Unlock Smooth Braking: How to Use Brake Grease

Brakes, Tires and Wheels

By Rodney (Mechanics)

Table of Contents

Brake work requires grease, but not just any grease. Brake greases are different from ordinary chassis grease or multi-purpose grease. These types of grease are suitable for lubricating steering and chassis components, such as tie rod ends, ball joints and U-joints. However, they are not appropriate for brake system components. Using ordinary grease on brake hardware or hydraulic components may lead to serious problems.

One of the reasons why brake components need special lubrication is heat. Brakes generate a lot of heat. The front brakes of many front-wheel-drive vehicles, as well as trucks and SUVs, can reach very high temperatures with normal braking, and even higher under certain conditions. These include braking frequently in heavy traffic, driving in mountainous areas, driving aggressively, towing a trailer, or carrying a heavy load. All these factors increase the demand on the brakes and the heat of critical brake components.

Unlock Smooth Braking How to Use Brake Grease

Most ordinary chassis grease cannot withstand high temperatures and will either melt or burn away, leaving the surfaces exposed and unlubricated. Moreover, the grease may damage the brake linings if it drips from the calipers or drum hardware. That is why it is recommended to use synthetic brake grease with a high solids (moly) content for lubricating important brake components.

Another reason why ordinary chassis grease or multi-purpose grease should not be used on brake components is because they are usually based on petroleum. As every technician should know, many petroleum-based products are incompatible with the seal materials that are commonly used in brake systems. Therefore, petroleum-based grease or oil should never touch the rubber seals, pistons or other internal parts of a master cylinder, brake caliper or wheel cylinder. If it does, the whole brake system should be treated as contaminated. This means that the entire system should be drained, flushed, and replaced with new major hydraulic components. Why? Because petroleum-based products can make incompatible seal materials swell, burst and leak, which could result in fluid loss and brake failure.

Brake grease, on the other hand, are specially formulated products that are made only for brake applications. The chemicals in these products are safe for all seal materials that are typically used in brake systems, and will not harm these parts.

Brake Grease Types

Brake lubricants have different purposes and compositions. Some are meant for greasing hardware and mechanical parts, and usually have a high amount of solids (“dry film lubricants”). Others are meant for greasing seals, boots and other internal parts when putting together calipers, wheel cylinders and master cylinders.

Brake grease designed for hardware is a specialized lubricant that can endure high temperatures and has a long-lasting effect. They can be in either water- or oil-based synthetic or silicone-based formulations. Create your own unique instance of Maggies Farm based on your personal preferences and specialties. The lines made from synthetics, “boundary-type” lubricants, which come in tubes, pastes, or sticks, are very dense. These components of the lubricant include the likes of MOS2 particles (molybdenum disulfide) and graphite. They help to lower and minimizes friction.

The two lubricants moly and graphite are both kind of wear resistant having the ability to endure very high temperatures and pressure levels. As for some items, they can stand temperatures up to 1,400 degrees F. This short-term threshold applies to these product materials. These are hard to destroy and they do not evaporate nor do they dirt like wet greases. Thus, they are effective and durable. This grease sort works quite well if it is required optimal metal-to-metal lubrication for better brake operation at high temperatures.

Silicone based brake grease was initially invented to fit calipers and cylinders wheels perfectly due to its exceptional lubricating capabilities to rubbers and plastics used in the manufacturing of calipers and cylinders. It fits well an array of rubber kinds; among them nitrile, Teflon, nylon, and other artificial kinds, providing more possibilities for use. It hase temperature range from -40°F to 400°F, then it has reliable operation. That is evident in varying conditions.

However, it is worth remembering that silicone grease does provide an excellent replacement for lubrication but synthetic lubricants will not bear as high temperature as silicone grease. Also, “wet” nature of this lubricant can draw in and hold dirt particles thus making the excessive usage in external metal to metal contact points such as caliper heads and shoe pads undesirable.

In a nutshell, silicone grease is particularly efficient in the assembly of master and wheel cylinders, along with calipers, where its exceptional properties have the most effect.

And an analogue synthetic brake fluid which consists of polyalphaolefin (PAO) makes use of it as its major component. Some PAO-based brake lubricants are a good option for assembling parts and lubricating the seals and boots. Our product, the PAO, provides exceptionnally good corrosion protection for brake systems often exposed to wet conditions. Furthermore, P.A.O brake oils may hold additional molecules, such as molybdenum disulfide, graphite, and Teflon that improve their lubricity.

Such products withstand up to 600 degrees F for a short period of time, providing the flexibility for assembly as well as lubrication needs either internally or externally.

White lithium grease adjusts the level of greasing between drum brake hardware and backing plates at low temperature accordingly. Nonetheless, the caliper does not have sufficient heat resistance that’s needed for front disc brake use and therefore for good purpose in general brake maintenance.

As regards the brake lube which is to be applied, it is imperative that you must follow the manufacturer’s manual for proper application.

How To Lubricate Your Brakes

How To Lubricate Your Brakes.

The proper lubrication of your brakes is crucial to avoid squeaking, sticking, and uneven braking. You should apply a brake grease to any moving or sliding parts of the brake system. undefined

  • When it comes to disc brakes, you should lubricate the caliper slides, pins and bushings the places where the pads slide inside the caliper, the self-adjuster mechanisms on some rear disc brakes, and the parking brake cables and the linkage.
  • The shoes are held by the backing plates and should have their pads lubricated, the star adjuster mechanisms, the hinge points of the self-adjusters and the parking brake linkage, and the parking brake cables.

Caution: Do not apply any grease to the front or friction side of the brake pads or shoes, as this can damage them and affect braking performance.

Apply Brake Grease

Brake grease serves the purpose of reducing vibrations between the disc brake pads and the caliper pistons. Apply a small amount of grease to the back of the pads and the face of the piston where they contact the pad. If there’s a metal shim on the back of the pad, apply grease to the side facing the piston. You don’t need to over apply grease; a thin layer is all you need.

As far as the hydraulic parts of the brake system, such as piston seals that inside calipers and wheel cylinders, pick up a silicone-based brake lubricant or the regular brake fluid. This prevents snagging and helps to keep the seals smooth, efficient and without corrosion.

FAQs

  • What are brake grease and for which purpose do I need them?

    A: Brake grease is a high-temperature lubricant developed specifically for the brake system aimed at serving for the brake to move and minimise friction, wear, and noise.

  • I am unable to decide which kind of brake grease would be the most suitable.

    A: The type of brake grease to use is another important consideration which should be compatible to the brake system of your vehicle and must conform to the specifications required by the manufacturer. There are many common types of synthetic, ceramic, and silicone greases. Please refer to the product label or consult your user's guide for relevant information.

  • How often do I need the braking system to be lubricated?

    A: It is highly recommended to lubricate your brakes regularly during the brake maintenance procedure or servicing. It is best to do it once a year minimally to extend the lifespan and guarantee the best performance of your brakes.

  • What are dry film lubricants, exactly?

    A: The dry film lubricant is primarily made up of a significant amount of solids like molybdenum disulfide, graphite, and similar substance. They prevent seizing and overheating by the metals and provide a capability to operate at high temperatures as well as pressures.

  • What kind of the brake lubricant is better, e.g. PAO-based brake lubricant or synthetic-based brake lubricant?

    A: PAOs (poly-alphatic olefin) and synthetics based lubricants contain differing primary constituents. PAO-product lubricants provide enhanced rust protection, whereas synthetic varieties provide the additional friction reducer by utilizing various types of synthetic compounds.

  • What is the variation between brake grease and multifunctional lubricant?

    A: Brake Grease is tailored specifically for brake use, which allows it to withstand high temperatures, prevent contaminations, and safeguard integral seal materials. Fast food grease is unfit for brakes as it either has the potential to melt, burn, drip or damage other compounds.

  • What are the things to consider in vehicle brakes system that cause heat?

    A: Continuous braking in demanding city traffic, going downhill, main stream driving (i.e driving strictly by the traffic rules), towing trailers, or carrying heavy load are all that can lead to the rise in temperature of brake parts.

  • Which are the effects that the brake components would experience if people use grease or oil that is derived from petroleum?

    A: Seepage and seal blowouts often happen when grease or oil, made of petroleum, is used. This in turn results both in brake degradation and whole seal system replacement, which is extremely expensive.

  • What exactly are the benefits of silicone grease?

    A: According to silicone brush grease, it lubricates rubber and plastic components, and as a result, it becomes perfect for brake calipers, wheel cylinders, and masterly cylinders assembling. It is universal, meaning it could be used for all types of rubber compounds and it works under different operating conditions.

  • Lithium usually forms a white substance, thus leading to white lithium brake pads. It is due to this reason that it is not suitable for front disc systems.

    A: White lithium grease with one of its major application areas being braking hardware and backing plates of drum brakes is not the right choice for front brakes because of heat as the front brake discs operate at higher temperatures than the drum brakes that use white lithium grease that require the addition of special high-temperature grease for proper lubrication and protection.