Choosing the Right Grease
April 21, 2021
Written By Zach Studer
Surveys show half of equipment operators are unaware of how choosing the right grease can positively impact the performance of their machinery. Proper greasing is a crucial maintenance practice and one of the keys to extending the longevity of your equipment. While there are many factors like a grease’s grade, its additives and the environment in which it will be used, we’ve provided some helpful tips to make choosing the right grease straightforward.
Go with the Recommended Grade
The National Lubricating Grease Institute (NLGI) assigns grades that describe the thickness of the grease. Grades range from 000 to 6. The most commonly used grade of grease is #2, which has the consistency of peanut butter and is considered multipurpose. Check your equipment manufacturer’s recommendation and make sure the grease you select has a matching grade.
Select the Correct Base Oil Viscosity
While many greases may look similar, the base oil type plays an important role in determining its lubricating and protective properties. When selecting a grease, consider the base oil viscosity. This viscosity should be appropriate for the load and speed of the application at operating temperature and will help to ensure maximum protection and component life.
Apply the Proper Amount of Grease
Once you’ve determined the right grease for the job, applying it properly will help you avoid problems. Incorrect application or over-greasing cause more than 90% of bearing failures. Too much grease can also lead to lubrication migration issues. Insufficient greasing will leave bearing failures and other problems caused by lack of lubrication.
Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and specific directions for relubrication, including frequency and quantity for a given speed and load.
Thoroughly clean and wash out any grease from a bearing before applying new grease. This will help you avoid compatibility issues.
MFA Oil has two multipurpose greases. Sho-Me Grease is a lithium complex #2 grease and Work Horse Total Use Grease is a #2 calcium sulfonate grease. Both of these products exceed most OEMs warranty requirements for automotive and farming equipment.
For additional information or help choosing the right grease, contact your local MFA Oil bulk plant or call the MFA Oil laboratory at 800-MFA-Lube. Visit the MFA Oil website to see our full line of lubricants.