I caused a major backup

I have 1994 Honda Civic that has spent it’s entire life on the streets of Chicago. If you’ve been to Chicago in the winter you know that they cover the strets in salt. The last time I was under the car changing the oil I thought “boy it’s rusty down here” of coarse I didn’t do anything about it. Well a couple weeks ago I was on the Highway doing 60 or so and my ball joint broke. Needless to say it was a spectacular crack and my axel also broke. I cause a major backup on the highway. I had both ball joints and the axel replaced but now I’m wondering what else I should replace. I obviously don’t want any more experiences like that!

I suspect you might want to consider replacing the entire car…

Shop the Phoenix / Houston car market, find what you want, fly down and drive your new to you rust-free car home…

The salt on the road isn’t what caused your balljoint to fail. Consider replacing the other one. Other than that, only a careful inspection will tell what else might need to be replaced.

I would inspect your brake lines. Be ready to replace your gas tank soon too.

What do you think did cause the balljoint to fail?

15 years of driving on the streets of Chicago, with and without salt, is what caused your failure.

With a rusty car you should start the engine and then stand on the brake pedal with all of your strength. Do this at least once per year, just before salt season is a good time. You do want to know if the lines are rusted and will burst during a panic stop. Learning this is much safer in your driveway at home so push hard!

As disturbing as it may be to consider, your 15 year old car is wearing out. Parts like ball joints can be replaced, and even brake lines, but rust is pretty terminal. They call it cancer for a reason. There’s no chemo for old cars because they are not worth it. They can become quite unsafe without giving you fair warning.

Have the mechanic you trust tell you the truth. If the car is rusting out, it’s time to take the sage advice of Caddyman, and shop for new, used wheels in the dry Southwest, or take advantage of the market and buy a new and economical car.

Isn’t possible that 15 years of driving in a city full of pot holes and RR crossings is what caused the ball joint to fail?