Pining for Grease Fittings

I worked in my dad’s auto garage for many years as a younger man. During my tenure I performed countless “GOF”s, which was garage-speak for an oil change. I still recall the arm contortions you’d go through under some cars to get all the various grease fittings. Upper and lower ball joints, tie rod ends, intermediate rods, u-joints, some days it seemed they were everywhere. But you always wanted to at least freshen them all. Cheap insurance against an expensive repair.

But today’s cars don’t have grease fittings. All the joints are sealed for lifetime lubrication. Meaning they are lubricated throughout the life of the joint, not the life of the car. And joint life is pretty much shot after it looses the lube.

By this afternoon I’ll be the proud owner of two new ball joints and a new u-joint. All of this on a vehicle which just turned 70k miles. I suppose that’s not completely unreasonable wear, but in my experience this is a fairly short life on these parts. I can’t help but think that had they had a 15 cent grease fitting on them and been properly serviced by a young man with Gumby arms, that they’d still be in good working order. And I’d have a significant amount more in my pocket at the end of this week.

Fiat hasn’t even completed the purchase of Chrysler yet, and my Dodge has already turned into a repair headache!

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