Your ball joints are one of the most important parts of the front suspension and all vehicles made to date are equipped with them. It’s a ball and socket joint that is designed to have a great amount of movement which allows the front suspension to move up and down and allows the front wheels to turn left and right. The bearing surface inside the ball joint can be lubricated for life or they will have fittings for greasing periodically. Because their are different designs of ball joints, they need to be properly identified by the technician doing the inspection in order to determine if they are operating within specifications or if they need to be replaced.
Failed ball joint
This ball joint is completely worn out and amazingly the vehicle was not in for any suspension type complaints. Had this style ball joint been on an Acura instead of on a Ford F150 the joint would have come apart resulting in some sort of accident as the wheel pulls out from the wheel well. This will typically do damage to the fender of the car and sometimes the axle shaft and the upper control arm.
Ball joint failure while driving
Good ball joint