You’re probably here because you started your car this morning and heard some rather frightening noises coming out of the front. If you did a little tweaking, you likely found some issues with the ball joints or the tie rods.
A little lubrication should help eliminate the issue; however, you may not know what type of grease for ball joints and tie rods you should use. This problem can be solved with the most commonly found greases like NLGI #2 or lithium grease.
Here’s a simple guide to help you familiarize yourself with what your car needs in such a case.
Ball Joints And Tie-Rods, And Why They Need Greasing?
Ball joints and tie rods are part of your car’s mechanism. Ball joints, like the name suggests, consist of a ball (the stud) that moves freely in a socket (the housing), helping you move your tires in different directions. The tie-rod is what helps your wheels stay aligned and coordinate with your steering wheel.
Stuff like rust, dirt, or water can interfere with their movement, reducing their efficiency, and you can eventually feel the consequences when driving. Greasing will not only improve performance but also provide a degree of protection. Keep reading to figure out what type of grease for ball joints and tie rods would suit your needs the best.
Factors to Consider for the Right Type of Grease for Ball Joints And Tie Rods
There are some important factors to look out for when picking good quality grease for your ball joints and tie rods to ensure they work optimally under most circumstances.
The NLGI (National Lubricating Grease Institute) has certain standards that you should be familiar with. The standards include a set of numbers assigned to various types of grease according to their consistency or hardness that lets to figure out what exactly it is that you need.
For ball joints and tie rods, it is recommended to reach for grease with an NLGI #1 or NLGI #2, as they’re both good at a range of temperatures. Since these standards are widely used, you should be able to find the exact consistency you want.
You’ll have to pay attention to the kind of weather you’re in when you choose your grease. For colder months, especially in regions like Alaska or Minnesota, you want to go for grease with lower viscosity. Grease tends to thicken or become more viscous at lower temperatures, so an NLGI #1 would be your best bet.
Likewise, a thicker grease such as NLGI #2 would be ideal for hotter climates in places like Arizona since higher temperatures tend to make them runnier.
The parts you are tending to are subjected to friction, so they generate a certain amount of heat. External heat from the rest of the car can also be a factor here. This will affect how you choose a lubricant for that part. It’s best to refer to the instruction manual with your car to figure out how much heat will affect the kind of grease you use.
You also want to be mindful of any particular components constituting the grease. Some additives may be preferable, such as those that help withstand high friction, pressure, or high temperatures. Occasionally, you’ll find some brands of grease add dyes to their products, but these do not affect the functionality.
Common Grease For Ball Joints And Tie Rods
While you have tons of options that would meet your needs, here are some common choices that will do the trick
Molybdenum disulfide grease, also known as Moly, is an inexpensive choice that generally does the trick. Some brands have a great selection of this specifically made for ball joints.
Being the most used grease, it gets its reputation from being a very good water-resistant and high-temperature stable lubricant. Tie rods and ball joints would be up and running in no time with this one!
This grease provides extra corrosion and rust protection which is a great feature to invest in for this particular scenario.
This is a widely used, multipurpose grease in the automobile industry as it works well with high temperatures without leaking through.