What causes ball bearings to “knock” and fail?

What causes ball bearings to “knock” and fail?

One of the most important parts of a car’s suspension is the ball bearing, which connects the arm and the axle hub. The ball joint provides mobility to the steering knuckle, which is necessary for driving the car. Let us tell in detail about the purpose of the ball joint and the causes of its failure. If there are many other parts in your car that don’t work besides this one, then give it to the recycler: https://scrapcar.cash.

What are the causes of ball bearing “knocking” and failure?

Design of the ball bearing socket
The ball bearing is made in the form of a metal pin, which has a plastic tip with double-sided inserts. Ball bearings are used in the McPherson type front suspension, and in a multi-link suspension design, there can even be up to five ball bearings on each side of the vehicle.

The design of the ball bearing was created half a century ago, and since that time this detail has remained virtually unchanged, which indicates its functionality, simplicity of design and reliability.

Ball bearing construction

The ball bearing can include the following elements:
1) a metal rod with lugs in the shape of a ball, which is the basis of the entire structure;

2) protective dust cap, which provides sealing of the rod and is made of rubber;

3) plastic liner;

4) a cylindrical body with two holes;

5) pressure washer, which fastens the liners.

The ball joints are reliable, and when used with care can last for 100,000 kilometers and more. The durability of this part depends on the driving style and road conditions. The ball joints are made of durable steel, and to reduce friction, individual recesses in their housings are coated with a special protective polymer.

Ball joints can be performed demountable and non-dismountable, each automobile manufacturer chooses one or another type of such design that suits the peculiarities of its car. It should be noted that if a non-dismountable ball joint is damaged, it is necessary to change the lever as a whole, which is much more expensive for car owners. On the other hand, collapsible ball joints can be repaired and replaced by separate failed elements, which reduces the cost of car repairs and maintenance.

What are the ball bearings and why may they “knock”?

Reasons for ball bearing knocking

During the operation of the vehicle, the suspension and ball joints, in particular, are subjected to increased loads, which leads to their failure and the need for replacement. One of the main symptoms of ball bearing failure and the need for ball bearing replacement is the presence of a knocking sound. This indicates a lack of lubrication in the support, and also indicates serious wear of this element.

Most often such a knock appears when overcoming various road obstacles. It is necessary to remember about the peculiarities of ball joints at certain car manufacturers, which use a special composition of grease. It may require some time to warm up in winter, so even a functioning ball bearing may have a knock on a cold car. However, if such extraneous knocks do not disappear after warming up, it is necessary to perform a diagnosis of the suspension and its reassembly.

To summarize

The ball joint is one of the most important elements of the suspension, which is responsible for the mobility of the knuckle. During the operation of a car the ball joint is subjected to considerable loads, in the conditions of broken roads problems with the support may be noted at a mileage of 50,000 kilometers. Such faults can be defined by a characteristic knocking, which occurs most often when overcoming various obstacles. If you notice such a knock when passing bumps, it is necessary as soon as possible to contact the service, diagnose the car and replace worn ball joints and other suspension elements.


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