How To Lubricate Suspension Bushings In 10 Easy Ways

Posted by Mohammad Sameer

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How To Lubricate Suspension Bushings In 9 Easy Ways

Proper lubrication is essential for ensuring that the rubber bushings and other suspension components on your vehicle function smoothly and quietly.

rubber bushings can become dried out or cracked without the right lubrication, leading to undesirable noises and poor handling. Luckily, lubricating your vehicle’s suspension is an easy DIY job that can restore proper performance.

In this article, we will walk through step by step the top 10 ways to properly lubricate the suspension bushings and other rubber components on your vehicle.

We will cover which lubricants work best for different applications, how to access hard-to-reach areas, and tips to extend the life of your vehicle’s suspension system.

Whether you need to lubricate the bushing on your control arms, ball joints, or other suspension parts, this guide has you covered. With the right techniques and petroleum-based or silicone lubricants, you can refresh worn rubber bushings and keep your suspension in top shape.

Follow along as we detail the best practices for lubricating polyurethane, OEM rubber, and aftermarket suspension bushings.

Let’s get started!

What tools and materials do I need to lubricate my suspension bushings?

  • Jack: A jack is used to raise the car so that you can access the suspension bushings.
  • Jack stands: Jack stands are used to support the car once it has been raised.
  • Socket wrench: A socket wrench is used to loosen and tighten the bolts that hold the suspension bushings in place.
  • Grease gun: A grease gun is used to apply lubricant to the suspension bushings.
  • Silicone grease or white lithium grease: Silicone grease or white lithium grease are the best lubricants for suspension bushings.

What safety Precautions I take?

When lubricating your suspension bushings, it is important to take the following safety precautions:

  • Always wear safety glasses. This will protect your eyes from flying debris.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area. Lubricants can give off fumes that are harmful to breathe in.
  • Be careful not to over-tighten the bolts. This can damage the suspension bushings.
  • Do not use petroleum-based lubricants on rubber bushings. These lubricants can break down the rubber and cause the bushings to fail.
  • If you are not comfortable working on your car, take it to a qualified mechanic.

How to lubricate suspension bushings: 10 Practical Tips

Properly lubricating the rubber bushings and other components in your vehicle’s suspension system is crucial to ensuring a smooth and comfortable ride. Over time, the constant motion of the suspension can cause the rubber bushings to dry out and crack.

Lubricating them helps the suspension components move freely and reduces noise and vibration.

1. Use Silicone-Based Lubricants

He picks up a can of silicone lubricant and sprays it on the bushings.

Silicone-based lubricants, like silicone spray or silicone grease, are ideal for rubber suspension bushings. The silicone helps keep the rubber soft and conditioned without breaking down the material.

It allows the bushing to compress and rebound freely for proper suspension movement. Look for a silicone lubricant that states it is safe for use on rubber.

Spray silicone lubricants are convenient for accessing hard-to-reach areas. Silicone grease can be applied directly and lasts longer.

2. Use a Grease Gun

He uses a grease gun to apply lubricant to the bushings.

A grease gun allows you to apply grease directly inside bushing cavities. Lithium grease or silicone grease works well for lubricating suspension components. Remove any old, dried-out grease first by spraying a degreaser and wiping it away.

Apply 2-3 pumps of fresh grease into the bushing cavities so it coats the inside of the bushing. Focus on bushings like the upper and lower control arms.

3. Try a Spray Lubricant

He uses a spray lubricant to apply lubricant to the bushings.

Spray lubricants can access tight suspension areas easily. Use a tube straw applicator to penetrate cavities, or spray bushings thoroughly from all angles.

Let the spray lubricant seep in for a few minutes. Silicone sprays or white lithium grease in a spray can work well to keep suspension bushings, ball joints and other components lubricated. Reapply frequently to maintain the lubrication inside the bushings.

4. Use a Brush

He uses a brush to apply lubricant to the bushings

Using a paintbrush, apply silicone grease directly onto suspension bushings. This allows you to thoroughly coat the rubber bushing surface with a lubricant layer.

Focus the application on the outside of control arm bushings, sway bar end link bushings, and anywhere the bushing contacts metal. Be sure to wipe away any excess grease when you’re finished lubricating the bushing.

5. Wipe On with a Rag

He uses a rag to wipe away any excess lubricant.

If you don’t have a brush handy, a clean shop rag can be used to apply lubricant to bushings. Spray or smear a silicone lubricant onto the rag. Then firmly wipe the rag over the rubber bushings to leave a light coating of lubricant.

The rag technique also lets you remove any grime from the bushing exteriors while lubricating.

6. Lubricate Every 12,000 – 15,000 Miles

For optimal bushing health and suspension performance, lubricate the bushings about every 12,000 – 15,000 miles. This maintenance helps prevent premature deterioration. Use the mileage interval recommendations in your vehicle’s owner’s manual if available.

More frequent lubrication may be needed on vehicles in harsh environments or that endure a lot of off-road use.

7. Check Bushings Regularly

Inspect suspension bushings often for any signs of cracking, splitting or deterioration. If you see excessive wear, it’s time to replace them. Make bushing lubrication part of your regular suspension inspection routine.

Catching worn parts early helps prevent damage to other components. Your bushings should look flexible, not cracked or flattened.

8. Avoid WD-40 for Bushings

While WD-40 works well for freeing up rusty bolts, it should not be used to lubricate rubber bushings. WD-40 can actually break down the rubber material and cause it to leak.

Stick with silicone or lithium-based lubricants specifically made for rubber components. They nourish and protect the bushing without damaging it.

9. Have a Mechanic Lubricate Them

If you don’t feel comfortable lubricating the suspension bushings yourself, have it done by a qualified automotive mechanic.

They have the tools and experience to efficiently access tight areas of the suspension and properly apply the right lubricants. Bushings on the control arms and other parts are difficult for DIYers to reach.

10. Use Safety Gear

Rubber bushings are often located near very hot engine components. Always wear work gloves when handling hot parts. Safety glasses will protect your eyes from lubricant sprays and grease.

Creeper seats and jack stands help you safely access the underside of the vehicle to lubricate components. Proper preparation makes bushing lubrication an easy maintenance task.

conclusion

Lubricating worn suspension bushings is one of the most cost-effective ways to restore proper suspension function on higher-mileage vehicles.

Following this simple guide, you can complete this preventative maintenance in under an hour using just basic hand tools and an inexpensive lubricant. Properly lubed bushings will immediately improve ride quality, handling precision, and noise isolation.

Don’t put up with a rough, sloppy ride and alignment issues just because your bushings are dried out. Rejuvenate your suspension’s bushings yourself and enjoy crisper steering and a smoother ride.

If your bushings are severely cracked or deteriorated, they may need to be replaced, but in many cases, this quick lube service can restore them to like-new condition. For smooth, quiet, precision driving, lubricate your suspension bushings today!

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About Mohammad Sameer

My name is Mohammad Sameer, the founder of SoundproofGears. My hypersensitive hearing turned me into a lifelong seeker of silence. After years of research, I've become an expert on soundproofing techniques and materials. In November 2022 I launched this site to share my knowledge and help others find acoustic sanctuary. About More