Grease is used to lubricate moving parts, usually where metal rubs against metal. It's made to be thick so that it will stay put in places where it would be difficult to keep thinner oil next to moving parts or where oil could leak out, as in automotive wheel bearings and ball joints.
Grease has two main ingredients--
Often, a grease product also includes some other ingredient that will improve its performance in a particular application.
Grease packaging may display the code GC-LB, meaning that it meets the most demanding test standards for both chassis and wheel bearings. Grease products displaying this highest rating meet OEM requirements.
Grease is produced in a range of viscosities, or thicknesses, and each grease type is given a numerical rating to indicate its thickness. The most common categories are 0 to 6, with 0 being the softest- nearly a liquid- and 6 being the hardest, like the consistency of a firm cheese. Most grease is rated at 2, a consistency that is similar to peanut butter.
The part of grease that provides lubrication can be made from petroleum or from plants (biobased). Oil derived from plants is friendlier to the environment than oil made from petroleum because plant-based oils are renewable and non-toxic. Both types mix freely with each other so you can easily switch between the two.
Note: To determine if one kind of grease is compatible with another type, you must consider what kind of base it uses as well as the type of oil. See grease compatibility table, below.
Note: Be sure to check owner's manuals for lubrication recommendations. Manufacturers often specify which type of grease should be used for their products, especially if they recommend using grease that contains an extra additive.
This is a general-purpose grease for the home, farm and shop. Use it for car chassis and U-joints, farm equipment, industrial machinery, and anywhere metal contacts metal. If you're using standard multi-purpose grease, be sure to follow the recommended change intervals.
Zinc is added to this general-purpose grease, giving it a white color so you can easily see it. You can tell when all the old grease has been replaced in a fitting because it will come out dark, whereas the new grease will look clean and white. Use it wherever you would use a general-purpose grease and want to be absolutely certain that you have applied it thoroughly.
This grease contains molybdenum disulfide (often refered to as "moly") for better performance than general-purpose grease when metal parts are under high loads or extreme pressure (hence the name "EP"). It's intended to be used on parts where sliding motions are encountered, in sleeve-journal rotating shafts, for example. Use it to lubricate car chassis parts such as ball joints and U-joints, as well as farm equipment and industrial machinery.
This grease is formulated specifically to lubricate automotive wheel bearings, which turn at high speed. In addition, grease for wheel bearings will tolerate the heat created by your brakes, which work by friction. That heat can be transmitted to your wheel bearings. This grease can also be used for general-purpose lubrication.
This is heavy-duty, premium grease for the toughest lubricating jobs on the biggest, heaviest equipment. It performs better under higher pressures and temperatures than standard multi-purpose grease, and it resists water better. Because it resists water and sticks in place well, this grease will work on external parts that are exposed to the weather. It provides premium protection for car, truck and trailer wheel bearings (especially trailers that are heavily loaded), U-joints, farm equipment, and industrial machinery.
This grease is formulated for enhanced ability to resist water that could cause corrosion. Use it especially to lubricate wheel bearings on boat trailers, or for anything that is used where it could get wet. Besides lubricating bearings, this grease works on swivel hinges, winches, anchor chain reels, steering cables and gimbal bearings.
Specifically made to perform well and apply easily in cold weather, this general-purpose grease will work for all your winter equipment. The base of this grease is thinner than the base of most other types of grease (it's rated NLGI grade #1), which helps it to perform consistently in cold weather. Since it's thinner than most other types of grease, you can apply it more easily when the temperature is cold.
This grease is formulated to handle high pressures, stay in place and resist water, making it well suited for lubricating the base plates of fifth-wheel hitches. You can find this grease conveniently packaged in pouches that you place directly onto the base plate of your fifth-wheel hitch. The pouches burst when you hook up your fifth-wheel trailer, thereby applying the grease. It can't get any easier than that.
Not all types of thickeners are compatible with each other. When replenishing old grease, you should try to use a type with either the same kind of thickener or one that is compatible. If you don't know what kind of grease you're replacing, try to clean out the old grease, if possible. If you can't get the old grease out of a fitting, then put in enough new grease to push out as much of the old stuff as you can. You will find the information you need about the kind of base used in your grease somewhere on the label or packaging. The manufacturer may refer to the base as "base", "thickener" or "soap".
The following table shows the compatibility of different grease bases:
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