But as far as I know AAA doesn’t OWN any garages.

And just because it’s AAA…doesn’t mean they aren’t crooks.

Count my vote as getting another opinion, or maybe two more. Do this without saying anything about what you were told about the ball joints just to see if you get a unanimous decision.

It’s possible to have a bad ball joint with no symptoms if the joint is not badly worn but the usual symptoms of a bad ball joint are noise (knock or rattle), irregular tire wear, a car that wanders a bit while traveling down the road, etc.

Below is a quote copied from AAA website:

Car Care Plus is a full service repair and maintenance facility where members receive honest service and exclusive savings. Plus, we guarantee every repair for 2 years or 24,000 miles, that’s double anywhere else.

They have only been around for about 3 years and are not yet widespread. But they are owned and operated by AAA. You need not be a member to have your vehicle serviced there but you may not be eligible for discounts offered.

Getting another opinion or two is the route I will take. Thank you everyone.

MikeInNH -

Here in SW Ohio, the AAA owns and operates Bob Sumerel Tire locations, which do repair work as well as selling tires. From my experience, they’re actually pretty good at things like suspension repairs, alignments, brakes, etc. Specialized engine work I would leave to other shops or dealers, who often have better prices on that sort of work.

One of the nice benefits of Sumerel’s work is that quite a lot (not every job) is covered with a lifetime parts and labor warranty.