The ball joints are an essential suspension component, allowing the wheels to pivot when steering and maintaining proper wheel alignment. Unfortunately, they wear out over time. Ignoring worn ball joints can lead to handling issues and safety hazards. Replacing them promptly is advised, but how much will it cost?
In general, you can expect to pay $186 to $279 for a Honda Accord ball joint replacement. The exact cost depends on your model year, location, and repair shop. I’ll break down the costs in detail below.
Honda Accord Ball Joint Replacement Cost – Parts
The ball joints themselves represent the main cost of this repair. Honda uses high-quality parts, so you can expect to pay between $80 and $160 for a new set. Here are some typical costs:
- Entry-level aftermarket ball joints – $80
- OEM Honda ball joints – $120
- Premium aftermarket ball joints – $160
I recommend using Honda OEM or premium aftermarket ball joints. They’ll hold up better than cheap parts. You’ll need a full set, as both sides should be replaced simultaneously.
Replacing Honda Accord Ball Joints takes 1-3 hours for both sides. Most mechanics will charge $70-$150 per hour. At independent shops, expect to pay around $120 for labor. Dealerships typically charge closer to $150 per hour.
With labor included, you can expect to pay:
- Independent shop – $200-$280
- Dealership – $230-$310
As you can see, independent shops offer the best value for this repair. Their hourly rates tend to be more competitive.
Additional Repair Costs
When replacing the ball joints on a Honda Accord, a few related repairs may also be recommended:
- Wheel alignment – $70-$150
- Tie rod ends – $40-$80
- Control arm bushings – $150-$300
Worn ball joints throw off the alignment, so an alignment will be needed after the job. Tie rods and control arm bushings wear at a similar rate, so they may need replacement, too. Discuss these items with your mechanic.
Honda Accord Model Year Cost Variations
Labor times for Honda Accord ball joint replacement can vary slightly by generation. Here are some estimates:
- 6th gen (1998-2002) – 1.5 hours
- 7th gen (2003-2007) – 2 hours
- 8th gen (2008-2012) – 2.5 hours
- 9th gen (2013-2017) – 3 hours
- 10th gen (2018+) – 2.5 hours
Newer Accords require more labor time, as the suspension design has become more complex. This doesn’t drastically impact the overall cost, but it’s good to be aware of.
DIY Ball Joint Replacement Cost
If you want to save money by replacing the ball joints yourself, expect around $120-$200 in parts. You’ll need the ball joints, necessary tools, an alignment, and supplies.
DIY isn’t always cheaper, though, as you may take 4-6 hours your first time. Evaluate your mechanical skills carefully before attempting this.
When To Replace Honda Accord Ball Joints?
Since ball joint replacement averages $200-$280 for parts and labor, it’s wise to address any issues promptly. If you hear clunking over bumps or have excessive play in the wheels, have them inspected. Catching wear early saves money.
But you shouldn’t wait until they fully fail, either. At that point, the job becomes much more extensive and risky. Plan ahead and replace worn ball joints on your Honda Accord before they get dangerously bad.
How Long Do Honda Accord Ball Joints Last?
With proper maintenance, Accord ball joints typically last 8-10 years or 100k-150k miles. But if you drive aggressively or in harsh conditions, they’ll wear faster. Have a mechanic inspect them yearly once your Accord passes 60k miles or 5 years old. Catching wear early maximizes their lifespan.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Ball Joint On A Honda Accord?
The typical cost to replace a ball joint on a Honda Accord ranges from $186 to $279 for parts and labor. The ball joints themselves cost around $80-$160 for a quality set. Labor at an independent shop averages $120, while dealerships charge around $150 per hour. For just the parts, expect to pay $80-$160.
But with a full replacement at a repair shop, plan on spending $200-$280 for an Accord ball joint replacement. The exact cost depends on your model year and repair shop.
Is A Ball Joint Expensive To Fix?
While not the most affordable repair, replacing ball joints is also not extremely expensive in the grand scheme of auto maintenance. At an average of $200-$280 for parts and labor on a Honda Accord, it is on the more moderate end for suspension repairs. Considering the safety implications of worn ball joints, the cost is reasonable and worth the peace of mind.
However, you can reduce costs by using quality aftermarket parts and having the work done at an independent shop rather than the dealership. Overall, ball joint replacement provides good value, given the importance of this maintenance.
Can You Still Drive With A Bad Ball Joint?
It is not recommended to continue driving once a ball joint becomes badly worn or damaged. A failed ball joint can cause the wheel alignment to shift suddenly, potentially resulting in loss of control or a crash.
The prudent action is to have worn ball joints replaced immediately to restore proper handling and safety. While you may be able to limp the vehicle to the repair shop if failure is not yet imminent, it is best not to take risks with compromised suspension components. Have an inspection done at the first sign of issues.
Should I Replace All 4 Ball Joints?
Yes, it is strongly recommended to always replace the ball joints in pairs at a minimum, including both sides on the same axle. If one ball joint is worn out, chances are the one on the opposite side is not far behind.
Replacing just one can lead to handling imbalance and accelerated wear of the remaining joint. For optimal longevity and performance, you should replace all four ball joints at the same time when replacement is needed. This ensures even wear and provides maximum dependability.
What Are The Signs Of Bad Ball Joints?
Some common symptoms that indicate worn ball joints include steering wandering, clunking noises over bumps, wheel shimmy, uneven tire wear, and excessive vibration. A major sign is being able to physically rock the wheel from side to side or up and down when jacked up, indicating looseness.
Excessive play when rocking suspension components also points to ball joint wear. If any of these symptoms are noticed, have a mechanic inspect the ball joints before driving any further.
How Many Years Do Ball Joints Last?
On most vehicles, the expected lifespan of ball joints is about 8-10 years, or 100,000 to 150,000 miles. However, driving style and road conditions can shorten or extend longevity. On a Honda Accord with regular maintenance and smooth driving habits, ball joints can potentially last up to 150,000 miles. But with aggressive driving or in harsh conditions, replacement may be needed sooner. Have them inspected yearly once past 60,000 miles or 5 years old.
Improving Ball Joint Lifespan
You can optimize ball joint longevity with proactive maintenance:
- Rotate tires regularly to equalize wear
- Inspect and replace worn suspension components
- Correct minor alignment issues
- Use high quality parts when replacing components
- Drive smoothly over bumps and turns
Follow the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. With diligent care, your Honda Accord’s ball joints could even outlast the 100k-150k mile estimate.
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Do Both Ball Joints Need To Be Replaced At Once?
Yes, it’s recommended to always replace them in pairs. If one is worn, its counterpart is likely not far behind. Replacing just one can cause handling issues.
Is It Safe To Drive With A Bad Ball Joint?
No, it’s hazardous to continue driving once a ball joint is badly worn. Has it been replaced immediately to avoid catastrophic failure?
Can A Bad Ball Joint Cause Alignment Issues?
Yes, worn ball joints throw off wheel alignment. An alignment will be needed after replacing them.
How Urgent Is It To Replace Bad Ball Joints?
It should be done ASAP. The longer you wait, the more damage can occur and the more dangerous it becomes to drive.
How Do Mechanics Test Ball Joints?
They check for vertical and horizontal play by rocking the wheel and suspension components. Excessive play indicates wear.
While paying $200-$280 for Honda Accord ball joint replacement may seem expensive, worn parts can lead to much costlier repairs down the road. Replacing them promptly maintains your safety and prevents further suspension damage. Use the estimates and tips provided to make an informed service decision. With high quality parts and a reputable shop, your Accord will be back on the road in dependable form.