LAST UPDATED: February 10, 2020
Best Greases: Effective Lubrication for a Smooth Performance
These are the three best greases from the current market for your vehicle
The Review Team
How We Decided
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
PUBLISHED ON February 10, 2020
Grease is the most common multipurpose lubricant used for automotive and industrial applications. For lubricating any bearing assembly in your vehicle, it is essential to choose the right grease. The two most common ingredients in any grease are the oil and the thickening agent. Special compounds are also added to meet the demands of specific applications or environments. We have chosen the top three greases from the current market to help you select the right product.
This grease is composed of a lithium-based complex thickened in oil, along with premium grade additives. It operates within a broad temperature range of minus 60 to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. It can handle high loads and provides excellent corrosion resistance.
The addition of molybdenum provides better film strength. It is an ideal choice for extreme pressure conditions. The product is also easy to apply and suitable for automotive as well as industrial use.
The product components separate after prolonged storage. This may lead to a leakage of oil. It is also not suitable for marine use.
The grease offers good stability, even in extreme temperatures. It is also waterproof and more effective for outdoor equipment. It lasts longer than regular grease.
This product is not ideal for use on vehicle brakes. It is not sufficiently waterproof for marine equipment. It does not mix with lithium-based greases.
Applying the grease can be messy. The sticky nature also attracts dirt and grit, so the application needs to be done carefully.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Grease
- Reduce friction. The primary use of grease is to reduce the friction of moving parts. If moving metal parts are left to slide over each other without lubrication, it will lead to faster wear and consequently mechanical failure of the components. For instance, an unlubricated bike chain will eat at the gears and eventually snap.
- Protection. Grease forms a protective layer on metal parts and keeps out water, dust, and other contaminants that may damage the parts. It also seals in the old grease and any oils that were pre-applied for lubrication.
- Reduce noise. Wheel bearings, bike chains, and gears can get noisy if not lubricated. Packing the parts with grease helps the moving parts to slide over each other more quietly.
- Smooth operation. Grease maintains the mechanical stability of the applied surfaces and facilitates the smooth movement of the moving parts. Since you don’t have to worry about rust, friction, or corrosion, you can expect your equipment to work efficiently during slow operation or high-pressure conditions.
Types of Grease
The ion bases used to make grease are mainly sodium, aluminum, calcium, barium, and lithium. The grease could contain about three percent of the base and the other portion is acquired from mineral oils, vegetable oils, synthetics, or other additives. The end result is typically a multi-purpose grease with a high tolerance for extreme temperatures and great water-resistance.
Marine grease is typically used on marine equipment owing to its water- and salt-repellent properties. It’s commonly used to facilitate gliding movements when metal is operating underwater, like an anchor chain for instance. It can also be used on motorcycle chains, steering cables, door hinges, and disc brakes.
Moly EP grease is made from molybdenum disulfide. The compound gives the final product a high melting point and corrosion resistance. The EP on the name stands for extreme pressure, denoting that the grease can tolerate extreme pressure conditions. It’s mostly used on metal surfaces subjected to heavy loads or high pressure such as wheel bearings or ball joints.
Disc and Drum
Disc and drum grease is water-resistant and formulated with a high melting point. It can withstand extreme temperatures generated from fast-moving wheels and instant pressure exerted by the brakes. It can be used on the wheel bearings of almost any vehicle.
For more than 150 years, Valvoline has had a reputation for manufacturing some of the best automotive oils and lubricants. It’s located in Lexington, Kentucky, and remains committed to improving the motor oil industry by constantly reinventing its products. One of its best synthetic greases is the Valvoline SynPower Synthetic Automotive Grease.
Lucas Oils manufactures high-performance car care products including greases, oils, and automotive additives. The company was started by Forrest Lucas way back in 1989, and is headquartered in Corona, California. One of its best high-performance greases is the Lucas Oil 10301 Heavy Duty Grease.
Maxima was founded in 1979, and is recognized as a leading producer of car care products for the racing industry. From its headquarters in Southern California, Maxima continues to bring forth the latest innovations in its products, which include engine oils, maintenance lubricants, and specialty lubes. One of its best lubricating greases is the Maxima 80916 Waterproof Grease.
Sta-Lube was founded way back in 1933 as a manufacturer of oil additives and lubricants for motor vehicles. It designs products suitable for both the DIY user and professional technicians at a budget-friendly price. One of its best wheel bearing greases is the Sta-Lube Water-Resistant Marine Grease.
- Under $20: Grease products are typically priced according to its properties and the size of the bottle. For that reason, this price range includes small bottles and tubes of general-purpose greases ranging from 3.5 to 14 ounces. Most of the grease bottles don’t come with an aerosol tip and you'd have to purchase an application gun separately.
- Over $20: This price range includes some high-performance greases and some of the products in the lower price range but in larger containers. For the high-end options, you can expect greases with high melting points, recommendable viscosity ratings, and superb water and dirt repulsion capabilities.
Poor-quality grease hardens in low temperatures and bleeds at high temperatures. That can be messy and wasteful. You want a grease that remains stable even when the temperatures dip below minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and can withstand the highest temperatures in your region.
Too much pressure can cause grease to thin or shear. This can happen during shock loading or when you apply emergency brakes. Under such conditions, the greased parts come in contact and corrode each other. Your best bet would be to use EP greases that have graphite or molybdenum disulfide, which bonds to the metal surface to prevent contact during extreme pressure conditions.
Viscosity is a measure of the ability of a fluid to resist flow. For an automotive grease, you need something soft that can lubricate and facilitate easy movement of the mechanical parts. Figuring that viscosity is measured at a rate of zero to six, the grease should be at a two. This would feel like soft peanut butter when rubbed on your hands.
When metal parts are in constant contact with each other, the last thing they need is water since it can cause the parts to rust and fall apart. This is why you need a water-resistant grease that forms a protective film on the applied surface to keep the water out.
- Additives: Grease with extra additives like copper or ceramic powder can improve its high-temperature performance, and protect from component damage throughout their service life. Glycerol additives can help with low-temperature tolerance.
- Versatility: Choose a greasing product that can suit different applications. You can have one product that can be used on your automobiles, farm equipment, and domestic appliances.
- Ease of Application: Prioritize greases that come with spray applicators or tubes that can be easily loaded into a grease gun for easy application. If it comes in a jar, ensure that it’s not too sticky or drippy for application.
- Shelf Life: In case you are buying in bulk, choose a product with a long shelf life. Consider how often you will be using the grease and choose a product that fits that time frame. Otherwise, you will be left with leaking products on the shelf.
Best Grease Reviews & Recommendations 2020
The Valvoline Synpower Grease is one synthetic grease that can take heavy loads and still preserve its effectiveness. This is due to the fact that it’s a moly-fortified grease, meaning that the product has great film strength to endure lots of weight. It’s best used in the ball joints of heavy-duty trailers and trucks. It’s also fortified for extreme pressure and can be used on most farm equipment, including farm tractors.
The product is heat-fortified and remains stable with no bleeding or hardening issues at temperatures ranging between minus 60 to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. It also includes rust and oxidation inhibitors to preserve the life of the metal it’s applied on. Lastly, the grease is relatively thin and pumps well out of a regular grease gun.
Despite all the fortification that the Valvoline grease enjoys, the components can still separate after prolonged storage. You may notice a leaking bottle if it sits for too long on the shelf. Moreover, it’s not designed for marine use.
The Lucas Oil Heavy-Duty grease is something you need in your corner if you reside in areas where the temperatures go above 110 degrees Fahrenheit. It remains stable at all temperatures without bleeding or drying. The manufacturer includes a polyurea base to make the product last four times longer than regular grease.
The grease is virtually waterproof and plastic-safe. It can be used as a lubricant in steering systems, U-joints, and any other mechanical joint. It’s a great choice for high-speed bearings, heavy-duty farm equipment, and construction equipment.
Unfortunately, it’s not the best product for extreme pressure conditions, such as an automotive brake system. What’s more, it may not last on marine equipment that’s frequently exposed to large amounts of water and salt. The components may also separate when mixed with a lithium complex.
The Maxima Waterproof Grease is a smooth, dark blue, lithium-based, multi-purpose grease. It’s designed with a high-density polymer that helps the grease to remain stable at temperatures ranging from minus 20 to 560 degrees Fahrenheit. During such conditions, it won’t thin or harden under normal usage.
The grease works to lubricate metal surfaces to reduce friction, while at the same time efficiently resisting water or moisture penetration. It’s further engineered with non-leaded extreme pressure additives to preserve its protective properties under high-load carrying and shock-loading conditions. What’s more, it features rust and corrosion inhibitors for superior performance under harsh operating conditions.
However, the grease comes in a semi-solid state in a jar and applying it can be messy, especially when you try to stuff it in a grease gun. It’s also quite sticky and attracts dirt and grit, which may thin it and reduce its effectiveness as a lubricant.
Ideal for wheel bearings and marine applications, the LubriMatic Grease is a water-insoluble formula with a calcium sulfonate complex, which provides unparalleled protection against water, salt, and air. It’s designed to lubricate and prevent corrosion on moving metal parts, and it won’t bleed out the bluish-green color, even when the temperatures are as high as 500 degrees.
With a viscosity grade of NLGI 2, which is similar to most greases, it maintains the consistency of peanut butter. It also has a GC-LB rating, meaning that it can be used to lubricate U-joints and ball joints.
The main issue with this grease lies with its packaging. Getting grease out of the container can be quite messy. Despite that, you can use it on winches, anchor chain reels, swivel hinges, and disc brake wheel bearings.
Star Brite is a lithium complex grease that’s designed for marine applications. It’s a water-insoluble formula with high resistance to washout. This helps to prevent rust, corrosion, and premature wear of metal components.
When applied, it forms a protective shield against water, salt, air, and atmospheric chemicals that corrode metals. In addition, it has an NLGI 2 rating, meaning that it has the consistency of peanut butter. It can be used on trailer wheel bearings, water pumps, winches, pins, and hinges.
The main limitation of this grease is that you need to purchase a grease gun for application. It will also bleed out when temperatures go beyond 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Royal Purple offers a multipurpose grease that’s engineered to handle everything from light lubrication in metal equipment to extreme pressure lubrication in automotive applications. It has an NLGI 2 rating, meaning that it’s a normal grease with the consistency of peanut butter. This also means that it’s hard enough to lubricate wheel bearings and the chassis. In fact, it’s one of the best greases for wheel bearings, since it's more stable than most lithium greases and can handle up to 6,000 psi.
As for the formulation, it’s a synthetic grease with an aluminum thickener, which helps with its anti-oxidation and anti-corrosion properties. The formulation is water-insoluble and resists washout and emulsion. On top of that, it’s a great lubricant and can help cool moving metal parts. This helps to make your equipment more reliable. It’s recommended for automotive, marine, and farm equipment as well as household applications.
Just as with many greases that come in tube packaging, it requires a grease gun for easy application. Also, since it’s a smooth grease, the color may run out of the grease gun.
Specially engineered for marine applications, StaLube is an aluminum complex grease that’s formulated from a refined base oil. Also included in the formulation is a polymer additive that improves its adhesive properties so that it can resist washout under severe water conditions in marine equipment.
This grease has a working temperature range of zero to 325 degrees, so it can maintain its lubricity in high-temperature conditions. Also, just as with the other greases on our list, it has an NLGI grade 2 rating. It can be used on wheel bearings, winches, boat trailer bearings, and steering cables on boats. You can also use it on snowmobiles, off-road motorcycles, and all-terrain vehicles.
However, it’s not the most heat-tolerant grease out there. It excels more in cooler conditions.
The Allstar Timken Grease is a lithium complex grease that’s specially formulated for disc and drum wheel bearings in automotive applications. It’s a red grease and comes in a 16-ounce tub. Also, it's reliable over a wide range of temperatures—minus 40 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s quite a heavy-duty grease that sports corrosion inhibitors, antioxidants, water resistance, and anti-wear additives. Therefore, it forms an effective shield against rust and corrosion to preserve the life of the components in the most challenging environments. It’s suitable for lubricating trucks, RVs, trailers, and farm equipment.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t resist washout enough for marine use. Also, its high-temperature tolerance is relatively low in comparison to high-end automotive greases.
Finishing off our list is the Mag1 High-Temp Grease, which is a lithium complex grease that’s engineered to handle high temperatures and extreme pressure conditions. With a working temperature range of minus 40 to 325 degrees, this grease can provide reliable lubrication in hot and cold temperature conditions.
Also included in the formulation are anti-wear, anti-corrosion, and special lubricity additives that go a long way in preserving the mechanical integrity of metal components. It’s also water-resistant and resists washout.
The main drawback of this grease is that it’s quite gummy and may be hard to clean off, especially if it has stayed on for too long and attracted dirt. It’s also not water-resistant enough for marine use. It’s only recommended for automotive, farm, and industrial applications.
- A water-resistant grease will offer effective shielding against water drops and moisture. This property also helps to protect the metal parts more effectively against corrosion.
- A grease that can withstand extreme temperatures will not break down easily. Temperatures in automobile bearings can get high, so choose a grease that can operate within a large temperature range.
- The viscosity of grease makes it thin or extremely thick. For automotive use, a viscosity rating of two is an ideal choice, as it makes application easy.
Q: What are multipurpose greases?
A: These greases combine some of the best properties of other special greases. This makes them suitable for a wide variety of applications. Lithium-based greases are popular as multipurpose grease.
Q: How long can I store unused grease?
A: When stored for long periods under poor conditions, grease can go bad. Often the oil and solids in the grease separate, making it unusable. Check the guidelines from the manufacturer for storing the grease.
Q: Can I mix two types of grease?
A: It is best not to mix two different types of grease. In many cases, thickeners and additives in two different greases can be incompatible with each other. This will make the mixture ineffective as a lubricant.
The Valvoline SynPower Synthetic Automotive Grease is a premium-grade product that is ideal for a wide variety of equipment.
For those who are seeking a value for money product, the Lucas Oil 10301 Heavy Duty Grease is a good option.