Any driver knows that staggering cost that can apply to car repair. Especially when you are facing a complicated system failure or equipment breakage, you could be dealing with costs that will make a major dent in your budget. Unfortunately, maintenance and repairs are something that just goes along with operating a vehicle. The parts of a car are not created to last forever, and will occasionally necessitate replacement. One of the most common repairs done to cars, particularly older models or those that see heavy use, is the replacement of ball joints. Ball joints replacement cost vary depending on the model of car, and whether you choose to bring it to a professional, or to perform the repair yourself.
Professional Ball Joints Replacement Cost
Generally, when you have to get ball joints replaced, it is all of those that are associated with the front or back of your vehicle. There are two ball joints per wheel, meaning that if you need to have your ball joints replaced you will probably need to have four replaced at the same time.
The average ball joints replacement cost charged by a professional mechanic is between $500 and $1,100. This fluctuates depending on the make and model of the vehicle, as well as its age and condition. The cost for replacing your ball joints is so high because unlike some systems of the car, ball joints are not as easily accessible and can require a long time just to remove.
Much of the cost of having a professional mechanic replace your ball joints is the labor involved. If you drive a luxury car, or one that is not in good condition, you can expect to pay higher labor fees because of the difficulty. While some regular maintenance and repairs take only minutes, replacing your ball joints takes even seasoned mechanics upwards of three hours to perform. Much of this time is taken up accessing the ball joints and removing the old ones.
Do-it-Yourself Ball Joints Replacement Cost
One way to save on routine car maintenance and more complicated repairs is to do them yourself. You won’t have to pay for labor, so all you will be required to pay is the cost of the parts and tools. The average cost of replacing your ball joints yourself is around $30 to $80 per ball joint that must be replaced. For the usual four-joint job, that will equal between $125 and $320. Luxury car parts carry higher price tags, as will those ball joints that are one piece with their control arm. If your car is one of those that have the ball joint and control arm combination, you will have to purchase a complete part kit that will run around $500.
Saving money isn’t as important as making sure that your car is safe, so if you don’t know what you are doing, it is not recommended that you attempt to replace your ball joints by yourself.
Like many car repairs, replacing your ball joints may reveal the need for other work. Ball joints have an important role in stabilizing your tires, and when they stop working correctly a tremendous amount of strain is placed on the wheels. This makes it very common for cars undergoing ball joint replacements to also need wheel alignment. If you do not get wheels aligned when they need to, it can be exceptionally dangerous. Consult your mechanic, or evaluate your car’s specific settings to determine whether this repair is needed. If you do need to have your wheel’s aligned after replacing your ball joints you can expect to pay around $100.
There are ways that you can save money on this repair if you are not prepared to replace the ball joints on your own. Do some research into the mechanics in your area and find out how labor costs are determined. While some charge based on the estimated length of time required to make the repair, others use only the actual amount of time it takes. Find out, also, if you are permitted to purchase your own parts. Many mechanics prefer to purchase needed parts through their own sources, some will allow you to purchase them yourself. Doing this may also allow you to find an independent mechanic that would be willing to reduce the ball joints replacement cost by performing the repair independent of a shop.