My buddy sent me two pictures and a text saying “Don’t have to worry about finding parking tonight! Driving around looking for a spot and the ball joint/axle failed. Glad it wasn’t on the highway. Literally two minutes after exiting.”

So yeah, could have been bad.

He just got an inspection this month and is amazed that it wasn’t caught because these things happen over time, right? I told him that I’ve only had one place jack my car up and check out the wheels so I was curious about the requirements of an actual inspection.


(6) Steering and Suspension. (a) Check for free steering by turning the steering wheel through a full right and left turn. Reject a vehicle if binding or interference occurs during the procedure. With the front wheels in the straight ahead position (and the engine running on vehicles equipped with power steering) measure lash or lost movement at the steering wheel rim. (b) Lash or lost movement on passenger cars and station wagons, as measured at the steering wheel rim, should not exceed two inches if the vehicle is equipped with manual steering. Lash or lost movement on antique motor vehicles will be measured by steering wheel diameter in accordance with the following schedule: Steering Wheel Diameter Lash (shall not exceed) 16 inches 2 inches 18 inches 2¼ inches 20 inches 2½ inches 22 inches 2¾ inches Antique Motor Vehicles Over c turn (c) The front end (each side) of all vehicles will be raised by jacking and visually examined. Vehicles equipped with ball joints will be raised and checked in accordance with the applicable manufacturer’s specifications. (d) Reject a vehicle with excessive wear or play in any part of the steering mechanism or of the vehicle that would affect proper steering. (e) Reject a vehicle with broken, bent or missing shock absorbers or suspension springs.

That’s the language here.

Anyone experience this or have some thoughts?