Ball Joint Replacement for a ’01-’11 Honda Element
Ball joints are an important part of your suspension, as they connect that system and your wheels. The OE (Original Equipment) ball joints in your ’01-’11 Honda Element can be removed from the knuckle if they wear down and become loose, but Honda doesn’t offer an OE replacement ball joint separate from the knuckle. If you don’t like the idea of replacing several parts that are all in working order just to fix a loose ball joint then you’ll need an aftermarket ball joint, but which one should you choose?
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No Separate OE Replacement Ball Joint
The problem is that the OE front lower ball joint on your Honda Element does not come as a separate part, so you have to buy a completely new steering knuckle. This OE ball joint can be removed from the knuckle, but Honda does not sell the joint by itself. A replacement can be expensive and it is very rare that someone will need to replace the whole knuckle, but ball joints are known to wear and tear. Steering knuckles are also expensive, and that is money wasted when you only need to replace one part, and ball joints are usually about a third of the price.
Ball Joint Warning Signs
Ball joint failure happens and is even common in higher milage vehicles, but how do you know that you are experiencing it? Whether you are taking your Element to a campsite for the weekend, or delivering orders for your business, these are a couple of warning signs that you might experience:
- Steering Wander – If you’re on a delivery and you notice your Element starting to drift a little bit one way or another, you may be experiencing steering wander. This is caused when your ball joint starts to rattle around and if one side rattles more than the other, you’ll drift in that direction.
- Noise from the Front – As well as feeling your steering start to wander, you’ll start to hear a clunking noise coming from underneath your vehicle. This is caused when your joint gets loose and knocks up against the housing. The noise is another indication that your ball joints are failing.
- Vibrations – If you have bad ball joints, you may experience a vibrating sensation when driving your Element during your daily commute. This vibration is caused by ball joints that are loose inside of the socket. You’ll notice this in the front of your vehicle if those joints are bad and you may also feel this vibration in your steering wheel.
- Tire Wear – Not everyone thinks of tire wear as a symptom of ball joint failure, but loose joints can lead to tire wear. When your joints are loose the camber angles (tilt) of your front tires can be affected. You’ll know if your ball joints are causing tire wear, because they will be worn, more so, on the outside or inside tread of the tire.
Replacement Ball Joints for your Honda Element
Moog introduced their Problem Solver line, to provide a better than OE part, and in the case of the Honda Element, one that’s easier to replace. While you will need to remove the steering knuckle to replace the ball joint, at least you won’t have to buy several parts you don’t need to get the ball joint that you do need.
Moog’s Front Lower Ball Joint also includes some primium features that set it apart from other replacement options.
- Individual Replacement – This ball joint can be placed into the old steering knuckle, so you don’t have to buy a whole new one. The less money you spend on replacement parts, the more you can spend on your camping weekends!
- Metal Gusher Bearing – Moog also includes a Metal gusher bearing that is more durable than your average OE Element ball joint. The bearing is porous so grease can flow freely, keeping the ball stud lubricated. This aides in the longevity of your joint, so that your Element is always ready to go!
- Knurled Housing – This ball joint features a knurled housing that will help it fit snuggly into the steering knuckle. Knurling is a textured pattern imprinted on metal, and it acts like a grip to help the joint stay in place.
- Heat-Treated Stud – The Moog ball joint for your Honda Element, features a stud that is specially heat-treated to be harder on the outside and just a little bit softer on the inside. This makes sense when you think about the stress that the stud undergoes during a high speed accident. Instead of snapping like an OE stud could, Moog’s Problem Solver will bend allowing you some control when you need it most.
Moog Limited Lifetime Warranty
Moog’s Problem Solver line of ball joints, are made to be OE “replacement” parts. The OE design is taken and upgraded with improvements to produce a better than OE replacement joint. These joints are sure to last longer than other aftermarket ball joints will. Moog’s limited lifetime warranty includes vehicles that still have their stock suspension, vehicles not used for extreme driving, and vehicles not used for racing.
Moog offers a limited lifetime warranty on the problem solver ball joints, but they allow dealers to set the limits of the warranty. Some dealers will give you the run around and tell you to call Moog who will tell you to call the dealer back. Moog-Suspension-Parts.com stands behind Moog’s warranty and deals with customers directly on a case by case basis regarding the details of their warranty.
Ultimately, you need to know that whether you are driving your Element to work, going camping, or delivering flowers from your shop, you’re driving safe. Moog’s K500004 Problem Solver Ball Joint solves the main OE problem; you’re able to replace just the ball joint meaning you don’t have to spend a lot of money on a whole new steering knuckle.