CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Botched strut install broke ball joint?

I recently had my front struts replaced on 1996 Oldsmobile ninety-eight. Immediately after this, I noticed an odd sound and shaking coming from the front left tire. I brought it back to the mechanic who test drove it and said the front two tires were lopsided and should be replaced. The next day while driving to the mechanic from work to get the tires installed, the noise/vibration from the front end got worse and worse and the steeringwheel started shaking. I had to get it towed when my front left tire snapped sideways. I am told it is probably a bad balljoint. My mechanic says it’s a good idea to have all the balljoints replaced if they are doing one. This is a new mechanic to me and I am suspicious an error in their strut installation caused the problem, as it seemed to happen immediately after having the work done, and was not there beforehand. Is something shady about this or am I just very unlucky? Thanks for any thoughts.

A ball joint is a pretty stout part, so highly doubt any damage was done to it during the strut replacement. However, if the ball joint failed shortly after this repair, it was worn to the point that it should have been noticed while doing the strut replacement. Why this wasn’t caught is beyond me.

Tester