What is u-joint lubrication?
Lubricating your u-joints is important to help keep your vehicle running smoothly. Universal joints are made of steel and each host a bearing cap on their end. This connects the driveshaft to the transmission to help rotate your wheels efficiently. Without properly lubricated u-joints, enhanced friction will occur, resulting in evental wear and tear to not only your universal joints, but possibly other parts of your suspension system as well.
When should I lubricate the u-joints on my car?
Universal joints should be checked regularly to make sure they are performing correctly. However, if lubrication is required, you may experience some of these common symptoms:
Squeaking or clunking noise: An overextended u-joint will often make a clunking or squeaking sound. This is the result of the universal joints creating friction, which will lead to premature wear on the u-joints and other parts, like the driveshaft.
How often should u-joints be lubricated?
There are two types of u-joints: prematurely greased and greasable. Your vehicle’s owner manual will notify you of which type of universal joint you have.
With greasable u-joints, it’s often recommended to grease every 5,000 miles or as suggested by the manufacturer. However, this also depends on your vehicle. Some trucks require every 40,000-50,000 miles. If you’re unsure, one rule of thumb is to do a u-joint lubrication every oil change, or check your owner’s manual for further instruction.
Note that prematurely greased u-joints won’t ever need to be relubricated, and if you experience friction or u-joint failure, you will most likely need to get new u-joints.
Can I lubricate u-joints myself?
Yes, you can lubricate your universal joints. This procedure requires a mid-level understanding of car parts, but if you’re ever uncomfortable with the idea of completing your own repair, or not confident in your skills, it’s best to take your car to an auto body shop for proper lubrication.