Should You Grease New U-Joints? What About Older U-Joints?

If you have u-joints in your vehicle, you may be wondering if you need to grease them every now and then. It depends on the type of u-joints your vehicle has. There are two kinds of u-joints:

  1. Permanently lubricated u-joints (with no grease zerk)
  2. Greaseable (with a grease zerk)

About Permanently Lubricated U-Joints

Sealed ujoint

Permanently lubricated u-joints are also called sealed u-joints or maintenance-free u-joints. These types of u-joints are permanently sealed. They have enough lubricant to last the lifetime of the u-joint. They operate like regular u-joints. Some truck and SUV owners prefer this type of u-joints. It’s because they don’t need to service their u-joints on a regular basis.

Permanently lubricated u-joints are completely sealed. For that reason, they come with a solid exterior body. You won’t find a grease zerk anywhere. Permanently lubricated u-joints likely last longer than incorrectly maintained greaseable u-joints.

When a permanently lubricated u-joint fails, the only choice is to throw it out and install a new one. When you install permanently lubricated u-joints, it’s a good idea to make sure they are well greased. Make sure they’re not too tight or stiff.

About Greaseable U-Joints

Grease  ujoint

Greaseable u-joints have been around longer than permanently sealed u-joints. Older u-joints were always greaseable. So if you’re asking, “Should I grease older u-joints?” the answer is yes. The common rule of thumb is to grease a greaseable u-joint every 5,000 miles. The exact service interval depends on the u-joint brand.

To grease your u-joints, you need to:

  1. Lift your truck or SUV
  2. Use a grease gun and grease cartridge to refill the u-joint with fresh grease

Greaseable u-joints come with a grease zerk on either the top bearing cap or the cross. That zerk is a passageway for the new grease to enter.

Be sure to grease your u-joints every 5,000 miles (or as recommended by the manufacturer). They’ll likely last longer than permanently sealed u-joints.

How To Know Which Type Of U-Joints Your Vehicle Has

The best way to tell whether your truck or SUV has greaseable or permanently sealed u-joints is to look at the u-joints. If you see a grease zerk on one of the bearing caps or the cross, then it’s greaseable. If there’s no zerk in sight, then it’s permanently sealed.

Want to know more about u-joints? Check out this article.

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