Step-by-Step Guide to Greasing a Car Like a Pro

Why Lubricating Your Car is Essential

When it comes to car maintenance, grease a car is often overlooked. Yet, it’s pivotal for keeping your vehicle in top shape.

Here’s the quick answer you might be looking for:
1. Lubrication helps prevent wear and tear on car parts.
2. Increases vehicle longevity by reducing friction between moving parts.
3. Preventative maintenance minimizes costly repairs and unexpected breakdowns.

Imagine driving down the highway without a care in the world, feeling the smooth hum of your vehicle. That seamless experience is courtesy of proper lubrication. Properly greasing your car doesn’t just keep it running smoothly; it extends the vehicle’s lifespan and wards off expensive repairs.

I’m Todd Cleppe, Executive Engineer at CFAB Global, with over 25 years of experience in automated lubrication systems. I’ve spent years ensuring machinery lasts longer and operates more efficiently, and the same principles apply to your car.

Visual guide to car lubrication points - grease a car infographic infographic-line-3-steps

Next, let’s dive into understanding car greasing in more detail.

Understanding Car Greasing

When it comes to maintaining your car, chassis lubrication is crucial. The chassis includes components like the steering and suspension systems, which are constantly in motion. These parts need regular greasing to keep them working smoothly and to prevent premature wear.

Chassis Lubrication

Chassis lubrication involves applying grease to various moving parts under your vehicle. Traditionally, older cars had numerous lubrication points—sometimes 20-30! This led to the term “Oil and Lube” for frequent maintenance. Nowadays, while many components are sealed, several still require regular greasing.

Sealed Systems

Modern vehicles often come with sealed systems. These systems are designed to be maintenance-free, meaning they don’t need additional lubrication over their lifetime. The idea is to reduce the frequency of maintenance and make the vehicle more user-friendly.

However, not all parts are sealed. For instance, U-joints in the driveshaft and certain suspension components still need regular greasing. Your vehicle’s service manual will list which components need attention.

“Lubed for Life”

The term “lubed for life” is commonly used for sealed systems. It means that these components are pre-lubricated during manufacturing and don’t need further greasing. However, “life” often refers to the expected lifespan of the part, which might not match the lifespan of your vehicle.

For instance, tie rod ends or ball joints in older vehicles are often not sealed and need periodic greasing. In contrast, their modern counterparts are usually sealed. If you prefer to extend the life of these components beyond the manufacturer’s expectations, you might consider installing grease fittings to make them serviceable.

Car chassis lubrication - grease a car

Understanding these basics helps you know which parts of your car need attention and how often.

Next, we’ll explore when to grease your car to keep it running smoothly.

When to Grease a Car

Knowing when to grease a car is crucial for keeping it in top shape. Let’s break it down by looking at older vehicles, modern vehicles, and maintenance schedules.

Older Vehicles

Older vehicles often have more grease points. These cars were built with components that require regular lubrication. Common parts needing grease include:

  • Sway bar bushings
  • Ball joints
  • Tie rod ends

These parts move a lot and need grease to reduce wear and tear. For older cars, it’s usually recommended to grease these points every 6 months or every 2 oil changes. This keeps everything running smoothly and prevents expensive repairs.

Modern Vehicles

Modern vehicles are a bit different. Many parts are now “sealed for life,” meaning they don’t need regular greasing. For instance, most ball joints and tie rod ends in new cars come sealed. This design aims to reduce maintenance needs and increase convenience for car owners.

However, some modern components still require attention. For example, driveshaft U-joints in some vehicles are greaseable. Always check your owner’s manual to know which parts need greasing.

Maintenance Schedules

Following a maintenance schedule is key. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Every 6 months or 2 oil changes: Grease all serviceable points.
  • Every 50,000 miles: Check and grease any U-joints or other long-life components.
  • Visual inspections: During oil changes, visually inspect grease points to ensure lubricant is staying where it should.

By sticking to a schedule, you can catch issues early and extend the life of your vehicle. Always refer to your vehicle’s service manual for specific recommendations.

Next, we’ll dive into how to grease a car, step by step.

How to Grease a Car

Preparing Your Tools

Before you start, gather essential tools:

  • Grease gun: Make sure it’s loaded and ready.
  • Jack stands: Ensure stability and safety.
  • Safety equipment: Gloves, eye protection, and wheel blocks.

Safety first: Always use jack stands, not just a hydraulic jack, to support your vehicle. Secure the wheels with wheel blocks to prevent rolling.

Locating Grease Points

Identifying grease points is crucial. Here are common locations:

  • Sway bar bushings and end-links
  • Ball joints
  • Tie rod ends (inner and outer)
  • U-joints (if applicable)

Use your vehicle’s service manual to confirm all lubrication points.

Applying the Grease

1. Load Your Grease Gun

  • Pull back the plunger and lock it in place.
  • Open the barrel and insert the new grease cartridge.
  • Remove the plastic cap and pull tab, then screw the barrel back together.
  • Pump the grease gun to ensure grease flows out smoothly.

2. Lift the Vehicle

  • Use the floor jack to lift your vehicle.
  • Place jack stands securely under the chassis.
  • Block the wheels for added safety.

3. Clean Fittings

  • Wipe fittings and grease gun nozzle with a clean rag to remove dirt.

4. Attach to Zerk Fittings

  • Locate the zerk fittings on each grease point.
  • Attach the grease gun firmly to each fitting.

5. Apply Grease

  • Pump the grease gun until you see the rubber seals or boots rise slightly.
  • Avoid overfilling to prevent rupturing the seals.

6. Work Methodically

  • Start from the driver’s side and move towards the center.
  • Include all components like tie rods, ball joints, sway bar bushings, and U-joints.

7. Independent Rear Suspension

  • Check and lubricate if your vehicle has serviceable rear suspension parts.

By following these steps, you can grease a car like a pro, ensuring smooth operation and extending the life of your vehicle’s components.

Next, we’ll explore the different types of grease suitable for your car.

Types of Grease for Cars

Choosing the Right Grease

When it comes to greasing a car, one size doesn’t fit all. The type of grease you use can make a big difference in performance and longevity. Here are the main types of grease you should consider:

MP Grease

Multi-Purpose (MP) Grease is the jack-of-all-trades in the grease world. It’s versatile and suitable for various applications, including:

  • Ball joints
  • Tie rod ends
  • U-joints

MP Grease is designed to handle moderate temperatures and pressures, making it a go-to for many car owners.

Specialty Greases

Sometimes, you need something more specific. Specialty greases are formulated for particular conditions and components:

  • Silicone Grease: Ideal for rubber components like bushings. It reduces friction and protects against water and corrosion.
  • Lithium Grease: Great for high-temperature applications. It’s commonly used in wheel bearings.
  • Molybdenum Disulfide (Moly) Grease: Perfect for high-load areas like CV joints. It provides excellent wear protection.

Always check your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations before choosing a grease.

Grease Application Tips

Applying the right amount of grease is crucial. Too little, and you risk poor lubrication. Too much, and you could damage seals or attract dirt.

Amount of Grease

  • Follow Manufacturer Guidelines: Always refer to your vehicle’s manual.
  • Visual Inspection: If you see grease oozing out, it’s a sign you’ve used enough.

Avoiding Over-Greasing

  • Less is More: Over-greasing can rupture seals and attract contaminants.
  • Monitor Output: When using a grease gun, stop as soon as you see the old grease being pushed out.

Cleaning Up

  • Wipe Excess Grease: Use a clean rag to remove any excess grease from the fittings and surrounding areas.
  • Dispose Properly: Follow local guidelines for disposing of used grease and rags.

By choosing the right grease and applying it correctly, you can ensure your car runs smoothly and components last longer.

Next, we’ll tackle some common questions about car greasing.

Common Questions About Car Greasing

Should You Grease a Modern Car?

Modern cars often feature sealed components, meaning many parts are designed to be “lubed for life.” This includes things like ball joints, tie rod ends, and sway bar bushings. Sealed systems are meant to reduce maintenance needs and simplify vehicle upkeep.

However, factory recommendations vary. Always check your vehicle’s manual to confirm which parts, if any, need greasing. Some aftermarket parts, especially those used in performance or off-road applications, may still have grease fittings (zerks) that require periodic lubrication.

How Often Should You Grease Your Car?

The frequency of greasing depends on several factors:

  • Service intervals: For older vehicles or those with aftermarket parts, it’s typically recommended to grease every 6 months or during every other oil change.
  • Driving conditions: Harsh environments like off-road, salty roads, or extreme temperatures can necessitate more frequent greasing.
  • Visual inspections: Regularly check for signs of wear or lack of lubrication. Grease points should be inspected and serviced if the lubricant appears dry or contaminated.

What Tools Are Needed for Greasing a Car?

To grease a car effectively, you’ll need the right tools and safety gear:

  • Grease guns: Essential for applying grease to fittings. Make sure you know how to load and operate your grease gun properly.
  • Cartridge types: Grease comes in various types and sizes. Choose the right cartridge for your specific grease gun model.
  • Jack stands: Ensure your car is securely lifted for safe access to grease points.
  • Safety gear: Gloves, goggles, and protective clothing are crucial to avoid injury and keep clean.

Using the correct tools and following safety protocols will make the greasing process efficient and safe.

Next, we’ll discuss how CFAB Global can help you maintain your vehicle.

Maintaining Your Vehicle with CFAB Global

Maintaining your vehicle is essential for longevity and performance. At CFAB Global, we offer a comprehensive Machine Reliability Program that ensures your car runs smoothly for years to come. This program is designed to catch issues before they become costly problems, saving you time and money.

Machine Reliability Program

Our Machine Reliability Program includes:

  • Regular inspections: We perform detailed inspections to identify potential issues.
  • Preventative maintenance: Routine services like oil changes, tire rotations, and, yes, greasing your car.
  • Advanced diagnostics: Using state-of-the-art equipment to detect problems that aren’t visible to the naked eye.

Customized Services

Every vehicle is unique, and so are its maintenance needs. CFAB Global offers customized services tailored to your vehicle’s specific requirements. Whether it’s a classic car with numerous grease points or a modern vehicle with sealed systems, we’ve got you covered.

  • Personalized maintenance plans: Based on your driving habits and vehicle type.
  • Specialty services: For high-performance or off-road vehicles.
  • Expert advice: From our experienced technicians who understand the intricacies of different car models.

Enhancing Component Lifespan

Proper maintenance doesn’t just keep your car running; it extends the lifespan of its components. Regular greasing, as part of a comprehensive maintenance plan, can significantly enhance the durability of your vehicle’s parts.

  • Reduced wear and tear: Proper lubrication minimizes friction, reducing wear on moving parts.
  • Improved performance: Well-maintained components operate more efficiently.
  • Cost savings: Fewer repairs and replacements mean lower long-term costs.

By partnering with CFAB Global, you ensure your vehicle gets the best care possible, keeping it in top condition for the long haul.

Next, we’ll dive into the various types of grease suitable for cars and how to choose the right one for your needs.

Conclusion

Regular maintenance is key to keeping your vehicle running smoothly and avoiding costly repairs. By following a consistent greasing schedule, you can ensure that all moving parts are well-lubricated and functioning optimally. This not only enhances the longevity of your vehicle but also improves its overall performance.

DIY Tips

  • Stay Consistent: Make a habit of greasing your car every six months or every two oil changes, whichever comes first.
  • Use the Right Tools: Invest in a quality grease gun and the appropriate type of grease for your vehicle.
  • Inspect Regularly: While greasing, take the time to visually inspect each component for signs of wear or leaks.

CFAB Global Support

At CFAB Global, we are committed to helping you maintain your vehicle effectively. Our Machine Reliability Program offers customized services to enhance the lifespan of your vehicle’s components. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or prefer professional help, our expert team is here to support you every step of the way.

By keeping up with regular maintenance and leveraging our specialized services, you can ensure your vehicle remains in excellent condition for years to come.

For more information on automated lubrication systems and other maintenance solutions, visit our Automated Lubrication System page.

With these tips and the support of CFAB Global, greasing a car like a pro is well within your reach. Happy driving!

Family Owned & Operated Since 1998
Machine Reliability Specialists

Links

Contact

Email

info@cfabglobal.com

Address

3519 U Ave
Chelsea, Iowa 52215 USA

Mon - Fri

8:00am to 5:00pm Mon-Thu
8:00am to 4:00pm Fri
(Sat - Sun) CLOSED