The ball joints of your vehicle allow your steering knuckles to properly pivot so you control where your vehicle goes. I know that ball joints are critical to the suspension of my vehicle but I wanted my readers to understand these components thoroughly.
I sought a suspension expert to help me understand the part ball joints play in my steering abilities, and how to select the best grease for ball joints so I can keep mine working properly. The following products are not listed in any particular order.
Grease for Ball Joints Comparison Table
7 Ball Joint Grease Reviews & Buying Guide
1. Lucas Oil Heavy Duty Ball Joints Grease
Dropping point of this heavy-duty grease made by Lucas Oil is 560 degrees. This extreme dropping point stops your grease from becoming too thin and not coating the ball joint properly. Thicker grease reduces heat and damage from friction. This substance stays in the grease gun like it should and stays in place in the ball joint like it should.
Drying out is not a problem with this grease. It also will stay in place and not wash out of the ball joint due to water exposure. It has an NLGI rating of GC-LB so it is perfect for ball joints and all other portions of the chassis.
This grease is great on automobiles that are driven daily on city streets, it is perfect for automobiles and equipment that is driven in off-road situations, it is good for lawn equipment, farming equipment, trailers, logging equipment and construction equipment.
This is neither the cheapest or the most expensive grease on the market. It is affordable, effective, and recommended by many mechanics and suspension specialist.
2. Valvoline Fully Synthetic Grease
Approved for use in all American and Japanese manufactured vehicles. It has an NLGI rating of #2. It is moly fortified so the film of the grease is made stronger and more resilient. That allows them to stay in place and perform perfectly even when you are hauling heavy loads or driving in off-road situations.
The temperature range that this grease can withstand is extraordinary. It will perform well in temperatures that get as cold as -60 below zero. It can also withstand heat as high as 4250 F before it starts to thin down and evolve into a liquid state. Drive in the desert or the mountains and this grease will keep you protected.
This grease is composed of 2.5% Moly. Molybdenum disulfide is a solid additive that is mixed into grease to increase the substance’s ability to withstand pressure and make it stay in place through water exposure, high-temperature fluctuations, pressure, and friction of movement.
This grease is suitable in cars, lawn equipment like riding mowers, wood chippers, ATV, and other farm and garden equipment used and maintained by homeowners. It is an affordably priced grease option that is known to be durable and long-lasting.
3. Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease Ball Joint Lube
Recommended for automobile and truck maintenance. It is also handy for maintenance on small farm equipment like tractors, trailers, hay-balers, mowers, ATV, plows and tillers. This grease has the perfect consistency and is able to maintain consistency through a variety of stresses such as high and low temperature fluctuations and heavy-load endurance. You can even use this grease as a gun lube.
This grease is slightly more expensive than the common wheel bearing grease, but it is also long lasting, dependable, and resistant to water and road grime. It protects perfectly and it is very hard for it to be forced out of the position it is in. It stays in place and provides the utmost in lubrication to your ball joints, CV joints, U-joints, wheel bearings, and more.
If stored for a long period of time the oil will separate from the thickener mixed into the grease. Recommendation is to not buy a great deal more of this grease than what you will need in a six to twelve-month period of time. You will see the color change to a bright red when the grease has begun to separate or disintegrate.
4. Plews and Edelmann Marine Suspension Grease
Corrosion and rust control are extremely important on wheel bearings, chassis parts and suspension parts. A very small amount of rust or corrosion could alter your ability to steer and control your vehicle. This grease is designed to help the parts of your vehicle resist corrosion and rust that could damage them.
The protective qualities of this grease will extend the life of the working portions of your vehicle. It is perfect for use on boat trailers that are frequently exposed to water, salt-water, and temperature variations. It is insoluble in water so it retains the precise thickness and coating abilities that it needs.
It has a dropping point of 550 degrees so it resists thinning caused by high heat. It can be used on vehicles, trailers, construction equipment, ATVs, garden equipment, tractors, mowers, and just about anything that requires a good grease lubrication to keep the parts moving correctly.
This grease is not applied with the typical grease gun. You put it in place using your hand or a syringe that you can buy separately.
This is a low-cost grease that provides all of the properties you need to protect your suspension and chassis. It does not easily separate; it also does not mix well with other greases so push out the old grease before applying this in your ball joint.
5. Sta-Lube Water Resistant Marine Suspension Grease
Water wash-out will simply not occur when you use this marine grease on your trailers and bearings. This is not a grease gun applied grease and will not easily be placed in a ball joint through a Zerk fitting.
The main applications for this grease are boat trailers and marine equipment. It is designed to be exposed to water and resist the thinning and wash-out that occurs with water exposure. It also protects the metal components from rust and corrosion that occurs when they are repeatedly exposed to water, high humidity, and other moist conditions.
This grease cost more than many similar products. You do not ever want to save money by buying a lesser quality grease. The grease you put on your bearings and suspension parts is going to extend the life of the part, allow you to have more control over the vehicle or vessel, and create a safer riding environment.
6. WD-40 Extreme Pressure Grease
This gre4ase is applicable to just about anything that needs to be greased. Bearings, hinges, mowers, U-joints, ball joints, tie rod ends, CV joints, chassis components, suspension components, lawn mowers, bicycles, tractors, trailers, hay bailing equipment, belly-mowers, plows, discs, harvesters, snow-plows, and more. It is a great product and it is very versatile.
This substance is a perfect blend and is the perfect consistency for application with a grease gun. You must have a grease gun to use when you are applying this substance because it does not have a spout for self-application from the tube.
The thickness of this grease is precise and once applied it retains its consistency even when exposed to high-pressure situations, water, high heat situations, low-temperature situations, and other means of stress.
Storage of this product is safe. It is non-flammable and will do well when stored even when stored for lengths of one year or greater.
7. Valvoline High Temperature Grease
Formulated and designed to withstand higher temperatures than most similar substances can. It is also capable of withstanding high pressure without breaking down or thinning significantly.
This is an NLGI #2 so it is the perfect thickness for dispensing through a grease gun and into common fittings like the Zerk fitting on ball joints. It can withstand temperatures in a range from -50 to 3750 F. It contains 2.5% moly additives. It does not have added corrosion control elements.
When you store this grease, it needs to be free from the grease gun. The residual pressure of the grease gun will increase the rate in which the substance separates and turns into a liquid goo. Separation occurs in all grease mixtures over time, and you can extend the shelf life by keeping this product in a cool room where it is not exposed to high heat or sunlight.
What Type of Grease to Use on Ball Joints
The ball joint grease that you choose to use in your maintenance of ball joints, u-joints, CV joints, wheel bearings, and more makes a huge difference in how your vehicle performs. A recipe is only as good as the ingredients you use to make it. That is why most people choose the best possible and freshest ingredients when they are cooking.
The ability of your ball joint to work effectively is dependent on it being properly greased and maintained. The grease that you use to maintain the ball joints will make a difference in how often you have to grease the joints and how fluidly the joints can move.
To determine what grease is going to be most effective for your vehicle you need
Your ball joints are exposed to water frequently. They are exposed when it is raining and when you drive through standing water. People who drive Jeeps often drive over off-road terrain and that terrain often includes standing water.
The water-resistant grease will not break down from water exposure so it protects your joints thoroughly.
The grease that you purchase will more than likely have a variety of additives that make the grease better suited for one type of driving or another. The additives help the grease to withstand higher temperatures, withstand higher amounts of pressure, remain stable when exposed to water and the elements, and more.
Some of the common additives and benefits designed into grease are:
- Anti-wear properties that make it last longer
- Rust and corrosion-resistant help protect your components from rusting or the damages that rust and corrosion can cause to bearings, ball joints, and more.
In the creation of the grease, thickeners are used to make the grease reach the perfect consistency. One thickener used is calcium-sulfate. Calcium-sulfate gives the grease more shear stability than grease which is made from lithium complexes.
Lithium complexes have good stability and are usually less expensive than the Calcium-sulfate substances.
The length of time the grease is supposed to remain in service without needing changed is important. You want a grease that is said to last a long time, but you still want to maintain and grease your chassis components every time you change your oil.
Grease is divided into rating categories according to how thick it is. It is also divided into categories depending on the purpose the grease addresses. Some common grease varieties and their purposes include:
- Multi-purpose grease is a general ball joint lubricant that is good for light and heavy-duty applications. It can be used on most portions of the vehicle that require greasing as part of the maintenance.
- Water-resistant grease is better for off-road driving and for any driving that might include frequent exposure to wet roads, standing water, or snow.
- High-performance or high-temperature grease is designed for racing cars and vehicles that are put under extreme pressures, or exposed to extreme conditions like higher than average air temperatures.
- Off-road grease is specifically designed for the components that are driven on rougher terrain and under intense pressures. This grease is great for off-road drivers, agricultural equipment, construction equipment, and wheel hubs that are especially difficult to service and grease.
The NLGI is a classification for grease. There are nine classifications recognized by the National Lubrication and Grease Institute. 000 through 6 is assigned according to the thickness and properties of the substance. 000 is almost a liquid substance and 6 is almost completely solid.
The lower NLGI numbers are often used to make the grease easier to pump out. Higher numbers are used when leaks and problems are needing to be addressed. The thicker substance helps to prevent leaks and seepage.
The most commonly used NLGI rating is a 2. This rating is given to grease that is thick enough to stay in place and thin enough to easily disperse.
The dropping point of grease tells you about the temperature tolerance the grease has. The dropping point is the point that the grease will transform from a semi-solid to a liquid. When the grease turns into a liquid it is no longer effective at protecting your vehicle.
How to Grease a Ball Joint in Easy 6 Steps
Before you can grease your ball joints you must determine whether the item is greasable, and the type of fitting it has to put the grease in. The different fittings require you to have different grease guns on hand.
To grease your joints, gather the tools you need.
- Grease of choice
- Grease gun with the correct fitting
- The flexible hose that connects to the grease gun
- Rag for wiping away excess grease
- Inspect the rubber dust boots for any tears or cracks. If they are in good shape proceed to the next step, if the boot is compromised then you need to at the very least, replace the dust boot.
- Clean off the Zerk fitting so you do not allow any contaminants like dust or road debris to get into your grease going into the joint. If the Zerk fitting has rusted you want to change it out with a new one.
- Attach the gun to the fitting and make sure that it snaps tightly onto the fitting. You should hear an audible snap when the fitting on the grease gun is securely in connection with the Zerk fitting of the ball joint.
- Pump the grease slowly into the ball joint until you can start to see the boot begin to swell out slightly. Once the boot starts to swell outwards it is imperative that you stop. If you put too much grease in you can damage the seal that holds the grease in place and with that damage, the ball joint will become compromised and the life expectancy of the part will be reduced.
- Tilt the coupler that is connecting the grease hose to the Zerk fitting so the coupler releases and can be pulled from the fitting. Do this slowly so you do not damage your fitting.
- Take the clean dry rag you have and wipe away any excess grease that is lingering on your Zerk fitting or on your dust boot. Excess grease means excess dirt and sand can get into your ball joint.
FAQs of Grease for Ball Joints & U Joints
What Kind of Grease Do I Use for Ball Joints?
The grease you choose for your ball joints needs to be labeled as “GC-LB”. This rating comes from the National Lubricating Grease Institute and that rating tells you that the grease is perfect for use on any portion of your chassis.
Is Moly Grease Good for Ball Joints?
Moly grease is the specific grease for ball joints. It is also the grease recommended for tie rod ends, and the CV joints. High temp grease is specific for wheel bearings and the U-joints.
How Often Should You Grease Your Ball Joints?
Most experts recommend that you grease and do maintenance on your ball joints every 4.5 to 5 thousand miles. Typically, you should grease the ball joints each time that you rotate your tires.
Why should You Wipe off Excess Grease?
By cleaning away the excess you reduce the amount of dirt and debris that can build up on the joint. The excess grease can also mask a leak so cleaning away the excess allows you to find a potential problem quicker.
Are Ball Joints Pre-Greased?
Yes, they are. The ball joints are ready to be installed on the vehicle when they are purchased. Older versions of the ball joint often came ungreased and had to be greased during installation.
Our Top Pick
Greasing your ball joints will allow the joints to withstand the pressure and friction placed on them so they last longer if you keep them greased properly. The joints will perform more effectively when they are properly greased.
If you read the article carefully, you know now which the best ball joint grease for your jeep is. I recommend that you check the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations for the type and thickness of grease you use on your ball joints. If you want to find a grease that works great even under extreme pressure and in extremely cold temperatures I recommend the WD-40 Heavy-duty extreme pressure grease.