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Old 02-01-2013, 04:28 AM
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Default Ball joints, 98 Civic

Long story short, I bought my 98 hatch off a kid about a month ago. The interior was dirty as hell and I had a voucher off dealfind for a free cleaning and oil change. When I picked up the car they said the ball joints were toast and needed to be replaced. They then tried to tell me it would take 4 hours labour to replace them which is crap, but when I had my friend (licensed mech) look at it, he said they were fine.

Now there seems to be a bit of a discrepancy as to whether the car should be free of load or under load when checking the ball joints.

Anyone know which is right?
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:40 AM
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Mine squeak when under load and turning, I checked them and the front driver side boot is busted. Any noise coming from them?
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:37 AM
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No noise whatsoever. I was told that when the ball joints are done they are quite noisy. But mine makes no noise.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:51 AM
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What difference are you seeing in the joint under load and not under load? IMHO there shouldn't be any lateral play in the joint in either case
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:39 PM
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The issue is that I have one shop telling me they are done (checked it free of load and want to charge me $600 to replace them) and one shop telling me there's nothing wrong with them at all (checked it under load and was going to do it for $170). Does it make a difference in terms of how you check it? Or was the first shop trying to make some quick money?
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:45 PM
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Unless you think your friend wants to kill you, I think he's probably a better reference than some quick lube place you visit with a coupon.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:41 AM
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Okay thanks
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:12 PM
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I agree with the logic about a quick lube place with a coupon. Those places are so slimy. I would check my oil level if I was you. They use the cheapest, crappiest oil they can buy.

I've seen completely obliterated ball joints. As the name suggests, it's a ball in socket. The ball needs lube in the socket. If the lube has been dried up, or whatever, it will become very noisy and very loose and sloppy. I pulled one off of a pickup truck and it was like a wet noodle, when the replacement ball joint was stiff and secure. I could also pull the ball straight up and down about a half inch

If your steering and front end suspension is really sloppy, then you might want to give you ball joints a look. $600 is completely outrageous. $170 is reasonable. It's an easy job.
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