Symptoms of bad ball joints on a car include noises coming from the front end when driving over rough surfaces or an inability to control the vehicle while steering, according to O'Reilly Auto Parts. The scraping and rattling noises and erratic steering get worse as the part deteriorates.
Every car has two ball joints in the front suspension. These parts fit together like a ball-and-socket hip joint in the body. When the part wears out, the ball fails to fit correctly in the joint causing play in the part. Ball joints are designed to last for a long time, according to O'Reilly Auto Parts.