Tie rod ends have a metal stud with a ball on the end that needs grease to keep your steering smooth. A zerk style grease fitting that is on the bottom of the assembly makes this process simple and gives you an easy way to keep inject lubricant so that that joint functions smoothly.
If a lot of water and grime are splashed up around under your car, like in the winter time, you might want to lubricate your tie rod ends more often than at every oil change. To grease those tie rod ends you need a few simple tools:
- You can use a powered grease gun which is a little faster but, you have a much better chance of blowing a seal on your tie-rod end with one, especially if it is an older vehicle. A Hand operated grease gun will take a little more effort but will give you the opportunity to “feel” your way step by step.
- Always use the suggested grease or a Heavy Duty Lithium Synthetic or Marine grease. These types of grease handle the stress of constant use and, repel water, and do not loose viscosity at high temperatures.
- Zerk grease fittings on a tie rod end make the lubrication process much easier but the angles of some zerks are almost impossible to reach without a flexible hose attachment but, there is a much better tool that you can add to your tool inventory. It’s a grease gun coupler, like Tech Team’s #790 https://techteamproducts.com/product/zerk-and-grease-fitting-connector-set-00790/ -connector-set-00790/ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0812BPQS2?ref=myi_title_dp . It connects to the fitting on the grease gun and by pressing the lever and pushing it over the waist of the zerk fitting, and then releasing the lever, internal jaws firmly grip the zerk so that you can pump lubricant into the joint.. You can do a hey Siri or hey Alexa Google search to learn more, or you can watch the video https://youtu.be/IdCfl66mdxE .
- Cleaning the zerk and wiping away excess grease is an important part of the process. This will also keep dirt and debris from entering the joint or collecting in
The first thing to do is inspect the dust boot for tears or leaks. If you find any you should it to prevent contaminates from entering the joint.
Next, use the rag to clean the zerk to avoid any contaminates following the grease inside. You should see bright shiny metal before you attach the grease gun. If the zerk is rusted or corroded you should replace it.3.
Next, attach the grease gun coupler to the zerk. Position the nozzle squarely over the zerk and press the lever to open the internal jaws and press down until you feel the “snap” of the nozzle grabbing the zerk. Then release the lever and pump in the grease.
Carefully watch the dust boot and give the grease gun a few pumps and stop if you see the boot begin to swell. It is best not to keep greasing once you see the boot swell since the seal that holds that grease in the tie rod end can be compromised if too much pressure is applied.
Detach the coupler from the fitting by pressing the lever.
Finally, use the rag to clean off any excess grease from the zerk and dust boot.