How To Replace A GM Ball Joint
Need replacement ball joints for your GM vehicle? Then you could save hundreds of dollars by ordering an OEM part from us and installing it yourself. With the right tools and a bit of preparation, the job can be a lot simpler than you might think.
Inspect The Relevant Suspension Components
Clunking suspension noises. Vibrating steering wheel. Oddly worn tires. These are all signs of worn or damaged ball joints. Check out our comprehensive blog on how to diagnose a failing ball joint to be sure. In some cases, like if the car has hit a large pothole, you may need to replace the steering knuckle as well.
Order The Correct Replacement Parts
At GM Parts Center, we supply only OEM GM parts which are backed by GM’s replacement parts warranty. Whether you need a ball joint for your Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, or Oldsmobile, we stock it all. Check out all our OEM ball joints here. Pick the year, make and model of your vehicle to narrow down the results and place your order. We also have a handy VIN decoder to give you in-depth knowledge of your specific vehicle.
Ensure You Have All The Tools You’ll Need
There’s nothing worse than trying to do a job without the correct tools. You can easily damage both the replacement part and your car by using the wrong tools. Here is what you’ll need to ensure the job goes smoothly:
- Jack and jack stands
- Lug wrench
- Ball joint removal tool
- Socket set
- Lever/pry bar
- Breaker bar
- Penetrating fluid
Replace The Ball Joint
Once you have the replacement items and all the necessary tools, it’s time to replace the old ball joints. Most GM models use the same process to replace their ball joints, with perhaps minor variations. Below is a general overview of the steps involved:
- Lift up the front of the vehicle. Make sure that it is sufficiently supported if you are not using a full vehicle lift.
- Remove the front wheels – it is best to replace ball joints on both sides of the suspension at the same time
- Angle the steering wheel to get better access to the suspension components. Spray penetrating fluid on all the nuts you will be removing.
- If needed, use the relevant tools to remove the brake caliper to get to the faulty ball joint. Make sure that no brake sensor wires or cabling are damaged in the process. You can use some wire or string to secure the caliper out of the way.
- Use the ball joint removal tool to press out the old ball joint and install the new one. You may need a crowbar or lever to loosen rusted nuts on the suspension.
- Reinstall the brake caliper and wheel.
- Lower the vehicle and take it for a test drive.
After the job, have your wheel alignment done to reduce the chances of abnormal tire or suspension wear. At GM Parts Center we offer a price match guarantee, so be sure to contact us and get the best deal for your GM vehicle.