Toyota Ball Joint
The lubrication of the Toyota ball joint is one of the most often forgotten periodic maintenance procedures, and is commonly the reason this steering component fails.
On all Toyota models, there is a set of ball joints contained in both front wheel assemblies. These ball joints provide a pivot point for the front wheels to change direction. This means that the path the vehicle is traveling is under the control of the driver.
The greasing of your ball joints should occur when the Toyota is up on a rack with the wheels suspended. This is easiest during an oil change. The reason for the wheels to be suspended is so the pressure that is generally exerted on the ball joint is relieved; the grease can then penetrate to the areas where the greatest level of contact around the joint is being made when the wheels are on the ground. If there is pressure on the wheel assembly, the entire joint will not receive lubrication and ultimately cause premature wearing of this steering component.
Inspections of the Toyota ball joints should be conducted when the vehicle is suspended in the air. With a firm grasp on the top and bottom of the wheel, the inspector should not be able to move the wheel. If they can, then the ball sockets of the joint that hold them in place are loose. There is only so much play in this steering component that can be present before the ball becomes disconnected from the socket; stranding the vehicle and its occupants where it occurs.
If you suspect the ball joints on your Toyota are worn, have them inspected and replaced before they fail on your vehicle. This will make your vehicle safe to drive on the road for not only your passengers but the other drivers around you when you are going down the road.