A SUBARU Forester ball joint consists primarily of two components a
hardened-steel, ball stud and socket enclosed in a steel housing. The ball stud is attached
to the steering knuckle and the socket with steel housing is attached to the control arm. A
protective boot prevents dirt from entering the ball joint assembly. Ball joints are used on
the front end of virtually every car and light truck.
SUBARU Forester Ball joints serve as the pivot points between the steering
knuckle and lower and upper control arm suspension. This pivot action allows the
suspension to travel up and down and tires to turn left to right. Ball joints support the
entire weight of the vehicle.
Most vehicles use permanently lubed ball joints that
can not be lubricated. Aftermarket replacement ball joints often come with lubrication
fittings. If your vehicle has lubrication fittings, the ball joints should be lubricated at
every oil change. SUBARU Forester ball joints, along with other suspension components,
should be inspected annually. SUBARU Forester ball joints can be checked for
excessive side to side and, up and down play. Methods to check excessive play and
amount of play vary; you should follow the manufactures procedures and specifications.
With use ball joints wear out causing play between the ball and
socket joint. The most common vehicle symptoms associated with worn ball joints are
wandering, uneven tire wear, and erratic steering. SUBARU Forester ball joints can
occasionally squeak when the vehicle turns or travel over bumps.
If a ball
joint fails, the suspension can collapse causing a loss of control.
Lower ball joint, upper ball joint, UBJ, LBJ
Ball joints are located in the front suspension an inch or so behind the front
tire. The lower ball joint is the pivot joint between the lower control arm and steering
knuckle. The upper ball joint, if you have one is the pivot joint between the upper control
arm and steering knuckle.
Depending on the year and options your SUBARU Forester has, the
above information may not apply. Consult with a professional automotive
technician or manufacturer for specifics on your SUBARU Forester