Car Care - Lubricants


There are a variety of lubricating products for automobiles, trucks, vans and SUVs. Each has a specific use and application.

Motor oil is the main lubricant for use in engines. It usually contains additives to help eliminate foaming, prevent corrosion and reduce wear. Motor oil is available in a different "weights." Weight actually refers to viscosity, the internal friction property of the oil. Ratings are from 0 to 50. The weight you will want to use depends on a number of factors, including demands on the engine, the season, and the temperature. Use a light oil under light load conditions and in cold weather. A light oil flows more easily. Use a heavy oil with heavy loads and in hot weather. "Multi-viscosity" oils have both light- and heavy-oil characteristics. These oils are available in weights from 5W-20 to 5W-50.

Use gear oil in areas where high-temperature lubrication is required. These areas include manual transmissions and differentials.

Wheel bearing and chassis grease is a heavy lubricant where increase friction and loads are encountered. This includes applications for wheel bearings, tie-rod ends, ball joints, and universal joints.

High temperature wheel bearing grease will take the high temperatures in the wheel bearings of vehicles with disc brakes. This lubricant usually contains disulfide (moly), a dry-type lubricant.

White grease is a heavy grease for metal-to-metal applications where moisture is a factor. White grease stays pliable under both high and low temperatures (usually between +190 and -100 degrees F). This type of grease will not dilute or wash off with water.

Assembly lube is used during the initial startup of a new engine and lubricates main and rod bearings, and cam lobes. It is an extreme-pressure lubricant that usually contains moly and oils parts without getting washed away or squeezed out until the engine's oiling system starts to function.

Use silicone lubricants to protect plastic, rubber, vinyl, and nylon parts and components.

Use graphite lubricants where oil cannot be used because of contamination issues, such as locks. Dry graphite will lubricate metal parts and remain uncontaminated by water, dirt, and acids. This type of lubricant is electrically conductive and will not foul contacts in locks, like the ignition.

Moly penetrants will lubricate and loosen rusted, frozen and corroded fasteners while helping to prevent rust or freezing in the future.

Heat-sink grease is an electronically non-conductive grease used for mounting electronic ignition modules where it is essential that heat be transferred away from the module.