My right upper ball joint on my 1995 Honda Accord Wagon is squeaking loudly. How long can I go before I have to replace it, especially when winter averages in the teens. I drive 250 miles a month in a small town. Can squeak when I go around turns, over bumps.
It could last for a few more weeks, or it could snap tomorrow, and–unfortunately–nobody can predict the exact date when it will fail.
How much of a gambler are you?
Do you have adequate life insurance for your dependents?
Take it to a shop and have the ball joint inspected. If the joint isn’t worn out have the shop grease the ball joint with a needle greaser.
They’ll know what that is.
How sure are you that the ball joint is the part that is squeaking?
If a customer came in with a squeaking ball joint, I would not do what you propose. I’m almost certain OP’s car does not have ball joints with zerks
And in my book, squeaking ball joints are screaming to be replaced
In my opinion, there is just too much liability involved. Best to just replace the ball joint (control arm in this case, I believe) . . . or decline the job, explain why, and don’t charge the customer. Just so there are no hurt feelings. If you don’t charge the customer, the customer probably doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on, if that squealing ball joint breaks next week. And the shop should make sure to document everything carefully, in case the ball joint does break in the near future
“Can squeak when I go around turns, over bumps.”
Are you absolutely certain the sway bar bushings aren’t the noise?
I’ve greased squeaky ball joints for years as long as they weren’t worn with my needle greaser.
And you’re right, OEM ball joints don’t come with grease fittings. So when they start squeaking there’s no way to add grease. So that’s why they’re usually replaced.
Let me ask you this question. If you found a squeaky ball joint that wasn’t worn and it had a grease fitting, would you grease it or replace it?
When most of my maintenance work was from fleets I inspected the suspension when doing PMs and if the ball joint had no zerk fitting and the boots were collapsed from lack of grease I used the needle to grease them. There were never any problems with worn out ball joints on those vehicles which accumulated many hundreds of thousands of miles.
Occasionally a squeeking suspension would show up and if the ball joint boots were collapsed I greased them with a needle and sometimes that corrected the problem. Of course if there was play in a ball joint it would be replaced.
And fwiw, baby powder often cured squeeks in rubber suspension bushings.