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2012 Toyota Tacoma - no grease zerks

I recently found out that my 2012 Toyota Tacoma doesn’t have any grease zerks on the front end. How can this be? How long can a front end last without grease? I feel like I have been betrayed by Toyota.

Welcome to Toyota ownership, they haven’t used Zerks for decades

But seriously, even domestic small trucks are getting away from zerks on their tie rod ends, ball joints, u-joints and so on

If you want something with zerks from the factory, you’ll have to get something old, or something very large, class 4 or larger

If you’re really losing sleep over this, you can install Moog aftermarket parts, which to typically have zerks

The last car I had with Zerk fittings was my 92 Voyager.

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GM trucks went away from grease zerks and then put them back in when they had lots of complaints. My '04 truck has them. None of my other cars do unless I put in aftermarket parts.

My 98 Pathfinder didn’t have any zerks - Never needed a ball-joint replaced, and my daughter had to replace the tie-rods after she took ownership at about 350k miles.

My 05 4runner didn’t have zerks. Sold truck with over 300k miles and no suspension or front-end problems.

I too was skeptical. But I now trust the design.

Mine was a 1991 Jeep Cherokee.

All or most cars went away from Zerks decades ago. Some aftermarket replacement parts are fitted with Zerks.

Back in the 80s new Nissans came with a bag of Zerks in the glove box. Install them as an option…

The original parts had a plug in the Zerk grease hole which was removed and consigned to the trash bin.

I was pleasantly surprised to find zerks on the 2005 Sierra I bought last year. Even more surprised to find that most of them appear to have been used. I had several older GM trucks, and I remember I had one with no zerks. Not sure when they quit using them and then started back. I remember my 94 had them.

Few vehicles have them nowadays. Heck, I don’t think most new vehicles have a dipstick for the transmission. Leave off the stuff most folks don’t use, I guess.

I have gotten good service out of the sealed u-joints, though.

I have friends who have had knee replacements or hip replacements and the replacement went bad and they had to have the replacement replaced. If I have to have a knee or hip replaced, I will insist that the surgeon install one with zerks so I don’t have to go through a second surgery for the same thing.

In my 50+ years of driving and fixing my own vehicles, I have found out the the fittings without zerks last much longer than those with zerks.

The ones with zerks are not sealed very well and eventually water and dirt get into them and wear them out. Those without zerks are well sealed. Because the joints don’t get very hot, in fact almost no heat, the grease does not break down. So without zerks, the grease is always fresh and clean and the joints last longer.

Lasts a lifetime, it breaks, lifetime over!

Interesting… I have always purchased parts with zerks myself when replacing the components in question. When buying from the parts stores, the zerk style costs a tad more but carries a lifetime warranty. The zerk-less version is a year or maybe 5 year warranty (I forget). I never thought about them being sealed better from the start but that is definitely a concern. Factory components these days are probably better than a lot of those in the past. Most people do not keep a car or truck 300,000 miles so that might be plenty for most people.