|Honda Ball Joint failure is a common problem|
“I have a 2005 Honda Accord that always gives this problem: The front wheels keep falling off. First the left front wheel fell off while turning left at an intersection. Then the right one fell off while traveling 80km/h on the express. Fortunately for me, there was another driver behind me when it happened, and he flipped on his lights while I struggled to one sloppy area. Just some days ago again, the left front wheel fell off, while I was turning left at a roundabout. My question is, Why Are Honda Accords like this? My mechanics told me it’s a design flaw that causes the weight of the car resting on the lower ball joint at the wheels. Is this really true?”
The above question was asked in a blog post and really showed how frustrated the individual was after a few dangerous experiences. If you drive a Honda or know someone who does, have you also experienced this?
Honda and of course, Toyota are the most popular car brands in Nigeria if not throughout the world. Infact, it’s most likely that the one reading this article right now is a Honda or Toyota vehicle owner.
Honda without doubt has its own premium quality. However, there are issues it brings to its users which can really be annoying. The common one we will be mentioning here is the ball joint. For instance, it can just pull off unexpectedly on highways, roundabouts, or anywhere as accurately described in the rant above.
Generally, there are two factors that can make a car wheels to just fall off.
First is if they're not fixed properly (i.e the lug nuts are not tightened well or they're rather overtightened). This can cause the wheel bolts to break. Second is if the ball joints fail.
If the wheel nuts happen to be intensely overtightened, this stresses and in turn weakens the wheel bolts. One bolt snapping means the pressure is transferred to the others - four doing the work of five. Before you know it, one more bolt snaps and the rest’s failure will be so rapid.
Ball joints are a very crucial suspension component found in nearly all modern automobiles. The front ball joints let the front wheels and suspension move backwards and forwards and also up and down whenever you turn your steering wheel.
Should a ball joint fracture or snap, the wheel immediately becomes totally free to go any direction it feels. This, consequently, can damage the car’s tire, fender and other related suspension components. You, as a driver, however ought to have been noticing a few symptoms because they will surely have been displayed if you were alert enough.
Here are four things to look out for:
1. Abnormal Vibration Coming From the Front of the Vehicle
Worn out ball joints become insecure in their sockets and shake vigorously as the vehicle is in motion. This vibration normally comes from the worn out ball joint, either from the left side or right of the vehicle. Sometimes, you will also feel this shaking through your steering wheel.
2. Noises From the Front Suspension
Another common sign is the noise you’ll hear coming from the vehicle’s front suspension. These are the loose ball joints rattling and striking each other in the sockets as the suspension goes up and down over the road. These noises become louder with deeper damage of the ball joint or until they finally fail and give out.
3 Steering Wheel Meandering to the Right or Left
Another very obvious sign of damaged ball joints is when the steering starts to meander or wander. The steering wheel normally should move straight if the wheels are in proper alignment and the ball joints are in good condition. Worn out ball joints therefore will make the vehicle steering to be wandering on its own.
4. Uneven Wear on Front Tires
You will discover here that the edges of your front tires are wearing down faster than the other sides of the tire tread. This sign is a bit difficult to see but worn out ball joints are most likely a cause. Whenever you notice any of the above signs, take time also to take a careful look at your tires and the inner treads. The wearing will show on either the inner or outer tread depicting it’s as a result of worn-out front ball joints.
The cars mostly vulnerable to this are cars on which the tires have been rotated frequently, over a long period of time. And where the mechanic might have overtightened the lug nuts times without number.
So for your Honda, it is advisable you have a mechanic you trust check your wheel bolts, and make sure they're not stripped or distorted. If you notice any abnormal wear or weakness, replace immediately all of the bolts and wheel nuts on all four wheels. It is likely all the others too were overtightened and therefore stripped.
You can always get a replacement here at Motormata. Our online catalog features the full range of aftermarket parts and accessories for many years and car models, so you're sure to find just the right ball joints and other car parts you need for your Honda or any other vehicle brand.
It is also reasonable for you to have your front end examined carefully on a regular schedule so you can see any wear and tear before they cause unfortunate incidents which could easily have been avoided.