Reviews

Best Wheel Bearing Grease: Maintain the Mechanical Stability of Your Wheel Bearings

Lubricate your wheel bearings and have your wheels rotate more quickly and evenly.

With decades of combined experience covering the latest news, reviewing the greatest gear, and advising you on your next car purchase, The Drive is the leading authority on all things automotive.

The Drive on YouTube The Drive on Facebook The Drive on Instagram

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

BY Linsay Thomas , Norah Tarichia / LAST UPDATED ON August 7, 2021

You may not always have your wheel bearings in mind when you’re driving, but they sure make their presence known if they aren't properly greased, with a loud humming or growling noise whenever you accelerate or make a turn. To avoid this, you should pack your wheel bearings with heavy grease every 10,000 miles so they can stay in good condition. Picking the best grease can be a bit challenging, especially if you don’t know what exactly you should be looking for. That’s where we come in.

Best Overall
Royal Purple Ultra-Performance Grease
LEARN MORE
Summary
Summary

A synthetic grease that prolongs the life of your equipment and has excellent water resistance capabilities.

Pros
Pros
  • Remains stable under extreme pressure and high-temperature conditions
  • Water-resistant and oxidation resistant
  • Includes a non-corrosive additive
Cons
Cons
  • Has a shelf life of only a year 
  • You have to purchase a grease gun separately 
Best Overall
Royal Purple Ultra-Performance Grease
Best Value
Super Tech Multi-Duty Complex Grease
LEARN MORE
Summary
Summary

This is an automotive wheel bearing and chassis lubricant featuring a complex lithium soap base.

Pros
Pros
  • Resists water washout
  • Works well in extreme pressure and high-temperature conditions
  • Resists rust and corrosion
Cons
Cons
  • Has a strong smell
  • Not water-insoluble enough for marine use
Best Value
Super Tech Multi-Duty Complex Grease
Honorable Mention
Mag 1 High-Temp Disc Brake Wheel Bearing Grease
LEARN MORE
Summary
Summary

A lithium complex grease that works well in high-temperature conditions such as in a wheel bearing or a disc brake.

Pros
Pros
  • Resistant to corrosion and wear
  • Great stress and high-temperature endurance 
  • Resists washout 
  • Long shelf life
Cons
Cons
  • A premium product that comes at a premium price
  • Can leave permanent stains on clothes
Honorable Mention
Mag 1 High-Temp Disc Brake Wheel Bearing Grease

Why Trust Us


Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more

Benefits of Wheel Bearing Grease

  • Stabilize the bearing's structure. The bearings play a vital role in facilitating wheel rotation. For that reason, their structural integrity is vital for safety, and it can be stabilized by grease or lubricants. 
  • Reduce friction. The grease reduces friction between the bearings and adjacent components (axle and spindle). The heat generated from friction can also lead to wheel bearing failure. Friction can cause the deterioration of the seals, balls, or raceways.
  • Easily rotate your wheels. Greasing your bearings helps to reduce friction in your wheels, so they can rotate with ease. The bearings will rotate smoothly even as they bear the weight of the vehicle and endure high pressure and powerful forces at high speeds. 
  • Keep the bearings in good condition. Grease lubricates and protects the bearings from wear and corrosion. Also, some bearings have a seal that locks in the grease and keeps out water and other contaminants to prolong its life. 
  • Long-lasting. Grease will last longer than thin lubricating oils when added to moving metal parts. Most greases can also withstand being exposed to the elements for a long time without thinning, freezing, or washing out. 
  • Keeps out contaminants. Grease acts as a great sealant and keeps out contaminants such as dirt and debris. This helps your wheel bearings to spin smoothly for optimal efficiency. 

Types of Wheel Bearing Grease

Ion-Based Grease

Ion-based grease may come in the form of lithium, white lithium, and calcium. Calcium-based grease has high water resistance but only moderate heat resistance. Lithium-based greases are typically water-resistant and have a high tolerance for extreme temperatures. Lastly, white lithium grease is a multipurpose grease that resists corrosion and repels water. 

Moly EP Grease

Moly EP grease is formulated using a molybdenum disulfide, which is a compound that's highly resistant to corrosion and has a high melting point. Moly EP grease can withstand extreme pressure, as the EP on the name suggests. It's suitable for any object with a gliding motion, including ball joints and U-joints.

Disc and Drum Bearing Grease

Disc and drum grease is water-resistant and can be used on disk and drum brakes. It can withstand extremely high temperatures generated from the high speeds of the wheel and the pressure from the brakes. It's a recommended wheel bearing lubricant for RVs. It also works great as a lubricant for general purpose equipment. 

Marine Wheel Bearing Grease 

Marine wheel grease is ideal for marine equipment due to its water and salt resistance. It’s recommended for metals with heavy loads or farm equipment to facilitate sliding movements. It can also be used on boat and PWC trailers, motorcycle chains, swivel hinges, steering cables, anchor chains, and winches.

Top Brands

Royal Purple

Royal Purple is a North American motor oil company that manufactures high-end products that meet most of the needs of the automotive industry. Its superb performance makes Royal Purple greases, lubricants, and oils the go-to products for many automakers and car owners. Royal Purple’s best grease for ball bearings is the Royal Purple Ultra-Performance Grease.

Valvoline

From its inception in 1866, Valvoline has gained a solid reputation in the DIY market for making some of the best car care products for passenger vehicles. It specializes in manufacturing motor oils, transmission fluids, anti-freeze, greases, and lubricants. 

Sta-Lube

Sta-Lube traces its roots back to 1933 with the production of additives and lubricants for vehicles. Its products are tailored to meet consumer demands and are designed for both the DIY user and professional technicians. In addition, the prices of its products are budget-friendly. One of its high-quality disk-brake-bearing greases is the Sta-Lube Heavy-Duty Bearing Grease.

Lucas Oil

Lucas Oil is a manufacturer and distributor of lubricants, oils, and automotive additives. The company is headquartered in Corona, Calif. Lucas has a large fanbase due to the longevity and high performance of its car care products. One of its best high-temperature greases is the Lucas X-Tra Heavy-Duty Grease.

Best Wheel Bearing Grease Pricing

  • Under $30: Some of the best chassis, trailer axle, and wheel bearing greases are found within this price range. The greases mostly come in 14-ounce bottles or 3.5-ounce tubes. You typically have to purchase a pistol grease gun separately with most of the products here. 
  • Over $30: At this price, the greases simply come in larger cans or in sets of six or more tubes. Also, expect to find some of the best marine wheel bearing greases that sport the highest level of water resistance. Some multipurpose greases come with their own piston guns for easy application.

Key Features

Water Resistance

The best greases can form a protective shield against water and moisture. This helps to protect the metal from rust and corrosion so it can last longer. You must have water-resistant grease if your vehicle is frequently exposed to saltwater.

Viscosity

Viscosity is the rate of internal friction within a fluid that enables it to resist flow. Different types of grease are rated at a viscosity ranging from zero to 6. The ideal rate for a wheel bearing grease is two, which feels a lot like soft peanut butter. 

Other Considerations

  • Temperature Tolerance: The best grease should remain stable even at high temperatures. Lithium-based greases have the highest temperature tolerance in comparison to calcium- or sodium-based greases. 
  • Pressure Tolerance: Some greases are formulated to withstand high-pressure conditions, such as an emergency brake on the wheels. Most brands indicate the maximum pressure limit for their products. Moly EP greases have the highest pressure tolerance.
  • NLGI Number: The National Lubricating Grease Institute (NLGI) consistency number is a grease grading system that can also influence your buying decision. It rates greases by how thick or soft they are. Greases used in wheel bearings usually have an NLGI 2 rating.
  • Application: Some greases come in packaging that allows you to apply them directly. Others will require a grease gun or some other form of applicator.

Best Wheel Bearing Grease Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Royal Purple Ultra-Performance Grease

Instead of buying a variety of greases to use on different equipment, stick to this Royal Purple multipurpose grease for almost all your lubricating needs. You can use it to lubricate the wheel bearings on your vehicle, U-joints on your equipment, and even some household appliances. With a synthetic base coupled with an aluminum thickener, this grease boasts superb anti-corrosion and anti-oxidation properties, which makes your equipment run smoothly and last longer. 

 

Also, this grease is water-resistant and resists emulsion or washout. On top of that, it can withstand extreme pressure conditions of up to 6,000 psi, while cooling the moving parts even as temperature increases. 

Best Value
Super Tech Multi-Duty Complex Grease

With its affordable price tag and properties that rival some of the premium greases, Super Tech Multi-Duty Complex Grease easily scoops our best value award. Available in a 14-ounce tube, this grease is formulated with a complex lithium soap base so it can remain stable even when exposed to a wide range of temperatures. It also possesses advanced rust and corrosion inhibitors so it will protect your bearings from premature wear. It includes multiple polymers and chemical additives that provide anti-oxidation properties and allow the grease to remain stable even in extreme pressure conditions. 


However, it has been noted that this grease has a strong smell. Consider working in a well-ventilated area when applying.

Best for Older Vehicles
Mag 1 High-Temp Disc Brake Wheel Bearing Grease

This grease provides lubrication in both cold and hot temperature ranges. It contains anti-wear, extreme pressure, and lubricity additives that help protect your bearings in any environment. This grease also has corrosion and rust inhibitors that slow down deterioration and provides excellent protection from water and moisture. It’s easy to use, and you can use it in a wide variety of situations, including automotive brake work, farm applications, on motorcycles, guns, and bicycles. Plus, you don’t need much of this high-quality grease to do the job—a little goes a long way.


However, because of its tacky nature, the grease is quite difficult to remove if you get it on clothing. 

Honorable Mention
Valvoline Multi-Vehicle Moly-Fortified Gray Grease

This grease is specifically recommended for Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles—“where M1C75B NLGI GC-LB grease is recommended” as stated. It has properties that lubricate from temperatures of 0 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. The formula includes “moly” (a type of mineral in lubricants) that enhances lubrication ability.


It is also a general purpose grease, so in addition to wheel bearings, you can use it on suspensions, chassis, ball joints, tie rods, steering linkages, and universal joints. It is easy to install in a grease gun.


On the downside, due to moly in the formula, the grease may more easily stain clothes, driveways, workbenches, and other areas. Also, the package may arrive damaged.

Honorable Mention
Lucas Oil X-Tra Heavy-Duty Grease

Lucas Oil X-Tra is a 14-ounce, heavy-duty wheel bearing grease that comes with an affordable price tag. It’s a synthetic grease that’s intended for use on trucks and heavy equipment. The polyurea base makes it last four times longer than regular grease. It’s also plastic-safe, and packed in a user-friendly grease gun cartridge. Able to withstand high pressures and temperatures of up to 560-degrees Fahrenheit, the product has an NLGI-grade 2 rating. It can be used on farming and construction equipment and heavy-duty trucks.

 

One downside is the polyurea base isn’t compatible with lithium-based greases, which are often compatible with almost all grease types.

Honorable Mention
CRC White Lithium Grease

If you are looking to spend the least time possible greasing your wheel bearings and lubricating hard-to-reach areas, consider CRC White Lithium Grease. It comes in an aerosol container and sprays like oil, but it adheres to the surface like grease. Formulated with advanced additives that provide enhanced film strength, corrosion protection, and heat resistance, it’s great for providing long-lasting lubrication to heavy-duty metal applications such as wheel bearings, even under stressful conditions. Aside from that, this grease is water-resistant and works effectively up to a temperature of 300 degrees Fahrenheit. 


The main complaint we noted lies with the design of the spray system. It doesn’t provide an even spray so the application can be quite messy. Also, it can stain non-metal components.

Honorable Mention
Allstar Timken Automotive Wheel Bearing Grease

This is great wheel bearing grease for high-temperature situations. It is manufactured specifically for both drum and disc wheel bearings. The formula contains anti-wear additives, corrosion inhibitors, and water-resistant components for excellent protection in demanding environments. It helps prolong wheel bearing life and provides a smooth ride. It’s also heavy-duty and tacky (in a good way) compared to other brands.


However, you may want a thicker grease to pack tapered roller bearings that have the inner race pre-installed. Also note that there are no specifications on the can, such as standards ratings or a melting point.

Honorable Mention
Sta-Lube Heavy-Duty Drum Brake Bearing Grease

Sta-Lube is a sodium-based bearing grease designed for drum and disk brake wheel bearings and other slow-speed bearings. It’s also a short-fiber grease with some of the best adhesive and water washout resistance capabilities. The product can withstand severe pressure conditions and has a temperature tolerance ranging from zero to 325-degrees Fahrenheit. Sta-Lube’s formulation includes a highly refined base oil and an added polymer to increase its lubricity and cling properties. The product is packaged in a 14-ounce can and has an NLGI grade rating of 2. It’s recommended for autos and trucks with a drum brake system and for janitorial and cleaning supplies.


The downside of the product is that it has a lower temperature tolerance in comparison to standard greases.

Tips

  • Some wheels come with completely sealed bearings, meaning you can't add more grease to the unit when you notice a rumbling sound. This often indicates that the bearings are straining. In that case, you would have to buy a new set of bearings. 
  • Grease certification is an easy way of knowing what type of grease is suitable for your bearings. Greases that are only GC-approved are ideal for disk-brake wheel bearings. LB-approved greases are suitable for chassis. GC-LB approved are suitable for all types of wheel bearings and chassis. 
  • Do not mix different brands or qualities of wheel bearing grease. It may compromise lubricity and other protective properties. Clean out the old grease with white spirit before you apply the new grease.  
  • For a grease base, choose a product with an aluminum-complex or a lithium-complex grease base since they have some of the best anti-wear and anti-corrosion capabilities. Do not use copper as a grease base as it forms an electrochemical reaction with the bearing metal. The product of that reaction dissolves in salty water and leads to faster deterioration of the bearings. 

FAQs

Q: Do I have to grease new wheel bearings?

It depends on the make of your car. If it has a sealed pre-assembled hub unit, then you don't have to grease them since the new bearings come pre-greased. Sealed bearings are never greased but replaced when they start to wear out. Only grease bearings for vehicles with unsealed locks or hub units.

Q: How will I know that I need to replace my wheel bearings? 

Just like any other metal component of your vehicle, the bearings will give some telltale signs that they need to be replaced. You may start to hear a rhythmic thumping noise that sounds like a card that's stuck on the spokes of a rotating wheel. The noise gets louder the more the bearings wear out.  

Q: What is the ideal dropping point for wheel bearing grease?

Dropping point refers to the temperature at which the grease changes from its semi-solid state to a liquid state. Most greases have the recommended dropping point of 500-degrees Fahrenheit. Grease with a low dropping point won't serve its purpose as a lubricant.

Q: How long do wheel bearings last?

Depending on the quality of the bearing, they normally last between 85,000 and 100,000 miles. Some premium bearings can be pushed to 150,000 miles. However, you shouldn’t rely on the manufacturer’s advertised lifespan to determine when you should replace your bearings. To be on the safe side, check the condition of the bearings every 30,000 miles.

Final Thoughts

Royal Purple Multi-Purpose Synthetic Grease stands at the top of our review because it is a reliable synthetic grease formula that will save both your automotive and marine bearings from rust, corrosion, and water washout. It can also endure high temperature and extreme pressure conditions. The Super Tech Multi-Duty Complex Grease comes close in performance and is a more affordable solution for lubricating your wheel bearings.