Safe to drive with front suspension noises?
April 17, 2013 4:10 PM Subscribe
I suspect that my driver-side upper ball joint is the culprit. There have been groaning noises when going over bumps, and a sort of clattering noise when hitting potholes. This has been going on for several years, and has gotten worse in the past month. I took it to four different mechanics, two for this specifically, and two for general inspection purposes (the most recent, non-specific inspection took place about 5 months ago.) None of the mechanics found anything they considered to be a real problem (i.e. hazardous to my/others' safety/the car's safe operation.) The noise has intensified in volume and frequency in the past week or so, along with (new) weird vibration when traveling at certain speeds (usually over 40 mph), but only sometimes, and it continues as I slow to a stop, slowing along with the car (but doesn't start showing up until I reach a higher speed.) Today I noticed that the boot on the upper ball joint is cracked and the grease is leaking out. The passenger side ball joint is similarly worn, but no grease is in evidence yet.
posted by i. shishkin to Grab Bag (5 answers total)
Is the car safe to drive? I'm hesitant to drive it until I take it to a mechanic, and I can possibly get a ride to work for the rest of the week, but it would be nice if I could drive myself. It would be about a total of 70 miles over the next two days, mostly on the highway (generally going 50-60 mph.)
Also, any idea what the issue could be if not the ball joint/upper control arm? This is a 1997 Honda Civic, automatic transmission, 176k+ miles. I will be taking it to (yet another, fifth) mechanic this weekend.
Any other insight would be appreciated! The car is older and I'm considering replacing it, but I like it and aside from this issue I've been happy with it.