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Keep those Ball Joints Moving With the Best Grease

Save the rattles and pops for a later date.

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BYHank O'Hop/ LAST UPDATED ON March 30, 2022

There's quite a bit that separates one type of grease from another. If you want to get the most out of your vehicle, you do need to use the proper grease for the job. In other words, that grease you've been using to pack your wheel bearings might not be the best pick for the ball joints. Then again, it might be. You're not here for riddles, though. You just want to know what the best grease is to keep those ball joints from getting in the fast lane to the scrap pile. You'll get that answer, and we’ll give you a breakdown on what makes a grease good for ball joints.

Best Overall

Lucas Oil Xtra Heavy-Duty Grease

Summary

This heavy-duty grease is an excellent product for many applications due to its extreme-pressure additive pack and ability to resist heat and other stress.

Pros
  • High versatility 
  • Excellent performance in demanding environments
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Messier than most 
  • Not designed for use in ball joints
Best Value

Lucas Oil Red 'n' Tacky Grease

Summary

Not just another grease. Red 'N' Tacky is the go-to for many mechanics thanks to its ability to work on several parts of the vehicle and the excellent layer of protection it offers.

Pros
  • High versatility 
  • Offers excellent protection
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Not designed for use in ball joints
  • Tends to separate
Honorable Mention

CRC Sta-Lube Moly-Graph Extreme Pressure Multipurpose Lithium Grease

Summary

The molybdenum content of this grease makes it an excellent choice for greasing joints. The thin plating it leaves behind offers maximum protection to ensure a long life of the chassis.

Pros
  • High molybdenum and graphite content
  • Decent versatility 
  • Highly durable, long-lasting grease
Cons
  • May not work for all applications
  • Relatively high price 
Keep those Ball Joints Moving With the Best Grease

Our Methodology

Unless you're dealing with highly specialized situations, you really only need to stick to the basics when it comes to ball-joint grease. Still, the usual routine of doing the necessary homework was part of the selection process. For that, I visited a number of technical bulletins, forums and referred to what I've used around my own shop. It's always wise to research things yourself, but I have come up with a list anyone can lean on. 

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Best Ball-Joint Grease Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • Brand: Lucas Oil
  • Part Number: 10005
  • Rating: NLGI #2 GC-LB

Pros

  • High versatility 
  • Excellent performance
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Messier than most 
  • Not designed for use in ball joints

There's a reason Lucas Oil's Xtra Heavy-Duty grease makes the top of our list, and it's not just because Moog recommends it for most applications with its ball joints. It's designed to work in agricultural, commercial, industrial, and automotive applications. That means it's going to be a solid grease to lean on for most projects. That rating tells us it can be used for chassis lubrication along with wheel bearings for automotive applications. Versatility wouldn't mean anything without the performance delivered by the extreme pressure additive, excellent water resistance, and its ability to recover after overheating.


The good seems to keep coming with this product, especially when you figure in that low price. It's not perfect. Some prefer to look elsewhere as this grease tends to string up and can be messier to use than most. Also, because it's a product that performs well in so many situations, it's not going to necessarily excel in any given area. Still, it's acceptable as ball-joint grease for most vehicles on the road.

Specs

  • Brand: Lucas Oil
  • Part Number: 10301
  • Rating: NLGI #2 GC-LB

Pros

  • High versatility 
  • Excellent protection
  • Affordable 

Cons

  • Not designed for use in ball joints
  • Tends to separate with time

It's hard to give Lucas Oil's Red ‘n' Tacky the pick for Best Value as opposed to Best Overall. This grease has a lot going for it and is an excellent multipurpose grease to keep around the shop for lubricating various parts of your car or truck, including the ball joints. Again, versatility isn't anything without performance, but that's something Lucas Oil understands better than most. This product is reinforced with anti-seize properties and offers excellent resistance to water, corrosion, and heat. The competitive pricing doesn't hurt.


Red ‘n’ Tacky is what you'll find hanging around most automotive shops because it's good in so many ways. However, the lack of molybdenum is what deters some from using it and similar products for ball joints, even if it's perfectly acceptable in most cases. It's also worth pointing out that it does tend to separate when sitting for months, despite claims of a long shelf life.

Specs

  • Brand: CRC
  • Part Number: SL3330
  • Rating: NLGI #2 GC-LB

Pros

  • Molybdenum and graphite content
  • Decent versatility 
  • Highly durable, long-lasting grease

Cons

  • May not work for all applications
  • Relatively high price point 

If you want the added protection of molybdenum, it's hard not to consider Sta-Lube's Moly-Graph multipurpose grease. As the name suggests, it features molybdenum and graphite to offer moving parts a slick, thin plating for maximum protection. That characteristic is ideal in ball joints where more protection is always welcome. It is still a multipurpose grease that can be used for wheel bearings, U joints, chassis, many other parts of the vehicle, and other applications. It's a strong, long-lasting grease that makes it hard to pass up for those more demanding applications.


While this product is certainly versatile, it's worth comparing to manufacturer specifications to ensure the molybdenum content is within an acceptable range. Furthermore, the price is certainly higher than what most are willing to pay for grease.

Specs

  • Brand: Valvoline 
  • Part Number: VV615
  • Rating: NLGI #2 GC-LB

Pros

  • Designed with specific vehicles in mind 
  • Can be used on multiple parts 
  • Affordable 

Cons

  • Low versatility 
  • Poor corrosion resistance 

Consider this a representation of Valvoline's grease lineup. While this may be designed for General Motors and Chrysler applications, it offers special blends for other applications as well. The first and most obvious benefit of this product is that very aspect. Being designed with specific vehicles in mind makes for a grease that's going to get you the most out of the moving parts of the appropriate platforms. Despite what that suggests, it does not drive up the price, and this can be purchased at the same price as most other ball joint-rated grease.


Seeing as most vehicles come with non-greaseable ball joints and tie-rod ends, the limited versatility of this product is only worth the hassle for older applications. Furthermore, this won't offer as much corrosion protection as other similarly priced options.

Specs

  • Brand: Lucas Oil
  • Part Number: 10320
  • Rating: NLGI #2 GC-LB

Pros

  • High versatility 
  • Excellent moisture resistance
  • Affordable 

Cons

  • Tends to break down in storage
  • Common quality-control issues 

This is a ball joint grease with a highly versatile formula that you can use for several situations. What makes this great for marine applications is the excellent moisture resistance that trailers, boats, and other water-bound applications will endure. If you live in a snowy or coastal area, you want to use a product like this for your ball joints or expose your vehicle in question to excessive amounts of water.


This is an affordable, reliable product. However, it tends to break down when stored for long periods. This is the first product we've come across where quality-control issues seem to be a regular problem with many complaints revolving around low grease content in the packaging.

Our Verdict

It's hard to pass up Lucas Oil Xtra Heavy-Duty Grease. It's an excellent product that can be used on ball joints in many other situations. However, the ever-so-slightly-more-affordable Lucas Oil Red 'n' Tacky Grease is just as hard to ignore thanks to its equally impressive performance on automotive applications.

What to Consider When Buying Ball Joint Grease 

Here are three things you want to keep in mind. First, go with the manufacturer's recommendation. Often, the manufacturer of the parts will tell you exactly what type of grease to use. Secondly, any grease is better than no grease. There are many different greases that are acceptable for use on ball joints in the automotive world. Even if the one you have access to is best used in another setting, it's better to use it than to leave the joint dry. Lastly, don't mix greases. If you're using a different grease than what is in the ball joint, you want to do your best to replace as much of what's inside as possible. That's usually achieved by pumping until the old grease is displaced. Mixing grease can cause chemical reactions that are detrimental to their ability to perform. With that out of the way, let’s talk a little about what makes a particular grease acceptable for ball joints. 

Types of Ball Joint Grease 

Multi-Vehicle

When automakers design cars, it's their job to figure out exactly which lubricants should be used. Just like an engine will want a particular oil, the same is true for chassis components and grease. You will often find a direct-manufacturer solution, but multi-vehicle greases are available and feature a specific blend of components deemed necessary by automakers.  A blend will work for multiple makes and keep selection simple. However, when you opt to use aftermarket components, the automaker's recommendations are no longer valid, and you should refer to the parts manufacturer for grease suggestions. 

Multipurpose

Multipurpose grease is exactly what the name implies. It's grease that's able to be used on multiple parts of the vehicle thanks to the components used in development. In many cases, the designation as a multipurpose grease is an indicator that it’s safe to use on chassis components such as ball joints. However, it's important to think critically of it before use to ensure it's suitable for your exact project. 

Marine 

Marine grease is a blend specifically designed to deal with exposure to water. While all grease has some water-resistant properties, there is no replacement for marine grease when the components are regularly exposed to fresh or saltwater. Marine grease is usually a multipurpose blend and is intended for use on boats and trailers. However, it can be an excellent choice for off-road applications or vehicles that deal with excessive moisture. The biggest concern with doing so is that marine grease does not mix with lithium-based grease, making it essential to know what's in place already and to replace it entirely if necessary.

Moly Reinforced 

Molybdenum is a component used in some grease blends to offer additional protection to wear items. Some ball joints and disc-brake wheel bearings require this component, which is another reason why you need to refer to manufacturer recommendations to ensure you're using the right grease. Moly grease is usually only beneficial to chassis components and is almost always a viable choice. It's when you use it for other components such as drum-brake wheel bearings that you may run into issues. 

Ball Joint Grease Key Features

NLGI Rating

Not all grease is the same, and the ratings attached to it tell us what it's good for. When it comes to ball joints, you need to make sure you're dealing with an NLGI #2 grease, which tells us that it's the right hardness or consistency for the application. That NLGI grading is then going to be followed with GC-LB or just GC or LB. LB is the designation you're looking for since it tells you the grease can be used for chassis lubrication. GC indicates it's good for wheel bearings and axles, and the GC-LB simply means it can be used in both instances. 

Compatibility 

Again, any grease is better than no grease. However, if you want to get the most out of your parts, you should use the right tool for the job. If manufacturer recommendations or multi-vehicle greases aren't available for your application, you will need to go with your better judgment. The top three products from the list above are going to serve the average motorist well. Even if you're dealing with a specialty application, simply balancing the application, its use, and what's available on the market is enough to get you in the right place for ball-joint grease.

Pricing 

Ball-joint grease costs around $5 to $20 for a 14-ounce tube. For the most part, you only need to spend around $5 to $10 on a tube of ball-joint grease to get the performance automotive applications demand. Springing for a premium product is only warranted when you have a specialty application that requires a specific blend or simply prefer to use a premium product. 

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: How often should I grease my ball joints? 

A: Different parts manufacturers recommend different intervals between lubrication of ball joints. You can't over-lube them, though, so it's good practice to grease them up during every oil change. 

Q: What color grease should I use on ball joints? 

A: Color does and doesn't matter when it comes to grease. Grease manufacturers often add coloring to the blend for quick references between the greases they offer, but there's no real standard behind it. Pay attention to the rating and components used — not the color — to determine if the grease is good for ball joints.

Q: How do you lubricate ball joints? 

A: Greasable ball joints have a grease fitting that a grease gun is attached to. Simply add the grease to the gun, hook it to the fitting and pump until the boot is full of grease. Not all ball joints have this fitting, though, so it’s important to check what your vehicle's equipped with before proceeding.

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