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When to replace lower ball joints?

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  • When to replace lower ball joints?

    I've got a 90 series prado, 3.4L petrol, 1998, 130000km on the clock. It has spent its life in a garage near the ocean, so some parts are rusty, but she's in good condition. She's got a log book with regular yearly servicing and hasn't been bush bashing as of yet. The only mod she has is a bullbar, otherwise everything is stock.

    I want to know when I should get my lower ball joints replaced. I haven't had any issues with my prado, except for a radiator cap leak and a busted rear shock. I'm worried that since the car is 20 years old, the ball joints might've rusted out or might just go when I'm on the highway and cause the car to go rolling with no prior symptoms.

    I called a toyota dealership and my prado wasn't part of the lower ball joint recall, but I know the design of the 90 series means when the lower ball joints go, they go. My mechanic has taken my car for a long drive after a service and was happy with how the car drove.



  • #2
    I've owned two 90 series, current one has 285000ks and original lower ball joints. My previous prado, which had seen corrugations on a daily basis for half it's life, had the original factory ball joints replaced at around 300000ks due to developing some play. One of the replacement ball joints (aftermarket) failed within 12 months. Luckily, not catastrophically. I now check mine as part of my regular maintenance routine (easily done). If these ever develop play, I'll bend over and pay the toyota tax on genuine parts or, at the very least, get the best quality aftermarket ones I can find.