The 3 Series model of the BMW has been known for its high-quality performance standards for decades. However, those standards require a lot of regular maintenance to be upheld and to meet your expectations. All parts of your vehicle require maintenance and repairs, no matter what you drive. The same is true for these. Ball joint failure is a common problem you may run into with a BMW, which can be frustrating. However, we will go over what a ball joint is, what it does, warning signs of failure, why it happens, as well as three things you can do to fix the problem.
What is a ball joint?
A ball joint is a part of the car’s suspension system. It connects the steering knuckle to the control arms to absorb the impact of bumps you may run over and give you a smooth ride. It gives you better control of your BMW while driving, too. That being said, the consequences of neglecting issues with the joint when they arise can be dangerous.
Warning Signs of Ball Joint Failure
Since the ball joint is vital to the function of your vehicle, you need to be able to spot the signs of failure before the problem adversely affects your BMW and before driving turns potentially deadly.
- Clunking noises may be heard coming from the front of your vehicle.
- The BMW will drift left and right while you are driving, regardless of how you turn the wheel. This could send you into another lane and cause a crash if you are not careful.
- Vibrations can be felt coming from the front of your car. They will be distinct and different from the regular barely noticeable sensation when you are driving in a perfectly functioning vehicle.
Why Ball Joints Fail
The reasons why a ball joint may fail can be simple and easy to fix or they can be more complicated and require extra work. Here are the things that could be behind the odd symptoms and erratic behavior of your BMW:
- Normal wear and tear from time spent driving could cause the wearing of the ball joint. You run into impacts from speed bumps or potholes every time you drive, so this makes complete sense. It is a relatively easy fix, so don’t worry too much.
- The grease that lubricates the ball joint and helps it move could be contaminated with debris and other gunk. This prevents the joint from moving as smoothly as it should, causing a rougher ride.
- An oil leak due to a broken seal will eventually dry the ball joint out. Without lubrication, the joint can’t move and will break down.
Three Ways You Can Fix the Problem
If your BMW’s ball joint is acting up, you need to fix the issue as soon as possible. If you don’t, you may find yourself in a wreck or without a ride to work, but don’t sweat it. There are a few things you can do to combat this problem now and in the future:
- Have the ball joint inspected, diagnosed, and replaced by a qualified mechanic. Remember, your vehicle is more delicate than domestic brands, so you need the best of the best to get it right the first time.
- Clean and change the oil regularly to avoid the buildup of nasty contaminants that may wear down and stop your ball joint from working.
- Get regular preventative maintenance and inspections done by a professional. This will prevent any problem that your untrained eye may not catch from being neglected until the issue becomes far more serious and expensive.
Where to Go to Replace a Ball Joint
You know that a foreign vehicle like yours needs more qualified and trained mechanics working on it than the usual guy. You need a specialist who will fix your BMW up right the first time and save you some trouble later.
That is why you should come and see us at Hayes European. We have been in business for nearly 25 years, and some of our technicians have experience for years predating that. You are in great hands when you trust us.
If you are near the Santa Cruz, Aptos, Soquel, or Capitola areas of California, bring your BMW in for repairs today. We guarantee that you will be coming to us for any future issue you may experience.