Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Honda lower ball joint grease type

I had the transmission on my 2001 Honda Accord EX rebuilt at ~198K mi. They cut the right lower ball joint boot. They want to replace the boot, rather than the whole joint, and add more grease. What is the grease type used in that ball joint- lithium, lithium complex, polyurea, aluminum complex, calcium sulfonate? Generally grease types are incompatible. I am concerned about them using the wrong grease and causing lube failure. Replacing a ball joint takes 2 hours flat rate. They can replace the boot more easily. At 200K miles I would prefer to replace the whole joint.

Some ball joints never wear out. Let them change the boot. Grease is compatible with other grease.

Generally grease compatibilities are limited. A table appeared p38 of the June 2008 Tribology & Lubrication Technology. The various lithium greases are compatible with one another and calcium sulfonate, but not with polyurea, aluminum complex, or sodium. The majority of greases produced are lithium. Various other greases are used for long life or high performance applications. I would like to know what grease type is used in permanently sealed Honda ball joints.

You will never get an answer to that question. But that’s immaterial. The joint is sealed and can not be greased, even if the boot is replaced. There is no way to inject grease into the joint. The boot just keeps water and dirt out. New joints come with new grease. End of story…


You’ve never heard of a needle greaser?


You are worrying to much. When a tech goes to grease a tie rod end or a ball joint he will simply reach up and grab the air powered grease gun. He cannot consult a grease menu since the closest grease menu is at McDonalds.

My guess is they separated the ball joint with a pickle fork to remove the axles during the transmission swap.

At that high of a mileage, I’d make sure that ball joint is perfect before reassembling it; new boot or not. My preference would be to replace both ball joints since worn ball joints are the most likely suspension component to put you upside down in the ditch if they break.

I’m having a hard time seeing why they’re charging 2 hours flat rate if they’re already partially in there anyway.
Many jobs have some labor overlap and while the full rate can be charged, my opinion is that it’s bit unethical.

Good one.

Thank you!
You were correct about the pickle fork damage. Removing the lower ball joint means that the CV axle must be removed from the brake/hub assembly. There is very little clearance between the CV boot and the top of the ball joint. Nominally taking everything apart is 2 hours flat rate. The transmission shop will change the ball joint boot which is accessible from below with less effort. The Honda shop manual shows ball joint replacement as a regular procedure. The shop manual doesn’t specify other than chassis grease.

They will replace the ball joints. The left one was somewhat loose. The right one moved freely but was tighter. The grease was as clear amber indicating the lack of molybdenum disulfide extreme pressure agent. I would have expected a grese that would have given as longer life.

My feeling is that any clean grease is better than the correct grease if the correct grease is contaminated with abrasive material. Just like any oil in the engine is better than no oil.