What Is Automotive Grease?
Grease is a type of automotive lubricant used to protect car parts from friction. The engine’s moving parts are lubricated by it.
In comparison to other automotive lubricants like motor oil, grease is thicker in consistency and well-suited for lubricating wheel bearings, chassis, and universal joints.
Grease for automobiles is made up of three main components.
- Base oil
Based on mineral or synthetic oils, base oils are thickened using metallic soaps that contain lithium, polyurea, calcium, sodium, aluminum, clay, or polyurea.
Additionally, oil additives enable automotive grease to perform functions other than lubrication.
Let’s look at what automotive grease does.
How Does Automotive Grease Work?
Grease is not only a lubricant but also useful for protecting engine parts and enhancing their longevity.
In addition to increasing the consistency and texture, the thickener prolongs its shelf life and efficiency.
Because it does not lose shape or retain properties under pressure – unlike engine oil – it’s specifically designed for the high-pressure and heavy-duty industries.
Grease for automobiles can also be used for:
- Waterproofing and corrosion protection
- Maintaining a clean, dust-free engine
- Anti-friction properties that last
- Bringing down the engine’s noise
- Wear reduction
Additionally, some greases are better suited to certain jobs than others.
Now let’s take a look at the different types of automotive grease available:
Five Types Of Automotive Greases
Various oil additives are used to make automotive greases. It’s important to choose the right lubricating grease in order to achieve the results you’re looking for.
Grease is generally divided into five types.
Here they are:
1. Grease for General-Purpose Use
GP grease (also referred to as general-purpose grease) can be used for a wide range of applications, including most industrial and domestic ones. The oil has a medium viscosity index and consists of base oil. Although it provides decent protection from water and dirt, it is not very long-lasting.
General-purpose grease is commonly used to lubricate ball joint parts, bearings, cables, gears, and hinges.
2. Molybdenum (Moly) Grease
Oil additive known as molybdenum disulfide is used to create synthetic grease of this type. Lubricates heavy-duty and high-pressure equipment, such as CV joints, ball joints, and steering links.
For disc brake wheel bearings, moly grease provides excellent lubrication and protection against friction. Additionally, chassis grease can be made from it.
Because of its high friction resistance, moly grease isn’t recommended for fast-moving metal parts like roller bearings since it would slow them down.
3. Lithium Grease
In addition to being a type of multipurpose white grease, lithium grease is also a type of wheel-bearing grease. Non-detergent lithium soap makes up this product.
As a lubricant, lithium grease is very stable and has high resistance to water and corrosion.
Since you can see how much lithium grease you’re applying, white lithium grease is very convenient. White grease may also be used to lubricate car door hinges. As a multipurpose grease, you can use it for a variety of household tasks as well.
4. Calcium Sulfonate
Another type of multipurpose grease that is highly resistant to water is calcium sulfonate. Marine grease is also known as marine oil, and it is used to lubricate and protect marine machinery.
Due to its high water resistance, marine grease is an excellent lubricant for car parts that frequently come into contact with moisture, preventing rust and corrosion. Wheel bearings, chassis, ball joint parts, and universal joints are included.
This is why calcium sulfonate grease is sometimes referred to as chassis grease.
Note: Marine grease is incompatible with white lithium grease. Apply it only if you have previously lubricated your equipment with lithium complex or lithium grease. Incompatible lubricants may separate when mixed.
5. Polyurea Grease
Polyurea is a multipurpose grease that is well suited for long-term use. Bearings that are sealed-for-life and wheel bearings that operate at high temperatures should use this thick oil.
Generally, greases containing this additive are long-lasting and very stable under high temperatures and pressure. The material also absorbs engine noise and has good water resistance.
In addition to these, there are also specialty greases designed for specific applications.
Here are some of them:
What Are Specialty Automotive Greases?
Grease made specifically for one particular purpose is a specialty grease, just like regular automotive greases.
Specialty greases include anti-seize grease, dielectric grease (also known as silicone grease), assembly grease, chassis grease, etc.
Grease for general or multipurpose use is usually not suitable for these applications and is a combination of various suitable greases and oil additives.
The kind of grease you choose will depend on several factors.
What should you consider when choosing grease?
What To Consider When Choosing The Right Grease
The properties of automotive greases make them ideal for many car parts.
However, the type of grease you choose will depend on the following factors:
a) Oil Composition
Choosing the right grease depends on the additives and base oil it contains.
Do you need corrosion inhibitors in your additives?
Would a base oil with a strong adhesive property be better?
Use greases with synthetic oil as a base when you need friction and high-pressure protection for automotive applications.
b) Grain Consistency
A grease is assigned an NLGI grade between 000 and 6, which is the number in the grade.
Depending on the type of grease, you can either have very soft and fluid grease (000) or very hard and firm grease (6).
Grease should be selected according to consistency.
Wheel bearings, for example, require a moderately fluid NLGI grade 2 grease, while gearbox components need a fluid NLGI grade 00 grease.
Grease’s viscosity refers to its ability to remain stable under high temperatures and pressures. Grease with a higher viscosity offers better friction protection.
In contrast, low viscosity greases are ideal for high-speed engine parts.
d) Temperature And Pressure Performance
Keep the purpose of the grease in mind when choosing a lubricating grease for your passenger car.
For a grease that doesn’t bleed under high performance, look for a grease that has high-pressure and high-temperature resistant additives.
An application requiring high-temperature wheel bearing grease, for example, won’t suit a moly grease designed for heavy-duty performance. It’s lithium grease you’d need here.
e) Grease Compatibility
When switching to a new lubricating grease, you need to make sure it is compatible with the old grease.
It is impossible to remove all the old grease before applying a new one, and incompatible greases often react and damage engine parts when forced into contact.
Mixing greases that do not work together is a bad idea.
Polyurea grease, for instance, is not compatible with white lithium grease (both simple and complex). Alternatively, you may want to check your vehicle manual to see if any special grease is recommended for your engine.
The components of industrial and automotive grease are quite similar, and they’re both used interchangeably most of the time. In any case, it’s vital that you use the right grease in your car.
Insufficient lubrication can lead to many problems for most passenger cars, including excessive engine noise, rust buildup, and excessive engine wear.