The best wheel bearing grease for you will depend on your vehicle’s specifications, but some of the most popular options on the market—and there are many—include varieties from Valvoline, Royal Purple, and Lucas Oil.
Wherever your vehicle takes you, your wheel bearings are always at work. And since they generate so much friction, a quality wheel bearing grease is essential for reducing wear and tear on your wheel assembly and other vehicle parts.
If your wheel bearing grease has worn out between service appointments, you may be wondering what type of grease to replace it with until the next time you visit the auto shop. Courtesy of
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car insurance shopping needs, here’s a look at why wheel bearing grease matters and some of the most popular options available.
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Why is wheel bearing grease important?
A wheel bearing is part of your vehicle’s wheel assembly that connects the wheel to the axle and allows the wheel to rotate smoothly with minimal friction among all those moving parts.
But your wheel bearings can’t do that alone: they need wheel bearing grease to operate smoothly. Without it, the bearings themselves and surrounding components are more vulnerable to wear, which can lead to expensive damage if the problem is left unaddressed.
In a worst-case scenario, a wheel bearing with worn-out or old grease that ends up failing could stop one of your wheels as you’re driving and cause you to lose control of your vehicle. So you could say it’s pretty important to have well-lubricated wheel bearings.
In addition to that, the best greases for wheel bearings should also provide additional protection against other kinds of wear, like rust and corrosion.
What to look for in a wheel bearing grease
Regular grease generally consists of several key components: an oil, a thickener, and various additives to achieve specific goals.
But not all grease products are the same. Because wheel bearings can generate so much heat, the grease you choose will need to have specific properties, and not all multi-purpose greases will meet those requirements. And while some wheel bearing greases can be used for the chassis, not all chassis greases are compatible with wheel bearings—so don’t assume they’re interchangeable.
Be careful about mixing incompatible greases as well (like conventional and synthetic greases), as they could end up separating, leaving the bearings improperly lubricated.
Different wheel bearing greases have different formulations that make them ideal for particular types of wheel bearings in particular settings. The wheel bearing grease for a race car, for example, would need different qualities than your typical everyday vehicle.
The following are some important considerations when selecting a wheel bearing grease:
Oxidation and corrosion properties
Your vehicle’s weight, speed range, operating temperature range, and the general environmental conditions it’s exposed to will influence what your wheel bearing grease’s specifications should look like.
What type of grease is good for wheel bearings?
When looking for a new grease for your wheel bearings, you’ll definitely want to seek out a grease suitable for high temperatures. The product packaging will often name wheel bearings as a suitable application.
In most cases, greases for wheel bearing applications should have an NLGI Grade 2 rating, which refers to the grease’s viscosity grade (thickness), but there are some exceptions to that rule. NLGI stands for National Lubricating Grease Institute, which oversees quality standards for different types of greases. A grade 2 rating generally has a consistency comparable to peanut butter.
While many wheel bearing greases are fairly universal for everyday vehicles, some vehicle manufacturers may name more specific requirements. Ford, for example, often requires molybdenum grease, or moly-grease for short, which contains molybdenum disulfide for added protection.
If you’re not sure what kind of wheel bearing grease you need for your own vehicle, you can always check your vehicle’s owner and service manuals for requirements or ask a certified mechanic.
Here’s a look at some of the best options out there for wheel bearing grease:
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Valvoline Full Synthetic Grease
Valvoline tends to be a trusted brand for quality lubricants, and this full synthetic grease option fares well overall when it comes to customer reviews.
Generally compatible with many United States, European, and Japanese vehicles
Some critical reviews claim oil separates too easily from this grease
Royal Purple Synthetic Ultra-Performance Grease
This grease is a high-performance, aluminum-complex synthetic grease that’s suitable for a wide variety of applications. Royal Purple is considered a more premium option when compared with many other standard wheel bearing grease options and typically comes at a more premium price.
Reduces friction, vibration, and heat build-up for extended wheel bearing life
More expensive when compared to other common options
Valvoline Multi-Vehicle Moly-Fortified Gray Grease
Moly grease can be useful in specific contexts like bearing heavy loads, which is why Ford often recommends it for certain vehicles. It lubricates wheel bearings within a temperature range of -10°F and 275°F. This option from Valvoline is relatively affordable compared to other options and tends to rate highly in customer reviews.
Compatible with certain Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles
Affordable price when compared with other grease options
Can be problematic for high-speed applications
Lucas Oil X-Tra Heavy Duty Grease
This grease option from Lucas Oil is popular among drivers looking for a product that can handle extreme conditions and high temperatures, making it worth considering if you’re driving a heavy-duty truck, or construction or farm equipment. It could also be useful for ball joints and u-joints under the right conditions.
Lucas Oil also claims it can last two to four times longer than run-of-the-mill greases.
Good for high speeds, high temperatures, and cold weather
More expensive than conventional brands
Lucas Oil Red “N” Tacky #2 Grease
Red “N” Tacky #2 is another popular option from Lucas Oil. This red grease has a formula that provides extra protection against corrosion, and according to Lucas Oil, it exceeds the minimum performance requirements of a number of manufacturers, including Ford. It’s also a popular choice for boat trailers, where water resistance is of utmost importance.
Contains rust and oxidation inhibitors
Acid- and alkali-resistant
Useful for a variety of applications
More expensive than conventional greases
Sta-Lube New Generation Wheel Bearing Grease for Disc and Drum Bearings
This Sta-Lube wheel bearing grease has a lithium complex base that operates within an extreme temperature range of -40°F to 325°F and has a drop point over 500°F.
Less expensive option for general everyday use
May not be as ideal for certain high-performance settings
Lucas Oil Marine Grease
Looking for marine wheel bearing grease? Lucas Oil Marine Grease’s water-insoluble, over-based calcium sulfonate (OBCS) properties, make it resistant to washout in both freshwater and saltwater environments. This makes it a great candidate for a boat trailer wheel bearing. Its polymers and additives contain rust- and oxidation-resistant qualities, and its adhesive properties also help ensure all remains in place.
Freshwater- and saltwater-resistant
Not suitable for all vehicle types
Allstar Timken Automotive Wheel Bearing Grease, Premium Hi-Temp Red
Amazon, Price unavailable
Timken’s wheel bearing grease is yet another option that ranks highly among customer reviews. It has an operating temperature range of 40°F to 300°F and has properties for anti-wear, water resistance, and protection against corrosion.
Can be difficult to find in stock
STP Hi-Temp Premium Grease
This multi-purpose, lithium based grease from STP has an NLGI 2 rating and holds up under a wide temperature range for various applications—including for heavy-duty fleet, farm, or industrial purposes, its product description says.
Works under a wide temperature range
May not be suitable for all wheel bearing applications
Mag 1 High-Temp Disc Brake Wheel Bearing Grease
This wheel-bearing grease option from Mag 1 is designed for use under high-pressure and high-temperature conditions, and it’s supposed to perform well in low temperatures, too.
Additives for lubrication, high pressure, and anti-wear
Rust and corrosion inhibitors
Can be used as a general-purpose lubricant
Not available for shipping, so you’ll have to find a nearby location or find it at another store
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