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Lubricate U-Joints Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your u-joint lubrication? Use Jerry’s GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your u-joint lubrication.
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John Davis
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does it cost to lubricate u-joints?

Depending on the type of vehicle you drive and which auto body shop you go to, the price for a universal joint lubrication may change. However, you can generally expect prices of $90-$115.
Keep in mind: Some vehicles have enclosed u-joints attached to both ends of the driveshaft. As a result, you don’t need to add fresh grease to these types of driveshaft u-joints as they are permanently lubricated. Refer to your owner’s manual to determine which type of u-joints your car has before determining if you need a universal joint lubrication.
How long does it take to lubricate u-joints? The average time to lubricate u-joints is about 1-1.5 hours. Based upon where you have your vehicle serviced, time lengths may vary as a result of high volume or whether your visit is appointment based or walk-in. 
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need to lubricate u-joints and how much do those parts cost?

It’s worth noting that if you take your vehicle to a mechanic to lubricate your u-joints, it’s likely they will already have these supplies on hand and the fees will be added to your service cost. However, if you choose to complete a u-joint lubrication at home, you will need the following products: 
  1. Grease gun: Grease guns are a tool that’s used to apply new grease to your vehicle’s u-joints. Using an aperture and grease fitting, the grease gun can move lubricant from the cartridge to a desired area, and can be purchased for $15-$180 depending on whether it’s corded or battery operated.
  2. Universal joint lube: To grease u-joints, you will need a lube designed specifically for universal joints. As u-joints are an important component of your suspension system, selecting the right one is imperative. Before purchase, it’s best to consult your owner’s manual. Prices for universal joint lube can range anywhere between $10-$40.
You can purchase u-joint lubrication parts for your car from auto parts stores like AutoZone, NAPA Auto Parts, and Advance Auto Parts, as well as online retailers such as Amazon and RockAuto. Three of our recommended brands for grease guns are Lincoln Industrial, Alemite, and DEWALT. For universal joint lube, we recommend brands like Lucas Oil, Valvoline, and Mobil 1. Keep in mind that the best parts for your u-joint lubrication will vary based on your vehicle’s year, make, and model.
When it comes to u-joint grease, it’s best to go with OEM products. Spicer parts and Dana are OEM approved companies, meaning their products are designed for an array of vehicles. Both have NLGI lithium-based greases that are either multi-purpose, high temperature, and extreme pressure. 
No matter the grease you select, it’s important to make sure that it has similar characteristics to a gear grease with oil thickener separation, strong extreme pressure properties, and water resistance to help your u-joint perform at its highest peak. 
Grease for a universal joint relubrication can be bought at auto body and auto part shops, like AutoZone, NAPA Auto Parts, and Advance Auto Parts, or online through sellers, including Amazon. Grease guns are available for purchase through auto part shops or commercial retail stores, like Walmart and Home Depot, and can be ordered online or in-person. 

Where can I get my u-joint lubricated?

When an unexpected car repair happens, it can leave you with a lot of questions—one being, where are you going to find a cost-effective and high-quality mechanic? Luckily, Jerry's
GarageGuard™
has the answers. 
Using real hourly rates, Jerry's GarageGuard™ can cross reference over 2,500 vetted auto body shops in the US to bring you important information on service and diagnostic fees, like whether they’re combined or separate and how much each mechanic charges. 
Even more, Jerry's GarageGuard™ provides you with real reviews, so any outstanding questions you may have can be answered by past customers.
Take a look at some of our vetted shops, and download the app to compare car repair estimates and quotes in your area. 
162 Reviews
Z.A. & D. Service Station
address
31-5 38th Ave, Long Island, NY
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$135
130 Reviews
Cordova Auto Center 4
address
3425 SW Military Dr, San Antonio, TX
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$45
167 Reviews
Thompson Auto Repair
address
501 NE 27th St, Pompano Beach, FL
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$0
107 Reviews
Kerry's Car Care - Glendale
address
4312 W Olive Ave, Phoenix, AZ
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$177
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic lubricate my u-joints?

Prior to beginning a universal joint lubrication, your mechanic will lift your vehicle and examine it for any signs of corrosion, contaminants, or damage to your suspension systems (front and back). Then, they will likely use these steps to grease your u-joints: 
  1. Locate and grease u-joints: Using a creeper, your mechanic will slide under the rear axles and access the u-joint, which connects both the axle and driveshaft together. Then, the u-joint will be filled with a zerk fitting up until the correct amount of grease is applied. Any excess grease will be wiped clean.
  2. Lubricate front driveshaft u-joints: If needed, your mechanic will also lubricate your front driveshaft u-joints. This is more likely to happen on four-wheel drive vehicles, and the same steps will be repeated for the front suspension as well. 
  3. Lower and test: Finally, your car will be lowered and taken for a test drive to ensure that all problems are addressed. 

What happens if I don’t lubricate my u-joints?

Your u-joints are vital to the success of your suspension system, and left untreated can lead to early wear and tear, increased friction, and more. Some other more severe issues that will occur are: 
  • Loss of control 
  • Unstable driving
  • Increased risk of accidents

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.  

FAQs

No, you can’t over grease a u-joint. Unlike bearings, the universal joint is designed so grease pours out of all four ends. However, if you don’t lubricate your u-joints frequently, it’s possible that one cap will stop taking grease, adding more pressure on the other 3 caps, causing overall u-joint failure.
When getting new u-joints placed on your vehicle, it’s recommended that you lubricate each in accordance with the provided instructions before installation. This will provide added protection and make sure that your universal joints will operate effectively. 
For u-joints, lithium grease is most commonly used due to its thickening properties, making it great in high temperature and water resistant. Additionally, lithium grease is more on the budget-friendly side, so it’s great for those cautious of overall cost. 

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.