LAST UPDATED: October 13, 2019
Best Brake Caliper Grease: Increase Your Vehicle’s Brake Life
The best brake caliper grease for maintaining stopping power
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON October 13, 2019
Brakes need to be properly lubricated in order to effectively stop your vehicle. The best brake caliper grease will extend the life of your brake pads and calipers as well as prevent unwanted noise and vibration. Our buying guide will help you find the best lube on the market that will help keep your vehicle in tip-top condition.
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Benefits of Brake Caliper Grease
- Proper lubrication. General-purpose grease tends to evaporate or melt off under extreme driving conditions. This is why it’s necessary to have grease that’s specifically formulated for your brake calipers, and can withstand the high temperatures that the brakes generate.
- Avoid damaging the brake components. Not just any grease is good for your brake calipers. Some greases can corrode the rubber seals or plastic bushings. Brake caliper greases, on the other hand, don’t have harsh formulations and instead preserve the integrity of the critical components by sealing out contaminants.
- Reduce brake noise. The brakes can get extremely hot during repeated braking or when hard braking. This can force the lubricants to melt and that’s when you start to get the squeaky noise. Lubricating the caliper at the point it touches the brake pad can help reduce the friction on both surfaces, and consequently reduce or eliminate the squeaking sound.
Types of Brake Caliper Grease
Mineral Oil-Based Grease
Mineral oil-based or conventional greases typically use petroleum-based products as the lubricating agent. They can be formulated with additives to meet high temperatures, extreme pressures, and any other harsh environment.
Synthetics are formulated to outperform and outlast conventional greases. They have superior lubricating capabilities across a wider temperature range and form a thicker oil film between the surfaces. They are also less prone to degradation in extreme pressure or high temperature conditions and maintain proper viscosity at low temperatures. The fact that synthetics last longer than the other alternatives means that you can extend the frequency of your regreasing schedule from monthly to quarterly.
Silicone grease is a thickened silica compound that’s formulated to provide lubrication and corrosion resistance. It’s often used to replace oil-based greases that attack rubber components. It’s used in its pure form to maintain stability under high temperatures. However, it can be easily washed out or contaminated with most organic solvents.
Since 1909, Permatex has dominated the automotive market with premium car care and repair products. It makes high-quality car repair kits, adhesives, sealants, lubricants, and cleaners under other well-known brand names including Versachem, Devcon, Spray Nine, and Fast Orange. It’s headquartered in Ohio and has other operating centres in Canada, Mexico, and the U.K. Some of its best caliper greases are the Permatex Ultra Disc Brake Caliper Lube and the Permatex Ceramic Extreme Brake Parts Lubricant.
CRC is a Pennsylvania-based manufacturer of chemical solutions for automotive, marine, and metalwork applications. The company was started in 1958, and currently has over 1,300 specialty products and formulations in its repertoire. It’s products are sold throughout the U.S.A, Europe, South Africa, and Asia Pacific. If you want to try out one of its best brake caliper lubricants, check out the CRC Brake Caliper Synthetic Grease.
3M is an American multinational brand that was founded in 1902 as a mining and manufacturing company. Today, it manufactures over 60,000 products including adhesives, lubricants, window films, and personal protective equipment. It’s currently headquartered in Maplewood, Minnesota, and its products are sold globally. One of its best greases for brake systems is the 3M Silicone Paste.
Raybestos is a global manufacturer of safe and dependable aftermarket automotive accessories with a history dating back to 1902. With the help of a team of dedicated engineers, the company makes some of the best aftermarket brake parts including calipers, rotors, drums, and lubricants that meet or exceed OEM standards. Some of its best selling products include the Raybestos Brake Lube and the 96711 Disc Brake Rotor.
Brake Caliper Grease Pricing
- Under $30: The price of a brake caliper grease is mostly determined by the size and formulation. That being said, expect to find 8-ounce containers to smaller 1-ounce tubes within this price range.
- $30 to $50: As with any other car care product, spending more money could translate to improved results. This means that the greases here have better extreme temperature tolerance, are more viscous, and come with an applicator brush.
- Over $50: Budget this much for larger containers of about 20 ounces or more. You can also get the same product in the lower price range but packaged in sets of four or more, depending on the size. You can expect the formulation to be better and longer-lasting if the grease comes as a single unit.
Viscosity is used to describe the thickness of a fluid or its ability to resist flow. Greases need to have a high viscosity in order to stay put on the applied surface. This is to ensure that they protect the surface from the effects of friction for a longer time.
The grease should be able to resist melting or freezing at a wide temperature range. This ensures that it will maintain its lubricative properties despite being exposed to extreme temperature changes. Select a grease with a non-melt or non-freeze formula, and note the temperature range which it can function at.
If any part of the brake caliper were to come in contact with water, it would rust and wear out faster than usual. This is why you need a grease that effectively seals out moisture to keep the components dry and in their best working condition.
- Application: Grease can be classified according to the application. This is why we have all-purpose (AP) grease, which is suitable for all vehicle applications. Multi-purpose (MP) grease is formulated for light vehicle applications. Lastly, there's extreme pressure (EP) grease, which is more stable and durable under very intense pressure. EP grease offers more reliable protection for metal-to-metal components than the other options.
- Additives: Additives are special ingredients that are introduced in the grease while it’s being manufactured to improve its properties. They are typically included for advanced wear protection, corrosion prevention, and rust protection.
- Thickeners: The grease needs to have a thickener that helps to keep the grease particles from dispersing easily. The thickener also helps to bond the additives to the base oil. The most commonly used thickener is lithium.
Best Brake Caliper Grease Reviews & Recommendations 2020
This long-lasting, synthetic grease from Mission Automotive is designed to lubricate and protect brake caliper pins, O-rings, rubber gaskets, and steering bushings. It offers consistent performance at temperatures ranging from minus 55 to 570 degrees Fahrenheit. It also includes silicone compounds in its formulation to aid with lubrication and to prevent oxidation. The silicone base gives this grease more versatility in that it can also be used for electrical and marine applications; it’s safe on metal, rubber, and plastics.
This silicone paste also works as a sealant, which keeps out moisture and other contaminants such as salt and dirt from corroding the metal. A small but important feature is the applicator brush that's attached in the lid to ensure that you never lose it.
Unfortunately, the attached brush is one of its weakest links—the bristles can come loose easily and it can be challenging to pick them out from the container since the paste is thick. Also, if you aren’t a fan of using a bent brush, then you should consider buying a straight brush beforehand.
For anyone who doesn't want to buy brake caliper grease in bulk, our best value option, the Permatex Disk Brake Caliper Lube, may be a great pick for you. It’s a green, synthetic grease that comes in a 0.5 ounce tube. The fluid is formulated to maintain the lubrication of the caliper pins and slides.
This product is designed to be non-melting, meaning that it will last through adverse braking conditions and promote the longevity of your brake calipers. It also maintains a consistent viscosity even under extreme heat or cold conditions. This means that you may not have to worry about regreasing your calipers as often as you regularly would.
While it’s a great product, 0.5 ounces is only enough to cover one brake caliper. Also, it’s not safe on rubber and, therefore, you should only apply it on the metal parts. In addition, it’s not the best for dampening brake noise.
This brake and caliper grease is a synthetic formula that contains molybdenum, teflon, and graphite. These additives help to boost its temperature tolerance to a range of minus 40 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s tailored to lubricate metal-to-metal sliding points, and effectively seals out dirt particles that could potentially corrode the brake pads.
This product is suitable for any brake job owing to the fact that it's plastic and rubber safe. It also repels moisture and, therefore, won’t wash out easily. This makes it suitable for marine applications.
However, we are disappointed that it can be a bit challenging to squeeze the grease out of the stiff container; it gets worse in cooler weather when the fluid thickens. Not only that, but it also thickens with time after being applied on the brake pads, which can cause them to wear out unevenly.
The Versachem 26080 is a great grease for anyone looking to dampen brake noise and prolong brake life. It’s formulated with pure synthetic oils and has additives to prevent rust, corrosion, and oxidation. It also includes a sear-stable thickener that helps to improve its high temperature tolerance to provide maximum protection to the applied surface.
The grease comes in an 8-ounce bottle with a convenient brush applicator on the lid. It has a working temperature of minus 5 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The grease lasts longer on a disk brake caliper but it can also be used on spark plug boots, battery terminals, valves, and bushings.
Naturally, this grease has a few drawbacks, too. For one, it has a low operating temperature in comparison to other synthetic greases and, as a result, has a tendency to run hot. It can also get too gummy in the brake system and may need to be washed out to prevent more dust from sticking on the brake pads.
Synthetic fluids typically outperform traditional caliper greases; the Permatex Ceramic is no exception. The formula is 100 percent synthetic and is tailored for use on the caliper pins, caliper assembly, and the back of brake pads to promote noise-free braking. It can also be used to lubricate bushings, pistons, and seals.
This product is resistant to corrosion and provides reliable lubrication at a temperature range of minus 54 to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It will also help to seal out dirt and other contaminants that often cause the squealing noise from the brake pads.
The price is the most significant downside of this product, seeing that a six pack is more than $100, when you can get other synthetic options under $60. On top of that, a single 8-ounce container may not be enough to cover all four brake calipers. Another issue is that its efficiency is reduced significantly under extreme cold conditions.
This is a castor-based lubricant that's designed to stay put despite being exposed to freezing temperatures, heat, or water. It has a working temperature of minus 20 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s designed to protect rubber from weather stripping, and to reduce friction between rubber-to-metal contact points to prevent squeaks. It also seals metal components to keep out water and prevent oxidation.
It’s safe on metal, rubber, wood and glass. It can be used on brake pads, trunk seals, bumpers, and v-belts. It’s water-repellent capabilities makes it a good lubricant for marine applications.
While it has some great qualities, it only offers a temporary fix to restoring the elasticity of shrunken rubber—the squeaks may only go away for a few weeks. It’s also not as slippery as silicon-based greases, and isn’t recommended for off-road applications.
Raybestos offers a high-performance brake lubricant that’s designed to maintain optimal performance during extreme braking conditions. It’s a silicon-based formula that’s infused with Teflon to reduce its toxicity and improve the shelf life. It’s designed to prevent premature brake wear and to reduce brake noise.
This grease is quite viscous and is best used to lubricate the caliper sliding pins and the caliper bracket that’s attached to the brake pads. You can use it on other parts of your brake system that need lubrication without fear of contaminating the brake fluid or damaging the rubber on the brake pads.
However, there are a few things that the Raybestos Lube misses out on. One is that it can get really stiff in cold weather, especially when the temperature goes below minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, you have to use a brush to scoop the lube out of the container, and it can be quite challenging to get the broken brush bristles out of the thick fluid.
The MC-1630 is an effective formula that’s safe for braking and preserves the integrity of the rubber components of your brake system. It’s formulated to lubricate brake pads, brake discs, and caliper guide pins to prevent uneven wear, jamming, or deformation. This also helps to reduce your vehicle's stopping distance and eliminate brake noise.
The formula is safe on rubber parts, and can effectively lubricate the applied surface at a temperature range of minus 58 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s high temperature tolerance is lower than the other options on our list but will work for most highway vehicles.
Another drawback is that it only comes in a small tube with less than 2 ounces of paste. It’s only enough to cover one brake caliper. Also, the instructions on the tube aren’t written in English.
- Be sure to apply the proper amount of lube when you're working on the brakes. Using either too much or not enough will adversely affect the effectiveness and/or lifespan of the brakes.
- Experts recommend that every time you rotate your tires you clean the grit from your brakes with an air compressor as well as add some lubricant if it’s required.
- You should replace your brake pads approximately every two to three years, depending on how quickly they wear. Calipers on modern vehicles can last as long as 10 years but should be monitored in the meantime. Using the correct lube will keep your system running efficiently for a longer period of time.
Q: How do I lubricate my brake calipers?
A: First, remove rust from the caliper brackets using a wire brush or other tool. Clean or replace hardware, and lubricate any of the metal to rubber friction points.
Q: Can I use regular grease for brakes?
A: The brakes on your car can get extremely hot, particularly when braking hard or braking repeatedly. Some general-purpose lubricants aren't designed to hold up in these types of conditions. You need high-temperature grease that can take the heat and won't damage rubber or plastic components.
Q: Can I use lithium grease on brake calipers?
A: White lithium can be used on drum brake hardware and backing plates; however, it is a low-temperature grease, so it shouldn't be used on front disc brakes.
Our pick for the best brake caliper grease is the Mission Automotive Dielectric Grease/Silicone Paste/Waterproof Marine Grease. It's waterproof and seals and protects various components, including brake caliper pins.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Permatex Ultra Disc Brake Caliper Lube.