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Checking balljoints

I was wondering how do check balljoints on a 1994 chevy cavaliar . there is a clunking from the front end when going over bumps and more noticeable when turning and going over bumbs turning. Car has 217000 miles on it .It seems to be much louder than a bad strut sound i think.

I know on S-10 pickups, you can check the front lower joints visually. There’s a small grease fitting that sticks out from under the joint, and it will recede into the joint opening if the joint is worn out.

Even if it’s a balljoint or four making this noise, it’s possible they may need nothing more than a fresh load of grease. However, these things are a safety hazard if they should separate, so get it to a shop and let them put it up on a lift.

Place a floor jack under the lower control arm of the ball joint to be inspected, and raise the vehicle until the tire is 4"-5" off the ground. Place the end of a long pry bar or 2X4 under the tire. While observing the ball joint, have someone pry up on the tire and then let it down. If the ball joint is worn you’ll see it move up and down in it’s socket.


Other than the good advice you’ve been given I will only point out that if you have a faulty ball joint on one side then you should replace both sides since the car has 217k miles on it. One often follows the other and a ball joint is probably the most critical part on the suspension when it comes to safety.