1992 Mercedes Benz 300e 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 223000 miles
When I turn while backing up or breaking, my car is making a loud popping sound. I was told it may be the ball joint. If this is in fact the case, how dangerous is it to continue driving and how much can I expect to pay for the repair? Or could it be a different problem? Thanks alot.
It could be the ball joint, but it could be any number of things in the suspension system.
I have seen ball joints fail, and when they go, they go out suddenly. You could loose the ability to steer your car. Not fun while driving on the roads with all sorts of things to hit.
Most any shop that does alignments should be able to diagnose what the problem is if you cant see anything yourself.
August, 24, 2009 AT 9:00 PM
I have experience with this problem. It could be several things. Jack up the front on both sides. Reach under the car aft of the wheel housing and grab hold of the tie rod ends, & your center drag link and shake them. Any movement? If so, you have found your problem. If there is ANY play, replace the tie rod ends and or center link and damper. This requires a special tool that forces the tie rod ends out of their proper coupler. You DON'T WANT THE PITCH FORK TYPE THAT YOU HAVE TO HAMMER IT OUT WITH. I did it that way when I replaced mine and I tell you, get the type that simply screws it out of its' holder. Then, while the wheels are up in the air, grab each one at the 9 and 3 o'clock position and see if there is any play and then again at noon and 6 pm on the tire. You are allowed a TINY amount of play but more than that requires a ball joint replacement at the tip of the control arm. I've done and it was difficult to do but do-able. As a matter of fact, if you have to replace the ball joint please replace the bushings in the control arm as well. THAT IS THE KEY TO THE ALIGNMENT. Use Lemforder parts. They are OEM. And that's what was used when it was built. A machine shop has to press them in. The ball joint will just tighten up on it's own. Good luck and I hope this helps. I spent about 800 dollars in parts and two days installing them. That money include the spring compressor that I used as I replaced my front struts at the same time. It's triple that amount if you take it to the mbz people. After you replace the parts, you have to have it aligned. Best to take it to the MBZ people as they have the right equipment. After I did all that, the car would track for 15 seconds in the same lane without my hand on the wheel to correct it.