"Dear Car Talk" column: Ball Joint Replacement on Mazda 6

Today’s column, the reader has a Mazda 6 with questionable lower ball joints. Ray says to replace the ball joints you have to replace the entire control arm. It’s not possible to purchase only the ball joint.

Just curious, need a little Car Talk 101 education. Is this a common thing on newer cars? I’ve never replaced a ball joint, but I thought they were usually removable from the control arm, sort of bolted to the end of the control arm. So in most cases you could replace the ball joint and keep the same control arm. Like in this photo below. That triangular shaped thing at the bottom is the control arm, right? And above it, the rod-shaped thing is the tie rod end, right?


Is that a picture of a Mazda6? The ones that I can find online look like this:

They don’t appear to be replaceable ball joints.

A lot are one-piece.

I don’t know what kind of car that is in my photo. Thanks, from the photo @missileman posted, now I can see why Ray said the Mazda’s design requires the control arm has to be replaced too.

I had to replace the control arms on my G6. They’re a cast piece though with the joint integral to it.