How Much Does It Cost to Replace Ball Joints and Tie Rods?

The cost of ball joints and tie rods is range from $100 to $500 depending on the issues of individual vehicles.

What are ball joints?

Ball joints are a crucial component of a vehicle’s suspension system. They connect the steering knuckle to the control arms and allow for the smooth movement of the wheels as the vehicle navigates turns and uneven surfaces. Ball joints are designed to withstand the weight of the vehicle and its passengers and provide stability and smoothness to the ride.

Types of ball joints with the average replacement price

  • Upper ball joints: Upper ball joints are typically more expensive to replace than lower ball joints due to their location and complexity. The average cost of replacing upper ball joints can range from $300 to $1,000, depending on the vehicle and location.
  • Lower ball joints: Lower ball joints are typically easier to access and replace, making them less expensive to replace. The average cost of replacing lower ball joints can range from $200 to $500, depending on the vehicle and location.

Signs of failing ball joints

  • Clunking or rattling noises when driving over bumps or uneven surfaces
  • Uneven tire wear
  • Steering wheel vibration or wandering
  • Difficulty steering or controlling the vehicle
  • Vehicle pulling to one side

What are tie rods?

Tie rods are crucial components of a vehicle’s steering system that connect the steering gear to the steering knuckle. They play a significant role in keeping the front wheels aligned and enabling the driver to control the vehicle’s direction.

Types of tie rods with an average replacement price

There are two main types of tie rods: inner and outer tie rods. Inner tie rods are located between the steering gear and the outer tie rods, while the outer tie rods are connected to the steering knuckles.

The average replacement cost of inner tie rods ranges from $200 to $400, while the average cost of replacing outer tie rods ranges from $150 to $300. The replacement cost may vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle, as well as the location of the repair shop.

Signs of failing tie rods

  1. Uneven tire wear: Worn tie rods can cause the front tires to wear unevenly, which can lead to poor handling and reduced traction.
  2. Steering wheel vibration: A vibrating or shaking steering wheel while driving can be a sign of worn tie rods.
  3. Steering wheel play: If the steering wheel feels loose or has excessive play, it could be due to worn tie rods.
  4. Poor alignment: A vehicle that drifts to one side or has poor alignment may have worn tie rods.
  5. Clunking noise: A clunking or knocking noise while driving over bumps can indicate worn tie rods.

Factors that affect the cost of replacing ball joints and tie rods

  1. Vehicle make and model: The cost of parts and labor can vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle. Some vehicles may require more expensive parts or may have more complex systems that require more time and labor to work on.
  2. Quality of parts: The quality of the replacement parts can also affect the cost. Higher-quality parts may be more expensive but can last longer and perform better than cheaper, lower-quality parts.
  3. Labor costs: Labor costs can vary depending on the location and experience of the mechanic. Some shops may charge higher rates for labor, while others may be more affordable.
  4. Geographic location: The cost of replacement parts and labor can also vary depending on the geographic location of the repair shop. Urban areas may have higher labor costs than rural areas, for example.
  5. The extent of the damage: The extent of damage to the ball joints and tie rods can also affect the cost of replacement. If the damage is severe and requires extensive repairs, the cost may be higher than if the damage is minor.
  6. Additional repairs: If additional repairs are needed, such as alignment or suspension work, this can also affect the overall cost of the repair.
FactorsAverage Cost Range
Vehicle make and model$300 – $1,500
Quality of parts$50 – $250 per part
Geographic LocationVaries Widely
– Urban Areas$225 – $600
– Rural Areas$200 – $500
Extent of DamageVaries Widely
– Minor Damage$150 – $400
– Moderate Damage$400 – $800
– Severe Damage$800 – $2,000+
Equipment CostsVaries Widely
– Ball Joint Press$50 – $200
– Tie Rod Separator$20 – $50
Types of Costs
– Labor Cost$80 – $200 per hour
– Parts Cost$50 – $800+ per part

Average costs for replacing ball joints and tie rods

Vehicle TypeAverage Cost RangeAdditional InformationExample
Small, Basic Vehicle$200 – $800Includes vehicles with a small number of cylinders and standard design features.Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus
Medium-Sized, Luxury Vehicle$800 – $1500Includes vehicles with a moderate number of cylinders and high-end finishes and design features.BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4
Large, Commercial Vehicle$1500 – $3000+Includes vehicles with a large number of cylinders and used for hauling heavy loads or transporting goods. May require specialized equipment for repairs.Ford F-250, Chevy Silverado 2500, Ram 3500

Tips for reducing the cost of replacing ball joints and tie rods

  1. Shop around: Get quotes from multiple mechanics and shops to find the best price for the repair. Don’t be afraid to negotiate or ask for discounts.
  2. DIY: If you have the necessary tools and experience, you can save money by doing the repair yourself.
  3. Use aftermarket parts: While OEM parts are recommended, aftermarket parts can be cheaper and still offer good quality.
  4. Regular maintenance: Regularly maintaining your vehicle can help prevent premature wear and tear on the ball joints and tie rods, potentially reducing the need for replacements.
  5. Address issues early: If you notice any signs of wear or damage on your ball joints and tie rods, address the issue early to prevent further damage and potentially reduce the cost of repairs.


The ball joints and tie rods are the unsung heroes of your vehicle’s suspension and steering systems. They work hard every day to keep you cruising down the road smoothly and safely. By replacing worn or damaged ball joints and tie rods, you can keep your vehicle performing at its best for years to come.

It can be a bit pricey, but the long-term benefits of a smoother ride and better handling make it worth the investment. So, treat your ride to a makeover and invest in new ball joints and tie rods. Your vehicle will thank you with a smoother ride and better handling, and you’ll feel like a savvy and responsible car owner.