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re: Control Arm Ball Joint Failure!

Colin wrote:
>I had almost no warning of this failure... In hind sight all I felt  and
>heard was a audible "chank" when performing a low speed tight parking lot
>turn - about the same feel as if I had driven over a rock of approx. an inch
>in diameter.  
>Just the week before I had the car safety inspected where the ball joints
>among other things are checked... so I don't know why it was missed!

First I want to say thanks for trying to warn other folks.

Second though, I'm very concerned about the story you tell.  Here's why.
I think I know the sound you describe hearing.
I suspect you are saying you heard the "chank" noise earlier, not when it
And I'm willing to bet $$ you heard that noise more than once.  
In fact I'll bet you heard it many times...heard it so often that you
>expected< to hear it making that low speed maneuver?  Probably could have
reproduced it for anyone who wanted to hear it? 
Please tell us if I am right.

Driving over a 1 inch rock does not cause "chanking" sounds like your
failed ball joint would make.  And it especially doesn't do it regularly
where no rocks are present.

Colin, you are driving a car with well over 300,000 km on it.  You should
realize it is very possible for a suspension component to need replacement.
 Listen to your car when it talks to you.

You are correct in believing this was a VERY dangerous thing that happened.
 Your life and that of others was at risk here, but probably not the life
of the mechanic who didn't notice it.  >Do not< trust that mechanic with
your life.  In fact, maybe you shouldn't trust him with anything.
NEVER ignore "chanking" sounds or any other weird sounds or feelings from
the suspension or steering of your car. You >must< learn how to check these
things for your self.

I hope you don't take this wrong, but I've seen this sort of thing before.  
Like you, I cannot understand how something that should be so obvious can
be overlooked, especially by a pro, but it definitely does happen.

Dave Conner