Classic Used Car Owner’s Guide: Greasing The Chassis

Buying an older vehicle from your youth can be a lot of fun as you get to cruise around in the same style you did years ago. Once November hits, you might get one or two more chances in  most geographical areas to drive the car before winter sets in and you have to store the car to keep it safe until the warmer days of spring arrives. There is work you have to do on older cars that you usually don't have to do on newer vehicles to keep them in good shape. One thing you have to do to keep the moving parts of the chassis in good shape is to grease them. Here is how to grease the chassis on classic used cars.

You Will Need:

  • Grease Gun
  • Lithium Grease Tubes
  • Jack
  • Jack Stands
  • Mechanic's Creeper
  • Wire Brush
  • Rags
  • Safety Glasses

Safety First

You have to get under the car to reach all the grease points. Jack the car up and place jack stands under the car to hold it up - do not work under a car that is only held up with a jack. Jacks are known to slip. When a jack slips, the car can fall on you and cause serious bodily injuries.

Grease Locations

You want to find the grease zerks on the underside of your car. The grease zerks are little tabs that stick out from the parts of the car that need greasing. You connect the tip of the hose from the grease gun onto a zerk. When you pump the handle on the gun, grease is forced through the zerk and into the part you are lubricating.

You can look up where the zerks are on your car in your service manual. Zerks are typically located on the ball joints, steering assembly, tie rods, and u-joints of most old cars.

Greasing Process

Zerks tend to get a lot of dirt and hardened scum on them from driving on roads. Take a small wire brush and scrub around the zerk to break-up the scum. Wipe the area clean with a rag.

Place the tip of the grease gun hose over the top of the zerk and push down. You should feel and/or hear a little click. Pump the grease gun handle until grease starts to back out around the top of the zerk and the tip of the grease gun hose. On parts with little rubber boots that hold the grease in place around the moving parts (like the ball joints), pump the grease gun until you see the rubber boots expand.

Move from one zerk to the next until you have greased all the parts listed in your service manual. If you need help, contact a local mechanic, like Professional Automotive.