Classic Car Greases

Classic cars have more than their fair share of points to grease compared to modern cars. Most modern cars feature sealed for life components so when they are worn out the whole unit has to be thrown away and a replacement bought and fitted although modern materials and tolerances mean that components last a lot longer than they used to. The engine, gearbox and back axle usually run with oil in them but most of the other components use grease to provide lubrication and stop them rusting up.
Each component however will require a different type of grease and this is dependent upon temperature, type and amount of load and water resistance to name but a few. All grease is made to strict specifications so it should not make any difference which brand you buy as long as they comply to the specification you will be fine. With all the different types it can be confusing and expensive to have every type of grease in your toolbox so the following is a list of the most common types and there application.

Greased Parts


Grease, Types and Applications

1. Light grease This is usually a copper based product and provides a tough thin film on parts that move or must be able to be removed in the future.
Applications It is suitable for use in high temperature applications so is often used on the back of brake pads to stop brake squeal, on sliding brake mechanisms and nuts and bolts so they can be removed at a later date. Another good use is to stop alloy wheels sticking to hubs.

Copper Based Grease

2. Synthetic Grease This is a relative new grease designed for long term service use with roller bearings and should be used in high performance cars rather than multi purpose grease.
Applications It has very good anti-corrisive properties and can take extra loads associated with high speed cornering. It should not be mixed were it could come into contact with mineral oils or grease.

Synthetic Grease

3. Moly Grease Molybdenum disulphide is added to allow this type of grease suitable for use with sealed for life components where the life of the component is expected to be longer than the grease.
Applications This type of grease is recommended for CV joints and universal joints although it is not as water resistant as other greases. An application of Moly grease should last up to 50,000 miles.

Moly Grease

4. Rubber Grease This is usually red in colour, made from vegetable oils and applied to rubber seals.
Applications Usually applied to seals used in the braking system and also in the clutch. It is not affected by brake fluid and will not cause rubber to swell or rot.

Red Rubber Grease

5. Heavy Grease This grease has a very thick consistency, waterproof and has a very high shear capability and once applied it will need very little attention. The best method for applying this type of grease is with a brush.
Applications has many uses including shackle pins and leaf springs where light greases would be washed off with normal driving.

Heavy Grease



6.Medium Grease This obviously has a medium consistency but works well against water. Its main additive being graphite prevents wear.
Applications It is idea for exposed moving parts and can be used on brakes, chains, linkages and cables as well as on the chassis.

Graphite Grease

7. Multi Purpose Grease This by its name gives a clue to how useful this type of grease is, although not suitable for CV joints it has however a very good temperature range both high and low.
Applications Just about everything apart from CV joints and although not water proof it will provide good protection in all weathers.

Multi Purpose Grease

8. Water Pump Grease This is generally a calcium based grease and gives excellent protection and lubrication for parts totally immersed in water. It is not affected by anti freeze and high temperatures and will not damage rubber seals. If must be protected against freezing so make sure your cooling system has the correct concentration of anti freeze.
Applications Guess what suitable for water pumps!

Top Tips For Working With Grease


  • Always clean the lid or container of the grease to stop dirt contaminating the grease when the lid is removed.
  • Change grease nipples when they become rusty and clean with some mid wire every year.
  • Always wear gloves when handling grease.
  • Mark your grease gun with the make and type of grease that it contains.
  • Only use a grease which is compatible with any oil it may come into contact with.
  • If in doubt contact the manufacturer for a data sheet or information on suitability.
  • Dry clean bearings with a cloth as blasting with an air line could cause dirt and moisture to be forced into the bearing.

If you found this page useful why not donate a little bit of cash to help with site costs. Its the online version of buying me a pint!

| Contact us |
Copyright Classic-Car-Magazine 2013
| Updated 22-Feb-2008 |