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Cause for left ball joint break

Hi, I replaced all the 4 tires of my Honda CRV on 5/30. 2 weeks following that I started hearing light sounds whenever I slowed my car. The frequency and severity of the sound increased in the next few weeks. On 7/16 I showed it to my mechanic who could not detect the problem. 3 days later the axle broke as I was taking the ramp from the highway. The mechanic tells me that the left front axle ball joint was broken. Also, the right front is also loose. Could this be related to the tire change and if so how?

You don’t touch the ball joint at all when changing the tire.

Four tires is the correct replacement for an AWD vehicle.

You haven’t told us the year or mileage of your CR-V, so it’s hard to say what might be wrong.

Were the tires you bought the correct size? Same as the originals? Just asking.

This is a 2000 CRV with a mileage of 120K. The tires were replaced at a COSTCO. These were Michelin tire of the correct size.

Could the poster be referring to CV joints?

I would like to make an additional comment. In February of this year I skid on ice and hit a speed pole. This resulted in body damage on the front passenger side. I am not sure if this could have impacted the axle ball joint?
Appreciate your answers!

“Could the poster be referring to CV joints?”

Based on what has been presented, it is beginning to look to me like the OP is actually referring to CV joints, rather than ball joints, but…Quien Sabe?

Ball joints or CV joints, the tire change has nothing to do with the problem.
Since it appears the problem is related to the halfshafts, what I don’t get is why your mechanic could not detect CV joints this bad even if the axle boots were not cracked. (cracked boots allow grease to leave and dirt/water to enter)

And yes, it is possible for a hard impact to damage the CV joints. The inner races (surface the CV joint balls ride on) are very hard material and a hard impact can crack the race. When this happens the joint can fail very quickly.

Symptoms aren’t really usual for either ball or Constant Velocity joints but I think it really is ball joints because “loose” is a term that makes a lot more sense for a ball joint. How would one diagnose a “loose” CV joint?

I can sort of envision a broken ball joint allowing the steering knuckle to swing far enough out of position to rip a CV joint apart and thus “break” the axle.

Anyway, I think we should point out to the acharyme that both ball and CV joints are wear items and having either fail at 120K miles is not unlikely. Replacing them is part of the $1000 or so a year maintenance cost that needs to be budgeted for an elderly car.

No, it’s not related to the new tires. Almost certainly coincidence.

Fortunately, none of the parts involved in fixing this will be all that expensive, but there will be a lot of labor. If the struts have never been replaced, this might be a good time to do so while the front end is already largely disassembled.