Steering and Suspension

On this page we highlight some of what we’ve learned about the lubrication of steering and suspension systems – knowledge that comes from working with OEMs and world-class Tier One suppliers.

Steering Column Bearings

Ball bearings located at the end of the steering column can make or break the driving experience. If not properly lubricated, they impact steering responsiveness and transfer noise and vibration through the steering column to the operator. Extreme temperatures, moisture, dust, and constant load shifts require a viscous, wide-temperature, rust inhibited grease to ensure long service intervals. We suggest: Rheolube 368A

Steering Wheel Tilt and Telescoping Mechanisms

Tilt and telescoping mechanisms call for damping greases, which are engineered to prevent wear and inhibit unwanted motion and noise. When thickened with PTFE, they provide reliable, smooth, low-friction motion for high shear mechanisms. We suggest: Fluorocarbon Gel 868

Power tilt and telescope systems have small motors with fairly high torque. Damping grease provides lifetime lubrication within the gearbox and reduces the transmission of motor vibration and noise through the steering column. Nye suggests: NyoGel 774VLF

Intermediate Shaft

The intermediate shaft connects the steering column to the rack and pinion system. I-shafts must absorb vibration and shock, without allowing road noise to reach the vehicle interior. For plastic-to-metal interfaces, a medium-viscosity, synthetic hydrocarbon grease enhanced by PTFE ensures good slip and low “stiction”, For metal-to-metal interfaces, a heavier synthetic hydrocarbon grease is recommended. To lubricate the tight spaces within newer telescoping shafts, use a lighter grease designed for sliding surfaces. We suggest: Rheolube 362HB

Rack and Pinion System

The rack and pinion mechanism presents many lubrication challenges. The interface of the toothed rack and the pinion gear requires synthetic lubricants with extreme pressure and anti-wear additives to reduce noise and transferred vibration, often referred to as “rack knock.” Where rack and pinion systems are placed relatively close to the exhaust systems, lubricants must also handle temperature of 150°C or higher. We suggest: Rheolube 393, Fluorocarbon Gel 880MS (please get in contact if interested in either of these products)

The spring-loaded yoke that keeps rack teeth mated to the pinion gear can be another source of noise and wear. In certain Y-shaped yokes, the racks are heat-treated and hand-polished to remove scaling and asperities. A viscous synthetic hydrocarbon grease fortified for high loads can prevent wear on unpolished racks, eliminating the need for labor-intensive, hand-polishing process. We suggest: Fluorocarbon 868VH

Power-Assisted Steering Motors

Some power-assisted steering motors are mounted directly on the rack and pinion mechanism. They benefit from a medium-viscosity synthetic gear lubricant, fortified with rust inhibitors and extreme pressure additives. We suggest: Rheolube 365A-MS (please get in contact if interested in this grease)

For motors with small plastic gearboxes inside the vehicle interior, often near the foot pedals, a lighter synthetic hydrocarbon lubricant fortified with PTFE is suitable. Nye suggests: Rheolube 363F

Ball Joints

Tight-fitting, ball-and-socket designs are subject to dynamic motion in almost every direction. Lubricants, within the ball joint must be able to withstand extreme environmental conditions, engine heat, jolts on rough surfaces, and continuous micro-motion on smooth roads. Contemporary ball joints are designed without grease fittings, so the initial fill must provide lifetime lubrication. Look for wide temperature, water- and saltwater-resistant synthetic grease. Nye suggests: Fluorocarbon Gel 880 or Rheolube 393 (get in contact if interested in the Rheolube 393)

Shock Absorbers and Struts

Contemporary suspension systems can be customised as never before. Yet at low temperatures, traditional shock absorber fluid may become too viscous to pass though the valves that control the fluid level and adjusts the stiffness of the suspension. A very low viscosity synthetic fluid with temperature range to -60°C is recommended for servicing adjustable suspension systems. We suggest: Synthetic Oil 167B

Stabiliser Bushings

Stabiliser bushings must maintain a tight fit with the stabiliser bar and control arms, while exposed to high under bonnet temperatures. Such temperatures combined with constant changes in force and stress tend to dry the rubber. Silicone greases can be used for these bushings. A fluorinated grease is an exceptional stabiliser bushing lubricant. We suggest: Fluorocarbon Gel 880, Fluorocarbon Gel 868H or UniFlor 8612 (fluorinated grease – please get in contact if interested in the Uniflor 8612)

Leaf Springs

Leaf springs, typically found on pickup trucks and SUVs, provide rear suspension and shock absorption. Exposed to water, saltwater, and road grit, they can wear down, crack, or produce squeaks and squeals. A viscous synthetic grease fortified for extreme-pressure service reduces wear and corrosion; its high damping capability also minimises road noise. We suggest: NyoGel 774VH-MS (please get in contact if interested in this grease)

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