As a vehicle owner, there is a good chance that you love your automotive and you want to do everything that you can to keep it operating as efficiently as possible. In fact, you probably do lots of things to extend its lifespan. However, if you are anything like most car owners who don’t spend too much time thinking about the type of grease that you are utilizing in it, this can lead to devastating consequences.
To help you out, read on for everything you need to know about multi-purpose automotive grease.
While there is a wide array of greases available on the market, multi-purpose grease is undoubtedly the most commonly used type in the automotive world. Generally, this type of grease has a high resistance to water. Most of the time, multi-purpose grease is used for chassis components, as heat isn’t an issue.
Chassis components constitute the foundation for the rest of your vehicle as these comprise everything that is required to make the car move. These parts include the frame, suspension, steering, engine, transmission and driveshaft, differentials, driveshafts and axles, wheels and tires, and brakes. In other words, the body is essentially a shell that bolts to the car chassis.
In addition to being used on your car’s chassis, multi-purpose grease has a wide array of applications, including for agricultural equipment, automotive water pumps, and washing machines. It also can be used for handling equipment, general mechanical devices, and electric motor gearboxes.
And, if you ever need grease for small tools, water treatment, or for construction machines, then this type of grease will also work effectively.
However, its best usage is for anything related to bearing services and maintenance operations. This is because it has excellent properties in the presence of water, as well as provides outstanding protection against wear and corrosion.
For the most part, you don’t want to start mixing greases, as doing so usually leads to inferior performance. This poor performance then leads to faster wearing and early breakdown – not what you want for your automobile.
When you mix different greases, their different thickening agents mix, which usually causes the grease to harden or the oil to drop out. In other words, if you mix greases, you are allowing your bearings, shafts, joints, or other moving parts to be unprotected, subject to corrosion, inclined to wear, or likely to experience complete failure.
This occurs because the thickening agents that are in the grease (like aluminum, calcium, lithium, and polyurea) are incompatible. For example, lithium 12-hydroxy is unsuitable for mixing with aluminum complex and calcium complex thickeners. However, lithium complex and lithium 12-hydroxy thickeners work harmoniously together. Your best recourse, though, is never to mix greases in your vehicle.
The importance of purchasing high-quality multipurpose automotive grease can’t be overstated as there is a significant difference among the standard of greases that are on the market. Only proper lubrication can ensure the optimal performance of bearings and the related mechanical assembly.
The best multipurpose automotive grease has anti-corrosion protection with superior performance in a humid environment and temperatures extending from -25 degrees to 140 degrees ˚Celsius. What’s more, it is also the most energy-efficient option.
The advantages of grease lubrication include that it cleans and protects automobile mechanisms and requires more straightforward sealing than oil lubrication. Moreover, it requires simple assembly, easy handling, and has a reduced requirement for lubricant replacement. Plus, you have the option to use pre-greased bearings.
However, as there is no way of checking the level of grease, your grease levels must be reliable, or intermittent top-up is needed to offset any leaks, pollution, and aging. The service life of your vehicle bearings and their behavior unquestionably depend on the properties of your chosen grease.
Shockingly, more than 55% of premature bearing failure is due to improper lubrication. Despite this statistic, bearing lubrication is often overlooked because of the challenge of reaching the bearings and the car owner’s lack of lubricant knowledge.
Therefore, it is highly recommended that you direct all your lubricant-related questions to an automotive professional as they will be able to guide you to the right option for your vehicle.
An expert will be able to advise you on selecting the right grease for your car, the proper lubrication method, and the specific amount that you require. Moreover, they will know how frequently the lubrication needs to be monitored.
Do you use multi-purpose automotive grease? Or do you use some other type of grease? What impacts your decision?
Let us know your thoughts, insights, and any relevant experiences in the comments below!
Hassanein Alwan is the Managing Director of Mineral Circles Bearings with more than 10 years’ experience in the bearing industry’s technical support division, sales and marketing, plus strategic business development consultancy.