With the new engines came longer oil change intervals. That is all great for saving fuel and costs associated with an oil change, not to mention saving the environment a little bit. In my opinion, the chassis still needs some service more often than the 50,000 to 75,000-mile oil change intervals that we are now seeing. This would mean a shop appointment at a different interval than the oil service unless you do it yourself.

Lubing the chassis is pretty simple, even if you aren't too mechanically inclined. You will need a tool, a good grease gun. There are different types, manual, pistol grip, or lever action are lowest on the price range (from $20 to $45) and available at most auto parts stores, farm stores, online, or just about anywhere you will find a supply of grease.

Pneumatic grease guns require an air supply and a hose long enough to reach around the truck, very good for shop use but not very practical for on the road work, medium to somewhat expensive ($75 to $200). Found at some parts stores, tool supply stores, or online.

A cordless electric, battery-operated grease gun is my choice. These vary in price from inexpensive (around $100) to very expensive (over $400). I believe they all will do the job; it's a pretty simple tool. The difference comes from pressures, some only have 3000psi while the higher quality ones can go up to 10,000psi or higher. The connector, the part that grabs the zerk while greasing and the length of the hose from the gun to the connector are other differences.

If you find a gun you like but the hose is short or has a poor quality connector, these can be easily replaced.

A good quality grease, like synthetic, is a must. It not only lubricates the joint you are greasing, but it seals out moisture. Once moisture gets in, it won't be long before the joint fails. Be sure to wear your safety equipment, eye protection, and gloves. Use a rag to clean the zerk before attaching the connector so you don't push contaminates into the joint, then pump in the grease. I pump until a small bit of grease escapes from the joint (kingpin, tie rod end, drag link end), wipe off the excess, and you're done. Your owner's manual will tell you where and how often the chassis needs to be greased. I grease every 25,000 miles using a high-quality synthetic chassis grease.

Till next time, lube it yourself!

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