Chevy Trailblazer Ball Joints Replacement Cost [Mechanic vs DIY]
The Chevrolet Trailblazer has been around since the 2002 model year. It was discontinued in 2008 but was reborn in 2011 with a drastic redesign.
As it is currently designed, the Chevy Trailblazer is a small SUV with a lot of styles. Owners love the comfort it provides, and with its multiple trim options, it attracts a large fan base.
Unfortunately, every vehicle runs into problems on occasion, and the Chevy Trailblazer is no different. If you think there is a problem with the suspension on your Trailblazer, the culprit may be damaged ball joints.
If you need to replace a ball joint on your vehicle there are multiple considerations entailed.
On average, when you hire a mechanic to replace a ball joint on your Chevy Trailblazer, you can expect to pay between $200 and $400. For home mechanics, you might pay somewhere in the range of $60 for a single ball joint, but for a full set of control arms and ball joints, the cost is between $100 and $350.
You might have to buy a ball joint punch for around $10 to $20, and finally, you will need a wheel alignment which will cost you around $120.
Chevy Trailblazer Ball Joint Information
If you are considering replacing the ball joints on your Chevy Trailblazer, you probably have some questions.
Whether you just want to know what a ball joint is or how you can know when they need to be replaced, below are the answers to the most common inquiries.
What Are the Ball Joints on My Chevy Trailblazer?
Your wheel is connected to your wheel hub. Your wheel hub is contained in a steering knuckle. The steering knuckle is connected to your Trailblazer by control arms. The way the knuckle is connected to the control arms is via a ball joint.
Ball joints are dynamic, allowing your wheels to shift and pivot as needed.
Ball joints also ease the vehicle up/down and left/right movements. Finally, ball joints are essential for maintaining the overall stability of your trailblazer by maintaining the necessary angle for your wheels.
A Chevy Trailblazer has four ball joints and four control arms, all of which are under a lot of stress. It is not unreasonable to assume then that any one, or all, of these components, may become so damaged that they need to be replaced.
What If I Don’t Replace Damaged Trailblazer Ball Joints?
Considering the sensitive position of your ball joints, it is a very bad idea to drive with faulty ball joints.
Since the ball joints control the angular motion of your wheels, if they are faulty, you will have some major problems while you are trying to control your vehicle.
If this lack of control is compounded by hazardous road conditions suddenly, the results can be disastrous. In an extreme case, your wheel can literally detach from your Trailblazer.
How Can I Maintain the Ball Joints on My Chevy Trailblazer?
There is no magic maintenance task you can perform to enhance the life of your ball joints. The only thing you can really do is drive carefully on the smoothest roads available.
The less stress your ball joints must endure, the longer they will last.
How Long Will My Ball Joints Last?
Your ball joints will last longer if they are under less stress. If you drive hard on rough roads and turn sharply before slamming on your brakes mid-turn, your ball joints might not last very long.
Unfortunately, there is no other reliable metric to answer this question.
How Do I Know If I Need to Replace a Ball Joint in My Chevy Trailblazer?
There are a few symptoms to look out for when determining if you need to replace the ball joints in your Chevy Trailblazer.
If you notice any of them, you should inspect your ball joints and replace them as soon as possible, if necessary.
Noises From Suspension
If you are on rough terrain or if you go over a speed bump, you may hear a knocking noise coming from your suspension. Similarly, you may hear something like a snapping noise when you turn sharply.
Either one of these noises is a common telltale sign of a damaged ball joint. This is a symptom of other suspension issues as well, but regardless, it is time to inspect the whole assembly.
You may feel as though your Chevy Trailblazer is unstable while you are driving. It’s almost like a loose feeling. Ball joints keep this from occurring.
If they are loose or damaged you will feel a side-to-side shift as you drive, and this will make it more difficult to control your vehicle. If you notice this symptom, act immediately.
Damaged ball joints can cause your wheels to become misaligned. This, in turn, may cause your Trailblazer to pull to one side or another as you are driving.
There are other reasons this can occur, but an inspection should be in the near future regardless.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace the Ball Joints on My Chevy Trailblazer?
There are several things to be considered when trying to determine how much it will cost to replace the ball joints on your Chevy Trailblazer.
Most important for the cost will be whether you decide to take the SUV to a shop or go the DIY route.
Further, your location will affect the price you will have to pay for labor if you do decide to employ a mechanic. Finally, the cost will also depend on the quality of the parts and how many of them you are replacing at once.
If you are replacing a ball joint on your Chevy Trailblazer in your own garage, the main cost will be the parts.
The amount you will pay for parts depends on how many parts you are buying, the quality of the parts, and where you are buying them from.
For example, if you are buying one ball joint from eBay, you can probably get away with paying less than $20. On the other hand, if you were to purchase a new set of ball joints and control arms of good quality you might pay more like $500.
As for a good average, you can expect to pay around $60 if you are only purchasing a single ball joint. If you are buying a full set of control arms and ball joints, you will likely pay between $100 and $350.
You can hire a mechanic to replace a ball joint on your Chevy Trailblazer and the cost will be the price of the parts, plus labor.
When you are considering labor, you can assume it will take an hour per ball joint, or if you are replacing your control arms as well, an hour per ball joint/control arm assembly.
Therefore, you can assume you will be paying for between 1 to 4 hours of labor.
Labor rates vary widely depending on where you live, but if you take $120 as the average labor rate across the country, you can assume you will pay between $120 and $480 in labor, depending on what is being accomplished.
Considering this, if you are using a mechanic and only replacing one ball joint on your Trailblazer, you could reasonably expect to pay $60 for parts and $120 in labor for a total of $180.
You should note that if you are doing the work in your own garage and it’s the first time, it is likely that you do not already own a ball joint punching tool.
You can potentially rent a ball joint punch, but if you plan on always doing this job at home, it may be worth the $15 or so that it would cost to purchase one.
Finally, there may be other costs associated with replacing your ball joints, but one thing you will definitely have to do is get a wheel alignment.
It is recommended that you go to a mechanic for the wheel alignment because they have very accurate computers that can quickly and effectively do it perfectly.
The cost of a wheel alignment from a mechanic is about one hour of labor, or $120.
The ball joints on your Chevy Trailblazer must be in proper working order for safe driving. Since they essentially connect the wheels to the vehicle and keep them angled properly, damaged ball joints can cause major problems.
Since they help you control the SUV, if they are not working properly, they can cause you to have an accident.
You have multiple options for how you go about replacing a damaged ball joint from whether you will hire a mechanic to what quality of ball joint you will purchase.
You must consider all the potential options when determining how much the entire process will cost.
Hopefully, the information above made some of those potential options more palatable. Regardless, it is essential for the safety of you, your passengers, and the public in general that you act quickly if you think you might be having a problem with your Chevy Trailblazer ball joints.