You can practice perfect maintenance, but at some point there's not going to be enough chassis grease in the world to keep your Buick ball joint and Buick tie rod from letting your front wheels wobble as you drive down the street. That's not to say that you're going to jump in your Regal one morning and suddenly feel a huge difference in handling because your Buick ball joint wore out overnight. The Buick ball joint and Buick tie rod wear slowly over thousands of miles-that's a good thing on one hand, since it means your wheel isn't just going to fall off one day. But on the other hand, it can also mean that you won't really notice a Buick ball joint or Buick tie rod problem because you'll have gotten used to the way your car drives. That can lead to expensive repairs: A bad Buick ball joint or Buick tie rod can wear out a set of front tires in just a few hundred miles, not to mention your steering gearbox and suspension bushings. In fact, the free play allowed by a worn Buick ball joint or Buick tie rod puts a tremendous amount of stress on every other component in your steering and suspension system. That's why it's so important to carefully inspect your vehicle whenever you're performing routine maintenance. A Buick ball joint or Buick tie rod problem is relatively easy to spot under the right circumstances. You can easily detect free play in both the road wheel and steering wheel when the car is off the ground for an oil change or a lube job. A little further investigation will tell you whether the looseness is coming from the Buick ball joint, Buick tie rod, or from another area of the car entirely. Smart vehicle owners know their cars and trucks from front to rear. Do the same with your Skylark, Riviera, or Lacrosse and you'll never end up replacing an entire steering rack due to a faulty Buick ball joint or Buick tie rod.