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What is a ball joint?

A ball joint is a spherical bearing used in automobiles for connecting the control arms to the steering knuckle. It resembles a steel stud and socket enclosed in a casing made of steel which is made to fit into a tapered hole in the steering knuckle.

In the aftermarket, there are two main types of ball joint – Encapsulated (sealed) and Mechanical  (Greasable).   The question is often asked what is the difference and which one is more suitable.

Encapsulated design ball joints are ‘sealed for life’, in other words they are completely maintenance free. They have a smoother feel during articulation and are mainly designed for passenger vehicles.

Mechanical  ball joints are not sealed and are supplied with grease nipples for lubrication at regular intervals.  It is recommended to service mechanical joints at every oil change. They are typically found in older vehicles or light commercial/ 4WD vehicles as they are more suitable for load bearing vehicles.

 When it comes to deciding between encapsulated or mechanical design ball joints, most manufacturers determine the most suitable design for the application.  As such, the customer never needs to be concerned that they are being supplied a ball joint that may not be suitable for the vehicle. 

Ball joints serve as the pivot between the wheels and the suspension of an automobile. They play an important role in determining the safe operation of an automobile’s steering and suspension. In case of failure of the ball joint, the angle of the wheel gets disturbed and uncontrolled, causing the vehicle to halt abruptly and potentially leading to tyre damage or uneven wear. 

With regular wear and tear, ball joints gets loose and affect wheel alignment and tyre wear. Loose joints sometimes cause suspension noise, a peculiar clunking sound when hitting a bump. To prevent this, automobile owners must get their ball joints checked at regular service intervals.

Before buying a ball joint, it is advisable to do thorough market search.  There are several manufacturers and suppliers of ball joints in the market.  Only buy ball joints that are made using the highest quality material and are rigorously tested. The ball joints should feature high static and dynamic load capabilities, promise low fiction and high performance, smooth operation and longer wear.

If you are wondering where you can find such a ball joint, please visit www.roadsafe.com.au The website belongs to Roadsafe , a reliable and renowned manufacturer of top quality ball joints, Tie rod, Idler, Panhard Rod, and a range of other products.