How Do I Lubricate a Steering Column?

by Chris Moore

Lubricating a steering column actually means lubricating the intermediate shaft below the steering column's upper shaft. This usually requires a special kit designed for your model, and you must remove the shaft from the vehicle to lubricate it. Lubricating the shaft will remove any clunking sounds you may hear when operating the steering wheel. This process may vary depending on your exact vehicle and how the shaft connects to the rest of the column.

Step 1

Turn your car's steering wheel so the front wheels are facing straight ahead and then lock the wheel in position with your key. Do not touch the wheel again at this point.

Step 2

Remove the bolts connecting the intermediate shaft to the lower shaft from inside the engine compartment and the steering shaft from below the dash.

Step 3

Push the shaft toward the firewall from inside the car to disengage it from the column and then push it in the other direction from inside the engine to detach it from the lower shaft and remove it.

Step 4

Pry out and remove the clip from inside the shaft using needle-nose pliers.

Step 5

Insert the lube kit's grease tube -- which should look like a large syringe -- into the shaft and depress the plunger to inject the grease into the shaft.

Step 6

Plug the hole at the end of the shaft using the plug that should be included with the kit. This plug likely has a wing nut for you to tighten.

Step 7

Hold the shaft vertically on a flat surface with the plug at the bottom and push down on the shaft to collapse it and force the grease up into the splines. Extend the shaft and see that you have about 1/2-inch of grease on the narrow shaft.

Step 8

Remove the plug and reconnect the original clip in the shaft with needle-nose pliers, making sure the clip is flush and about 1/4-inch from the outer lip.

Step 9

Reinstall the shaft through the dash and firewall from inside the vehicle. Extend the shaft so it connects to the lower shaft and steering shaft and reconnect the bolts.

Step 10

Wipe any excess grease from the intermediate shaft with a rag.

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