In the last service on my 2010 Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet, the mechanic noted "offside link arm ball joint and nuts worn (Facing upward)".

I may replace it myself, but I'm not certain which arm they're referring to. I've annotated these images that I took with the names I know:

Front offside suspension looking rearwards from the front of the car. Front offside suspension looking forwards from the rear of the car.

What is it that the mechanic is referring to? While under the car I was able to check that all of the ball joints appeared to move normally apart from the lower control arm, which I was unable to move after I raised the car from the axle stands. I assume, because of the mysterious "facing up" comment, that this is the one he's referring to?

Thank you!

1 Answer 1


From looking at the pictures, the only ball joint which is present is on the lower control arm. This should be the one your mechanic is talking about. If you dissect what was given you, I think this bears out:

offside link arm ball joint and nuts worn (Facing upward)

  • offside - Away from the driver's side
  • link arm ball joint - There is only one ball joint in what you've shown us
  • Facing upwards - Which the ball joint for the lower control arm is

I have no clue how the mechanic would consider the nut for the ball joint is worn, but I'll just let that lie.

  • I thought that the drop link and radius rod both attached with ball joints too? Isn't that why I can move the drop link a little by hand?
    – Daniel
    Dec 29, 2016 at 14:19
  • While it's the same exact thing, they aren't called ball joints. The term "ball joint" is specific to where the control arm connects to the knuckle/spindle. Dec 29, 2016 at 14:23
  • 1
    And when I say "exact same thing" I'm saying they are shaped the same and perform much in the same manner. They are definitely not the same size or strength. Dec 29, 2016 at 14:25
  • I always understood that "off-side" is the driver's side (centre of the road) as "near-side" was closest to the kerb (passenger side).... Of course, the best solution is to go back to the mechanic and ask him to be sure !
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 12, 2017 at 7:12

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