Symptoms of faulty ball joint – how to check
The side of the front axle from which the (vibration) noise is emanating can already be determined during a test drive. The type of noise also already provides certain indications for maintenance regarding which components might be faulty.
Back in the workshop
On the vehicle lift, the trained eye of an expert may be sufficient to see where the noise is coming from, such as if the sealing sleeve of a ball joint is damaged. Nevertheless, at first glance it is not always obvious where the sound is coming from. In this case, all joints of the front axle need to be checked until the bad component is found. If the compression ball joint is defective as in our case, the control arm (wishbone) should also be examined more closely. If the control arm does not show any damage to the bearings, it is sufficient to change the bad compression ball joint. The exact work steps for replacing the broken compression ball joint vary from vehicle to vehicle and are specified by the vehicle manufacturer.
For an A-Class (W169) as in our case, you can replace the compression ball joint as follows:
Note: The pictures used in this practical tip and the procedure described for a replacement of the compression ball joint on a Mercedes Benz A160 (W169) are examples and may vary depending on the vehicle manufacturer and axle design.