In a disk braking system, the brake pads squeeze against the rotor as normal driving pressure is applied. The shoes in a drum brake system squeeze the drum to stop the vehicle. In any scenario, a light coating of grease can improve brake efficiency.
It can seem counterproductive to grease brake pads, given the importance of friction. But it makes a huge impact if done properly. However, it’s crucial to use the right lubricants and apply them properly. If not, your ability to stop may diminish. The friction surface of the brake pads or shoes should never be lubricated with brake grease.
The use of brake lubricants also helps to lessen the amount of noise produced by the brakes. A little lubricant can do wonders for a ride that’s too noisy.
What Is Brake Grease?
Brake oil is made to lubricate the brakes of a vehicle. Brakes get hot as they are used. In a high-temperature environment, most lubricants would evaporate. Furthermore, petroleum-based grease would deteriorate the rubber and plastic parts of modern hydraulic braking systems. The results may be catastrophic if brake fluid were to leak.
Dry film lubricants containing graphite or molybdenum disulfide are ideal for metal-to-metal applications. To avoid damaging plastic and rubber parts, however, you should always use a synthetic, non-petroleum lubricant or one made with silicone.
Is grease for the brake pads necessary?
Brake systems are often driven without ever being lubricated. That’s alright, but it’ll probably shorten the life of your pads.
Meanwhile, the effectiveness of the system can be improved by lubricating the brake pads and calipers. Lubrication is essential to the proper operation of brakes due to the large number of moving parts they include. To be safe, oil even brand-new brakes. If you want a silent ride, you should grease anything that slides or moves. Grease also aids in maximizing braking efficiency.
Nonetheless, extra grease isn’t required. Only a very little coating is suggested.
How Should Brake Pads Ideally Be Lubricated?
Knowing when and where to apply brake oil is crucial. It’s not something you want to slather on the brakes with. That’s a potentially risky move. Instead, the grease should be applied only at strategic locations.
Compared to drum brakes, disc brakes are drastically different. You can’t use the same type of grease on both. Some broad recommendations are provided below.
- Keep the grease away from the rotors.
- Never oil the brake pads’ inner contact surfaces. When you do that, your brakes will fail.
- Apply a dab of oil or grease to each of the screws that secures the caliper.
- Lubricate the caliper’s sliding bushing to ensure smooth operation.
- Apply some grease to the caliper’s bearing surface where it slides along the mount. Light sanding should be done beforehand if there is any visible wear and tear on the location.
The most critical places to lubricate are the places where metal is coming into contact with metal (other than the pad itself). Keeping the brake components from seizing requires only a light coating of lubricant.
Drum Brake Grease Lubrication
- Drum brake-equipped vehicles must follow a somewhat different set of guidelines for application.
- Avoid getting grease on the part of the drum where the shoes touch. When using this lubricant, brakes become ineffective.
- The backing plate is the only part that needs lubrication. Sand the worn area lightly before applying the lubricant.
- The star-shaped wheel between the shoes is movable and can be greased. Lubrication prevents the components from becoming rigid in the cold.
- Suggested Action: Coat the separator with a thin layer of grease. It’s around two-thirds of the way up the shoe.
- Remove the pads and grease everything that touches metal.
The parking brake cable and linkage can also be lubricated. The drum brakes in the back are where parking brakes get their power from.
How to Apply Brake Lubricant
In addition to being mindful of where you apply the lubricant, consider the following advice.
- Brake pads are more likely to corrode in humid or salty environments. Rust and filth should be removed before any lubrication is applied.
- Rust on the brakes can be removed with sandpaper or a metal file. The brakes should be sanded only until the rust disappears.
- Sanding the brakes is followed by cleaning them with brake cleaner. Clean the entire assembly by spraying it down with a disinfectant.
- Put a bucket under where you are working to catch the drips while you spray the brakes with cleaning. Don’t forget about the correct disposal of this trash.
- To get things moving, you don’t need a lot of grease. The item is packaged in a compact bottle or tube. Put it on with a gloved finger if that’s how you feel most comfortable. A wooden stick or tongue depressor will also do the trick.
- This recommendation bears restating. Be careful not to over-grease the brakes. The extra oil could spread and accumulate in undesirable places.
When installing new brakes, it is recommended that lubricant be applied to the rotors. To keep moving metal parts functioning as they should, lubricate them lightly before each replacement.
What happens if you don’t grease the brake pads?
The brake pads of a vehicle are an integral part of the braking system and must always be in good working order to guarantee the driver’s safety. But for optimum efficiency, this requires frequent maintenance, including lubrication. Here, we’ll go over why it’s so important to keep them oiled and what happens if you don’t.
The brake pads have gotten worn down faster than usual.
There will be more wear and tear on the brake pads if they are not lubricated. Brake pads and rotors will wear more quickly and unevenly if they are not properly lubricated. Brake pads, calipers, and rotors are all susceptible to excessive wear and must be replaced eventually. Furthermore, other parts of the brake system may be damaged due to a lack of lubricant, leading to even bigger problems.
Braking noises that squeak or screech
Noises like squeaking or screaming when you brake are a common symptom of dry brake pads. Lack of lubrication results in annoying and distracting noise and vibration. There may be more serious problems with the braking system that are being masked by the noise, such as worn brake pads or damaged rotors.
The vehicle’s braking power is diminished.
Lack of grease on brake pads reduces their hold on the rotors and, in turn, the vehicle’s stopping capabilities. It’s risky to drive with less stopping power, especially in an emergency circumstance where you need to stop quickly.
The risk of brake failure due to overheating
Overheating and possible brake failure are both possible results of the lack of lubricant. Warping of the rotors, glazing of the brake pads, and even total brake failure might result from the braking system overheating. Accidents, injuries, and even fatalities can result from faulty brakes.
Increased wear and tear, noise, decreased stopping power, and eventual brake failure might result from neglecting to grease the pads. Because of this, keeping up with routine greasing of these components is critical for the continued health and efficiency of your vehicle’s braking system.
When should brake pads be greased?
Greasing the brake pads on a regular basis is an important part of keeping them in good working order. It’s not always easy to tell when it’s time to oil your brake pads. In this article, we’ll go over some of the warning indications that it might be time to oil your brake pads.
Braking noises that squeak or screech
Squeaking or squealing sounds when braking is a common indication that the brake pads have not been greased. These sounds mean your brake pads are dry and need to be lubricated. The best course of action is to have a qualified mechanic examine your brake system, identify the source of the noise, and fix it.
Weakened ability to stop
If your car is stopping more slowly than usual or has diminished braking power, it may be time to grease the brake pads. Reduced stopping power may occur from the brakes’ inability to properly grasp the rotors due to a lack of lubrication. The sooner this problem is fixed, the fewer accidents there will be.
Brake pad wear that is not uniform
If you see your brake pads wearing out in different places, that’s a sign they require lubrication. The brake pad and rotor wear will be accelerated and uneven without proper lubrication. Vibrations and noise from uneven wear can potentially damage other parts of the braking system.
Brake pedal vibrations or pulsations
A pulsing or vibrating brake pedal is a sign that your brake pads need to be lubricated. Damage to other parts of the braking system may result from the absence of lubrication-related vibrations and noise.
Lubricating the moving parts of the braking system is crucial for optimum performance and continued vehicle safety. A skilled mechanic should evaluate your braking system and perform any necessary repairs if you see any of the aforementioned warning flags.
Without Removing the Tire: Greasing the Brake Pads
Although removing the tire to lubricate the brake pads is the preferred method, there are situations when this is not possible or practicable. To lubricate the brake pads without taking the tire off, do the following:
Gather your supplies: In addition to the lubricant, you’ll need a jack stand and lug wrench.
Raise the vehicle: Jack up the wheel you intend to oil using the appropriate jack stand. Before moving forward, check that the vehicle is secure and steady.
Find the two bolts that secure the caliper, then use the lug wrench to take them out. The caliper can then be carefully removed and set down on a nearby surface like a cardboard box.
Grease the caliper piston, the caliper sliding pins and the back of the brake pad using a small brush or applicator. If you want to make sure the grease you put on your brakes can handle the heat, look for brake-specific varieties.
Once the grease has been applied, the caliper can be reinstalled onto the rotor by carefully lining up the bolt holes. Using the lug wrench, snugly fasten the bolts.
Make that the brakes are working by lowering the car off the jack stand and using the brakes. You can oil the brake pads without removing the tire if everything seems and sounds normal.