Lube Notes: Grease Lube for Your Vehicle - 3

Volume 2 Issue 4 - Lubrication

Article Index
Lube Notes: Grease Lube for Your Vehicle
Grease Lube Composition
Grease Compatibility
All Pages

Grease Compatibility

A word of caution; not all greases are compatible with each other. This problem occurs because some of the thickening agents chemically react with others, which can lead to the grease lube becoming very hard or liquefying or preventing the oil from leeching out to provide lubrication, essentially, rendering the grease useless. Most grease you find for automotive applications are lithium or lithium-complex greases: these are compatible with each other. Table Two (next page) covers compatibility/incompatibility of commonly-used greases. If you find grease that uses a different thickener than those listed, contact me to verify compatibility.

Compatibility / Incompatibility of Commonly Used greases (Table Two)

Table Two – Different types of grease lube are not always compatible with each other. For instance, the first two grease compounds, Aluminum Complex and Barium Complex are incompatible as indicated by the “I” inside a red box. A “C” inside a green box indicates that the two compounds are compatible with each other. A “B” in a yellow field indicates the two compounds possess only borderline compatibility.


Grease is the forgotten lubricant, it just doesn’t rise to the level of notice of other lubricants; however, grease lube is fundamental to proper care for your vehicle. For most auto or truck applications greasing should be done at three month intervals for petroleum and six month intervals for synthetics. Wheel bearings properly packed with synthetic grease are good for 10 years but the most convenient time for repacking is when the brakes are replaced. There are few manufacturers stipulating wheel bearing maintenance and some are now installing sealed bearings that cannot be greased. Ball joints and steering joints can still be greased in most heavy duty vehicles, but in light duty vehicles, the grease fittings may not be installed and you will have to purchase them and install them. As with all lubricants, synthetic greases outperform petroleum greases and the cost difference is actually in favor of the synthetics; you simply use less grease over time and the up front cost difference is minimal.

As always, call me with your questions at (800) 661-7242.


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Comments (2)add comment

Greg said:

What type grease is Amsoil?
Best article I've found on this, however where is Amsoil on the compatability chart, please?
November 05, 2010
Votes: +0

Jeffzx9 said:

Greg, check the thickener type
Greg, check the type of thickener used on the product detail sheet/page from any manufacturer. The same manufacturer may use different thickener base stock, so it depends on the specific product being used.
April 10, 2012
Votes: +0

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