Dielectric Silicone Grease in Vehicle Maintenance
Proper maintenance is important for the reliability of any vehicle, whether it is a car, work truck, or recreational vehicle. Modern vehicles have many connections and components that must remain clean and free of corrosion. These components are subjected to extreme environments, including high temperatures in engine compartments and external dust, soot, or rain. For these vehicles’ electrical and ignition systems, dielectric silicone grease is used to lubricate and to protect against corrosion. Read on to learn more about dielectric silicone grease in vehicle maintenance.
What is Dielectric Silicone Grease?
Dielectric grease is a thick, translucent, silicone-based lubricant and sealant. Like most silicone greases, it does not dissolve in water, alcohols (like methanol or ethanol), or other common solvents. It can also withstand a wide range of temperatures, typically from around negative 40 degrees Fahrenheit to around 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Dielectric grease is specifically formulated to be electrically non-conductive and to resist breakdown under high voltages. It is normally sold in tubes for easy application.
What is Dielectric Silicone Grease Used For?
Its chemical properties make dielectric grease useful as a heavy-duty mechanical lubricant or sealant for electrical wiring. It doesn’t break down easily, making it suitable for use around motorized machinery. Being very thick and resistant to dissolving, this grease also doesn’t wash away when exposed to water and the elements. Its insulating properties make dielectric silicone grease especially useful in vehicular and industrial electrical systems. Dielectric silicone grease seals out dirt, water, fumes, and other substances that can corrode pins and contacts while also isolating these components from adjacent metal that might otherwise cause shorts.
How is Dielectric Silicone Grease Used in Your Vehicle?
Dielectric silicone grease is mainly used in two components of vehicles: spark plugs and electrical wiring connectors. Dielectric grease is applied to the rubber boot of a spark plug wire. This lubricates the boot so it easily slides onto the ceramic spark plug insulator. Because it resists heat, the grease also prevents the plug from fusing to the rubber boot in the hot engine environment, making the replacement of the plug much easier. Dielectric grease can also be safely applied to the spark plug contact to seal out dirt and other substances that would promote corrosion. This works because the connection is very tight and squeezes the grease from between the contacts, forming an insulating collar of silicone around the connection. For electrical wiring systems and exterior light bulbs of cars or marine vehicles, dielectric grease is often applied to rubber covers and gaskets around connections to prevent foreign substances from harming the enclosed pins or sockets. This grease may also be applied directly to metal connectors to prevent corrosion. However, this should only be done if the connection is very tight; otherwise the insulating grease could impede the flow of electricity through the connection.
Where Can You Get Dielectric Silicone Grease?
Many manufacturers produce a wide range of dielectric silicone grease products under a variety of brand names. These different products generally have slightly different formulations depending on their specific uses (for example, for automotive as opposed to marine uses). Dielectric silicone grease for consumer use can be purchased by the tube in any auto parts or specialized vehicle store.
Your car, truck, or recreational vehicle operates in a range of environments and conditions. Whether on the road, in the mud or water, or on the job, vehicles have parts that need special protection from the elements. This includes electrical components that could be compromised by moisture, heat, corrosion, or other harmful effects. Dielectric silicone grease provides such protection. When used as part of your automotive maintenance routine, it will improve the reliability and longevity of your vehicle.