What is lubricating the suspension all about?
The suspension allows the wheels of a vehicle to roll over bumps and through potholes while keeping the car in control and the passengers comfortable. Numerous parts in the suspension system move around and connect to the vehicle via joints. Common joints include ball joints and u-joints. Proper lubrication keeps moving parts moving. Some connections in the suspension will contain bushings that could benefit from lubrication as well.
Keep in mind:
- If components in the suspension of a vehicle are broken or missing, lubrication will not fix the problem.
- Different parts take different kinds of lube, so consult the vehicle’s manual for the manufacturers recommendation.
- Some vehicles come with joints that are “permanently lubricated” from the factory. These may need to be lubricated if they exhibit symptoms of excess friction.
How it's done:
- Apply grease to the zerk fittings of all the steering and suspension parts.
The manufacturer should have a certain number of miles it suggests in the owner's manual that the vehicle will travel before needing lubrication on parts of the suspension. Different joints, pivots, and bushings will need individual attention. Some parts will need more attention than others. When accessing the points in the suspension that need to be serviced, inspect surrounding parts and components that may show wear. This includes parts along the drivetrain or within the steering system. Preventative maintenance can be very straightforward with regular inspection of crucial parts.
What are the common symptoms indicating you need to lubricate the suspension?
- Loud squeaking from under the car when it goes over bumps
- Groaning sound when turning
- Suspension not moving smoothly, feels too bumpy
How important is this service?
This service is important in several ways. Without proper lubrication, the suspension will not provide a comfortable ride. If the vehicle is not going over sumps smoothly, the handling could be negatively affected. Expensive parts wear out faster with excess friction.