Ball joint recall

This months newsletter will talk about an older recall on Dodge Durangos and Dakota sport utility vehicles in regards to upper ball joint failure. The reason for bringing this recall up again is I still continue to see these vehicles up on flatbed tow trucks with the front wheel or wheels detached.

In fact seeing one today sitting in the Dodge dealer parking lot is what made me write about it. This is one recall that has seem to fallen through the cracks and did not receive much press even though it is dangerous.

The campaign number is D47 and was issued in 2004. Some 595,000 vehicles are affected. Specifically the Durango sport utility vehicles and Dakota pickups with the 4x4 option from the 2000 to 2003 model years. The problem stems from moisture intrusion causing accelerated wear.

Before the joint lets go it does give warning signs, like creaking and popping. The danger is when this is ignored. If you know someone with this truck make them aware of the recall.

Some sad pictures and discussions from owners can be found Here. The talk on the message board seems to indicate that the problem may be farther reaching then indicated by the recall.

Wheel alignments

On a related topic I posted an article about the problems associated with getting a good front end alignment. You may have heard the old saying of "set the toe and let it go" When it comes to wheel alignments I’m in the same boat as you. I have to rely on a mechanic to perform this operation for me.

This is because I don't own an alignment rack and I am not allowed to work on personal vehicles at work. I would appreciate your thoughts and comments about your experience with this popular automotive service. Here is a link to my post about wheel alignments.

That link is a long one. If you receive text only mail, the hyper link probably won't work. You may have to copy and paste the url in your browser address bar.

Thank you for reading this month's Auto-Facts newsletter and visiting the recommended pages. I'm already working on next months Newsletter and trying to find some interesting recalls and technical tips to discuss. Happy New Year to all.

Please forward this newsletter to a friend or Car owner!

Mark R Gittelman (ASE Certified Master Technician)