Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

What brake grease to use

Brake grease is a special synthetic high-temp lube for lubricating brake parts

Using the right brake grease is critical to maintaining proper caliper operation. The right brake grease lubricates sliding parts, prevents rust, dampens brake vibration, reduces squeal, withstands high temperatures and doesn’t degrade rubber parts.

Where you need brake lube

Apply rubber safe brake grease to the caliper slide pins

Brake grease on the slide pins prevents corrosion, lubricates the slide pins to allow for full release, and prevents rust. The lube must be rated safe for rubber/nitrile/neoprene contact or it will degrade the rubbers boots. NEVER use a petroleum based product to caliper slide pins

Apply brake grease on the abutment

Apply brake grease to the abutment under the anti-rattle clips to prevent rust jacking. Most DIYers make the mistake of applying brake grease on top of the anti-rattle clips. New anti-rattle clips are made from stainless steel and don’t need lubrication. In fact, adding lube on top of the anti-rattle clip will attract dirt and road grit, causing the pad “ears” to bind, resulting in uneven brake pad wear. However, if you clean the rust off the abutment and apply a light film of synthetic silicone brake grease to the abutment before installing the anti-rattle clips, the dielectric grease actually prevents rust formation, thereby eliminating rust jacking.

Brake grease on the caliper piston face

Applying brake grease to the caliper piston face reduces noise and vibration transmission to the caliper

Brake grease on the noise reduction shims

Apply a metal contact brake grease on the noise reduction shims where the shims contact the caliper. The grease dampens vibration transmission to the the caliper

Types of brake grease

Silicone brake grease

Silicone brake grease have a high melting point and is dielectric, so it prevents galvanic action between dissimilar metals. Rust jacking (oxidation that expands and causes moving parts to bind or seize) is a common problem in automotive brake systems, so you want to use a dielectric grease wherever dissimilar metals contact one another.

Silicone brake grease with ceramic additives

Some brake grease manufacturers add finely ground ceramic particles to their brake grease to separate metal parts and prevent galling and binding.

Examples of silicone brake grease

silicone brake grease

Sil-Glyde® Lubricating Compound

• Temperature range: -20°F to 400°F
• For all surfaces, including: rubber, metal, wood, glass, and plastic.

Sta-Lube

• Temperature range -40 to 495°F
• High temperature grease is plastic & rubber safe. Use on metal to metal contact points and sliding surfaces.

Super Lube with PTFE

• Temperature range -40 to 500°F
• Slicone Lubricating Brake Grease with Syncolon® (PTFE) for caliper and wheel cylinder assembly work as silicone is an excellent lubricant for rubber and plastics. It is compatible with the majority of rubber compounds including nitrile, nylon and other synthetic rubber.

Silicone brake grease with ceramic additives

Greases suitable for use on brakes must be high temperature grease. Some manufacturers use a silicone dielectric grease because it can withstand high temperature and the dielectric feature prevents rust formation. But not all brake greases can be use in all areas. Let’s take a look a the most popular silicone brake greases with ceramic additives.

ceramic brake lubricants

Permatex® Silicone Ceramic Extreme Brake Parts Lubricant

• Temperature range -54F – over 3000F
• Fortified with high concentration, high temperature, ceramic solids
• Dampens natural vibrating frequencies
• Will not wash away
Compatible with most plastics and rubbers used in Disc Brake Caliper systems
• Meets JIS K 2228 with EPDM and Nitrile rubbers

Permatex® Ceramic Extreme Brake Parts Lubricant

• Temperature range -54F – over 3000F
• 100% synthetic formula, coupled with real ceramic solids make this premium brake lubricant our longest lasting, most temperature resistant way to silence brake noise.
For metal-to-metal contact only. Do not use on rubber/nitrile/neoprene boots/material (not for use on caliper slide pins that contain rubber parts or boots.

Permatex® Ultra Disc Brake Caliper Lube

• Temperature range -40°F to +495°F.
• Synthetic grease
For metal-to-metal contact only. Do not use on rubber/nitrile/neoprene boots/material (not for use on caliper slide pins that contain rubber parts or boots.

Silaramic® Brake System Grease

• Temperature range -50° to 3,000°F
• Synthetic grease for use on all brake components, including calipers, bushings, holes, pins, inserts, anchors, bolts, calipers and boots

Cerami-Glyde Brake Lubricant

• Temperature range -50° to 3,000°F
• Silicone-based brake lubricant with ceramic solid additives formulated to reduce brake noise in the most extreme conditions and temperatures. Works with both ceramic and metallic brake pads and is safe for use on all parts (including EPDM and Nitrile rubber) of the brake assembly.

What about anti-seize products on brakes?

Lots of DIYers use anti-seize products on their brakes. But is it really designed for that? NO! Anti-seize has a much lower heat range than the brake greases above. They contain aluminum, copper and nickel which can actually accelerate corrosion when they come in contact with dissimilar metals. And there are several areas in brakes where dissimilar metals contact one another, like: cast iron abutment and anti-rattle clip contact, steel brake pad backing plate and caliper body contact, and caliper body-to-slide pin contact. Let’s take a look at Permatex Anti-seize products and see if the manufacturer recommends their use on brake parts.

anti-seize for brakes

Permatex® Anti-Seize Lubricant

• Temperature range -60°F to 1600°F
• Blend of aluminum, copper and graphite lubricants.
Suggested Applications: Spark plugs, cylinder head and exhaust head bolts; apply to anchor pins on brake assemblies, u-bolts and spring bolts, hinges, gears, chain, sprockets and rollers.

Permatex® Copper Anti-Seize Lubricant

• Temperature range -30°F to 1800°F
• Contains a high percentage of micro-fine copper flakes in a semi-synthetic grease carrier and is fortified with high quality rust and corrosion inhibitors.
• Provides good electrical conductivity. Not what you want for brakes because it promotes dissimilar metal corrosion. You want a DIELECTRIC grease.
Suggested Applications: Spark plug threads installed in aluminum, exhaust manifold bolts, engine bolts, oxygen sensors, knock sensors, thermostat housing bolts, and fuel filter fittings.

Permatex® Nickel Anti-Seize Lubricant

• Temperature range -65°F to 2400°F.
• Designed for use under conditions of extreme pressure and temperature, and with stainless steel, titanium and nickel alloys.
Suggested Applications: Exhaust manifold bolts, exhaust system bolts, muffler clamps and tailpipe assemblies.

Permatex makes three different anti-seize products and NOT ONE OF THEM LISTS brakes as a suggested brake grease.

© 2012 Rick Muscoplat

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