The Pontiac Ball Joints on the front end of your vehicle are the steering components that allow for the horizontal movement of the wheels so the direction of the vehicle can be in control of the driver.
There are two ball joints on each side of the front end of all rear wheel driven Pontiacs that were made. Each side has a lower and an upper joint that are mounted into the A-frames of the suspension system and to the spindle at both ends.
The construction of the ball joints is just as the name dictates, these are balls that are held into place in a socket so they can swivel. The spindle is attached to the center section of the joint so the wheels can turn in the direction dictated by the input from the steering wheel on the Pontiac.
So the Pontiac ball joints can last for an extended period of time on your vehicle, they require regular lubrication. This lubrication should be done at every oil change with the injection of ball bearing grease into them. For the entire ball joint to be covered with the grease, the front wheels have to be suspended into the air so no weight is on the joint. If weight is not taken off of the wheel assembly, then a portion of the joint will not be lubricated causing the premature aging of the component.
When the ball joints are worn and in need of replacing, the spindle will be loss and the handling characteristics of the Pontiac will be negatively affected. If they are worn out too much, then the spindle can become dislodged from the joint causing the front wheel assembly to no longer be able of supporting the weight of the vehicle and will render the vehicle immobile.
With the Pontiac Ball Joints properly maintained they can last for many years on your vehicle. These are the points of contact the spindle makes so it can be securely attached to the vehicle and still make it possible for the front wheels to pivot.
The longevity of the ball joints on your Pontiac is determined by the way and frequency they are lubricated. In the past the ball joints along with the other suspension and steering components on your vehicle were greased during a routine oil change. This required the Pontiac to be lifted into the air with no weight on the wheels.
Today, with many quick lube places changing the oil for most of the cars on the road in America, the use of roll on ramps is more economical. With the weight on the wheels, the lubrication of the Pontiac ball joints is not possible for the entire surface. This will cause the ball joints to prematurely wear over the course of the years it is in service.
If the technician informs you they are lubing the chassis components and being on a ramp is just as good as the vehicle being in the air, you have just talked with an inexperienced technician. Remember these quick lube places are in business to make money by working on cars, not necessarily fixing them or maintaining them.
The proper lubrication of the ball joints on your Pontiac is critical to not only their longevity, but precision control when you are maneuvering your vehicle in traffic. Once they are worn, the entire wheel assembly will be moving in direction that are not influenced by the driver but by the pull on the wheels making contact with the road.