i drive a 2005 taurus wagon. does the suspension need lubrication?

Nope. The days of hitting zerk fittings with the grease gun are gone forever.

A spray can of silicone lube can, however, be used to find a creaky bushing. Are you hearing a creak somewhere?

No. Not yet. But in years to come when you develop a noisy or worn out ball joint or tie-rod, the replacement parts will generally come with a lube fitting.

Funny thing though, in my experience, the suspension components that are sealed don’t seem to fail any sooner than the ones with grease fittings.

In the late 60s Volvo was they first car with a permanently lubricated front end. It was a dismal failure since the joints would leak and lose their grease. Most of my friends who had them had fittings installed and fared much better. That’s all old history now, and we never think about grease jobs anymnore.

I had the same poroblem with my 1965 Dodge Dart, which had to be greased ever 20,000 miles by removing a plug and interting a fitting. Same problem! I converted to regular zerk fittings.

We’ve come a long way.

The new ball joints don’t use grease, they use an ultra high density polyurethane insert similar to the same materials used in replacement hip and knee joints in humans. Can you imagine a hip with a zerk fitting?


You are only partially correct

As far as cars go, zerks are history . . . unless you buy an aftermarket ball joint with a zerk

But many full-size trucks still use zerks

And anything bigger than full-size still has zerks

When replacing ball joints, tie-rod ends, etc., I actually prefer the Moog parts with the zerk, even if the original part didn’t have a zerk

Almost all of the aftermarket ball joints, tie rod end, control arm/ball joint assemblies I buy have grease zerks provided no matter if they have urethane inserts or not.

Just trivia and I’m sure the policy has changed by now, but back in the 80s Nissan used to send their pickups to the dealers with small threaded plugs in every conceiveable joint on the vehicle. Part of the PDI inspection was to remove all of the plugs, scrap them, and replace the plugs with grease zerks which were provided in an enclosed package in the glove box…

I understand penny shaving in the manufacturing process, but in a case like this they’ve added the cost of those plugs (negligible, but still…) and assembly time to install those plugs on the line would be the same as installing zerks to begin with. Never quite understood the logic behind this unless the end game was to get the dealer to pay for the shots of grease on their dime…


FWIW . . . some of the bigger Ford trucks (I’m talking twin i beam and solid front axle) still leave the factory with those plugs on the ball joints