1994 Geo Prizm Tire replacement and suggested repairs

Tiny
BLUMONSTER
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 GEO PRIZM
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 125,000 MILES
Hello,

I had 2 of the tires on the car replaced because of one cut on one tire. Tire shop did not tell me anything but on the receipt, under recommendations section, after stating that my ABS was inoperable, it says bad front lower ball joint.

I had the front struts replaced a few months ago, and before that I had the car diagnosed for ABS problem and in none of these occasions I have been told about ball joints. Can this be a real issue or just a way to make money even though there is nothing wrong to be fixed?

I called the tire shop and they told em that it is not that bad but I should have it checked at the next tire rotation.

What do you think? What should I do? I do not hear any unusual noises, nothing.

I have never heard of any Geo Prizm or Toyota Corolla having ball joint problems. I think they make them to last forever. Am I wrong?
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Saturday, August 1st, 2009 AT 9:19 AM

8 Replies

Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
  • EXPERT
Very rare to have a bad ball joint, but it can and does happen.

Raise car, put on stands. Grasp tire and push/pull both horizontally and vertically, if any movement then possible wheel bearing, ball joint, tie rod, control arm bushing.

Some shops will sell ball joints to customers on a 15 year old car, as a "safety" issue.

Most factory ball joints are sealed, unless the seal has been damaged it should be OK. But Toyota ball joints are bolted in and relatively easy to replace.
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Sunday, August 2nd, 2009 AT 7:41 AM
Tiny
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  • MEMBER
Thanks for the answer.

What should I use to lift the car, is there a special place to lift it from? I heard that the strut&spring should be free.

Yesterday I looked at and felt the rubber seal of the ball joint without lifting the car. It seems it is intact. No cracks or damages to the rubber part.

Is the alignment performed by using, moving the ball joints? After the strut replacement the car had an alignment done.

If you were in my shoes would you replace that ball joint? What would you do?
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Thursday, August 6th, 2009 AT 1:26 PM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
  • EXPERT
If there is no movement in the tire, and the ball joint rubber grease holder is intact. Then I would not replace.

I would ask the mechanic WHY it is bad, does he see rust, or play in the ball joint?
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Friday, August 7th, 2009 AT 8:16 AM
Tiny
BLUMONSTER
  • MEMBER
The mechanic has not given me the reason for replacement. Just 'bad'.

I am thinking of getting new ball joints(made in Japan) just to be 'safe'.
What else should be replaced along with the ball joints? I heard that people replace tie rod ends with ball joints. If it is easier and cheaper to have a one time replacement, what parts should I have replaced?

Sometimes I hear clunking kind of a noise when I hit bumps on the road and when I turn.
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Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 AT 3:07 PM
Tiny
BLUMONSTER
  • MEMBER
By the way I found 555 brand Japan-made ball joints online. The seller says they fit Corollas of 1993-2002. Is that normal for the parts to fit such a wide range of model years? My car is a 1994 Prizm. Would these 43330-19095 part numbered ball joints fit my car?
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Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 AT 3:11 PM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
  • EXPERT
Check with local parts store, get part # for 1994 and 2002, if same then your OK.
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Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 AT 3:41 PM
Tiny
BLUMONSTER
  • MEMBER
Thanks, I need an answer to my previous question.
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Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 AT 4:02 AM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
  • EXPERT
Replace ball joints and tie rod ends, check the control arm bushings and wheel bearing, strut.
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Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 AT 5:51 AM

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