Have you been thinking of using dielectric grease on your car and you want to try to learn more about this type of grease? Well, if that is the case, then you are at the right place, in this article, we are going to share all you need to know when it comes to this type of grease.
- What Is Grease?
- Pros & Cons
- Usage Purposes
- How To Apply?
- Top Products
- How To Remove?
Doing your research on a particular product is always the way to go in our opinion. You just don’t want to buy something before you learn its use and also the pros and cons of using this product. It’s like spending a fortune on expensive pro-grade tools, despite Blue Point tools being cheaper and just as good.
Mainly because in some cases, you can do more harm than you will do good and you could make things much worse if you don’t know the application of a certain product. So, good and thorough research is always recommended if you don’t want to get a bad product or a product that simply does not meet your requirements.
Since this is a grease for a specific application. In other words, you cannot use it to grease your bearings or ball joints. So, keep this in mind. And what we are going to learn in this article? In this article, we are going to learn what is dielectric grease and from what compounds is this grease made.
Then we will cover the pros and cons, as well as the applications of this grease. As well as some of the best products that you can get on Amazon. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
Now before we dive into more complex like the usage of dielectric grease, let’s first take a look and learn more about this type of grease in general. People are struggling and similar problems and want to learn the basics first. So, let’s further elaborate on this type of grease and see what is it and some of its properties.
Dielectric grease is a special grease that is used on cars. Mainly for electronic connections. But what a lot of people have misconceptions about is that this type of grease is used to improve the connection. Which is not the case. So, what’s the whole purpose of this product?
Well, dielectric grease does not mean that this is a greasy compound that transmits electricity. This is a non-conductive compound. In other words, this compound does not transmit current.
But what it does is insulate the electronic connections. But what is an electronic connection? An electronic connection in simple words is a connection where two pins are touching each other. This could be the headlight bulb and the connector, also, the spark plug and the wire, and the battery terminals.
Having this grease on these components is really useful because you are basically insulating the components from heat, salt, rust, and other contaminants that can come across and damage the connections. In other words, this compound prevents contamination and makes sure that your connections are perfectly fine.
But from what compounds is this dielectric grease made? Well, let’s find out more about that in the following chapter, where we are going to cover this topic in great detail.
What Is Dielectric Greased Made Of
Now let’s dive even deeper into the dielectric grease and further understand about this solution and see from what compounds it is made of. Knowing the compounds from which this solution is made is really important in order to understand its purpose.
As you probably know, standard grease that is used on cars for bearings, ball joints, and other suspension components is not the same as the dielectric one.
The regular one is based on compounds derived from mineral oil as a base, thickener, and additives. All these compounds make the grease anatomy.
But the anatomy of the dielectric grease is made out of something different. Instead of using mineral oil as a base, this grease is using silicone.
So, this type of grease combines silicone and a thickener. And this silicone oil is not made out of silicon metal as would people think.
But instead, this silicone grease is made out of liquid polymerized siloxane that is mixed with silicone dioxide. And this solution has very good insulating properties. So, once you apply this grease to any connection, it would not allow it to short out or allow other foreign particles to ruin the connection.
When it comes to coloring, the dielectric grease is almost clear in color. It does not have any coloring to it. But what about the pros and cons of this type of solution? Let’s elaborate on them next.
Pros And Cons Of Dielectric Grease
So, we have covered the basics about this grease and learned what is its purpose, as well as from what compounds is this grease made.
Now let’s move on and cover the pros and cons of using this solution. As we all know, when it comes to a certain solution, there are always pros and cons. So, let’s further elaborate on this topic and try to understand more about the positives and negatives.
Now that we learned more about what dielectric grease is, we can start moving on and cover some of the pros of this solution. There are a few pros that are worth covering, so let’s learn more about them.
The main advantage of this solution is the seal when it comes to metal-to-metal contact. So, if you have a connector and you apply this grease inside of the connector, you will make sure that the connections are properly insulated and protected from rust and corrosion. So, no need to worry about surface rust vs deep rust.
In addition to this, this dielectric grease also protects the components from heat. And this solution can withstand more than 500 degrees Fahrenheit. And honestly, this tells quite a lot. Very useful when it comes to light bulbs since they tend to heat up quite a lot and melt the connectors in some cases.
So, taking this in mind, you can protect rubber, plastic, or even computer chips from catastrophes. For example, a potential fire can be avoided by using this type of grease.
In addition to this, the silicon grease also is insulating the electrical system and also is preventing the buildup of an insulating oxide layer. This layer is what’s increasing the signal loss, as well as the resistance.
And this grease also plays a huge role when it comes to multi-pin connectors like the ones on the distributor cap on older cars. But what about the cons? Let’s elaborate more about that in the following chapter.
So, we covered the pros of dielectric grease. Now let’s take a look at the cons of using this type of solution on your car. Are there any cons to using this solution?
Well, there are a few. Even though the solution is a real lifesaver when it comes to solving electrical issues. It can also have really negative consequences when it comes to using this solution improperly.
For example, if you use this solution improperly, you can also cause a stop of current flow. So, if you fill up the connector with grease, you can end up having grease between the pins. And this would cause the pins to lose contact.
As we noted previously, the grease is non-conductive. This means that it does not transmit an electric current. So, don’t be too generous when applying this grease.
Also, this type of grease can be bad for your health. When using this type of grease, make sure that you don’t touch it too much with your hands. Since some people have very sensitive skin and can react in different ways.
Overall, these are the major cons of this dielectric grease. Now let’s move to other topics and learn more about the usage of this solution and what are the most common ways to use this grease.
Dielectric Grease Uses
Now that we cleared the basics out of our way and learned what dielectric grease is and its pros and cons. We can slowly move on and learn more about the uses of this solution. What are the most common usages of this type of grease on your car? Let’s elaborate on these uses in the following chapters.
1. Dielectric Grease On Spark Plugs
The first use of dielectric grease is on spark plugs. But not on the electrode. This solution is very popular when it comes to tune-ups.
For example, you have an older vehicle. Let’s say a 70s or 60s model. And don’t have spark. Everything seems good with your distributor, wires, as well as spark plugs.
And, you’ve made sure to check up on what do spark plugs do, researched what does a bad spark plug look like, as well as learning how to check the spark plugs. On top of that, you made sure that your lack of a spark isn’t among the symptoms of a bad spark plug.
So, something could be causing this problem right? Well, very often this is caused by a lack of contact between the boot of the wire and the spark plugs.
So, spark plug boots are often generously greased up with this silicone grease that then improves the transfer of the current from the wire to the top of the spark plug. Just make sure that you don’t put this grease on the metal tip of the spark plug.
This is why if you have an older car and you don’t have a spark, it is often advised that you apply some of this grease in order to make connections a bit better and make sure that there is proper contact. As such, you can save up instead of needlessly paying for a spark plug replacement cost (which you can save further by learning how to replace the spark plugs).
2. Dielectric Grease On Distributor Cap
Another use of dielectric grease is to use it on the distributor cap. The distributor cap is a good place to use it since by doing so, you will prevent moisture from entering the distributor and ruining the connections.
So, what you do is apply the solution on the sides where the distributor top clips into place. In order for the distributor to make a proper seal between both plastic components. If you do this, you will thank me later. Just make sure that you don’t grease up the internals.
Because you can prevent the spark from running correctly. Which, mind you, is among the most common symptoms of a bad distributor. Now let’s move on to the next usage of this solution.
3. Dielectric Grease On Battery Terminals
Now let’s cover the next most common usage of dielectric grease. And this is often the application around the battery terminals.
This should be a recommended practice since the terminals can corrode during the winter when there is too much salt on the road. In other words, you’re experiencing battery terminal corrosion.
Also, corrosion can occur when the battery starts to leak some of the acids. And whenever you have corrosion, this means that the battery will not work as it should.
In these situations, you have excessive rust and a potential no-start issue. So, using a grease of this type is often recommended. Mainly because it will keep proper insulation on the terminals.
Just tighten up the terminals well, and apply grease on top of the terminals. Just don’t go overboard and soak the whole thing in this grease. A light coat would be just fine.
4. Dielectric Grease For Headlight Connectors
Now let’s discuss the next major application of this dielectric grease. And this is on the headlight connectors.
It is recommended to insert this grease into the headlight connectors because these connectors can get really hot and can melt.
So, having this grease as protection is a good thing because you will not have to deal with molten connectors. Just make sure that you don’t add the grease exactly where the pins come into contact. In so doing, saving you a ton in the long term with the headlight replacement cost, and how much is a headlight bulb.
Mainly because this grease is not a conductor but an insulator. So, if you add grease to the connections, your light will not work. So, keep this in mind.
Even though this is a really old-school practice that folks back in the day did to their car. So, you should avoid it. We only listed it because it is still common for a lot of people to apply this grease on the headlight connectors.
5. Dielectric Grease On Sensor Connectors
The next use case for the dielectric grease is the application onto the car sensor connectors. Sensor connectors often have problems with rust. Thus, requiring that you worry about the cost of a rust repair job, and learning how to prevent rust on cars.
Especially connectors that come into contact with salt during the winter like O2 sensors, or other sensors on the undercarriage.
Some people even wash their engines. And having the engine washed can ruin the connections. This is why applying some grease around these connectors can prevent rusting of the pins and ending up with a short in the system.
So, it is advised that you grease up the connectors that are most exposed to bad weather and water. Just don’t put the grease inside of the connector since you will make the sensor not work properly. Now let’s move on and cover some other topics.
How To Apply Dielectric Grease
Now let’s take a look at how you can apply dielectric grease on your car. Let’s say that you want to apply this grease on the spark plug wires.
When you want to apply this type of grease on the wires, you should cover the interior of the rubber boot with this grease.
Just remember, don’t fill up the boot with grease, only a light coat on the sides of the boot. You can also apply this grease on the ceramic surface of the spark plug if you have access. But NEVER on the tip of the spark plug.
Otherwise, the result is no different than common issues such as noticing oil in the spark plug well, or if there’s motor oil on the spark plug.
As we said, you should use this grease as an INSULATOR, and not as a conductor. This means that the grease should not be applied where you have contact and transfer of electricity.
Because if you do so, your spark plugs will not work. Similar to other components, like the connectors, battery terminals, etc.
Coat the grease around the connection and not between the connection. This is really important. In the video, you can see how this procedure is done on the spark plug wires. Now let’s move to other topics.
Top Dielectric Grease Products
Now let’s take a look at the top products that you can purchase on the market right now. We are going to list some of the top sellers on Amazon.
There are two products that caught our eye. One of them has more than 20,000 ratings, and the second one has about 1,500 ratings.
- Permatex 22058 Dielectric Tune-Up Grease, 3 oz. Tube
- Versachem 15309 Dielectric Spark Plug Boot Grease – 7 Grams
We strongly recommend the Permatex since it is the most highly rated product out there. With this product, you won’t make a mistake. And on top of that, it is dirt cheap.
Dielectric Grease vs Silicone Grease
Another topic that we cover is the difference between dielectric and silicone grease. Is there any difference?
Well, there is, there are a lot of silicone grease products out there. You have plumber’s grease and other types that are rather different when it comes to the application.
So, we would advise that you go for a specific dielectric grease instead of going for silicone grease. Both are made of silicone. But also, there can be different applications for this grease that can be produced with other compounds. This is why you should never confuse these two terms.
How To Remove It
Another good question is how you can remove this grease. Let’s say that you soaked your connector in this grease and there is no more connection between the two pins. What you can do in this case?
Well, in this case, you cannot clean it easily unless you have a proper solution. And for this purpose, we would recommend pure alcohol.
Alcohol will clean any type of grease. Try to avoid using brake cleaner, carb cleaner, WD-40, or similar products. Mainly because you can cause a fire with some of them, and with some of them you can grease it up even more. So, go for clean alcohol. You can find pure alcohol at any pharmacy for cheap.
Then rub this alcohol and clean the connectors really well with a paper towel. Once cleaned, plug it back in. If cleaned well, the component should work.
Should You Use Dielectric Grease
Another topic that we would like to cover is whether yous should use dielectric grease or not. So, should you use it, or should you stay away from it?
Well, when it comes to modern cars, we just don’t see the need to use this type of product. This product was mainly popular among the older mechanics who did tune-ups on cars.
So, we would only recommend using it if you have an older car that has wires and a distributor. You can use this grease to insulate the distributor cap, as well as add this grease on the spark plug boots in order to improve the ignition.
In addition to this, using this grease on some of the connectors that are prone to rusting as well as on the battery terminals is also highly recommended practice.
Dielectric Grease: In Conclusion…
In this article, we have covered quite a lot about dielectric grease. First, we learned what this solution is and its application.
We covered the pros and cons of using this solution in your car, as well as the uses for this solution in your car. This is a great insulator, so if you want to insulate some electrical components, you should definitely use it. Lastly, we discussed some of the top products that you can get right now.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
What Is Grease
Grease is a lubricant that is used to lubricate metal components. Even though it is a lubricant, it is actually quite thick because inside this grease there are thickening agents. There are grease products made of oil, as well as silicone.
What Is Dielectric Grease
Dielectric grease is a silicone grease product that is used to insulate electric components like spark plug wires, battery terminals, and connectors. This compound is not conductive, so it doesn’t transfer electricity.
Is Dielectric Grease Conductive
No, this type is non-conductive. This means that this compound does not transfer electricity. It is primarily used for insulation and prevention of electricity escaping and creating a short.
Is Dielectric Grease Necessary For Spark Plugs
It is not essential but it is really cheap and it allows the current to move from the wire to the spark plug without any loss. This is why we would recommend that you should use this compound in order to make your engine create a better spark.
What Is Grease Made Of
Car grease generally consists of mineral oil that is thickened by thickening compounds. Grease can also be made from silicone when used for non-conductive purposes and can be a good insulator.
Does Grease Go Bad
Grease usually does not go bad unless you expose it to immense temperatures. This compound will last basically forever on a car. Although if grease is exposed to contamination, such as dust or other debris, it could stop working and metal components can get damaged.
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