Brake Components and Lubricants

Brake Calipers

Lubricate rubber brake components with a high temperature silicon or synthetic lubricant that does not contain petroleum products. Lubricate the metal to metal components of a sliding caliper like the shims or rails the pads slide on with high temperature non-petroleum molybdenum or graphite based lubricant. These lubricants reduce vibrations and noises during brake applications. Without lubrication, excessive wear and squealing and screeching sounds will occur.

Many of today's brake systems utilize floating calipers that contain slide pins. These pins usually contain a rubber bushing for smooth movement and support for the pin in the mounts bore. These rubber bushings and o-rings swell, inhibiting movement and causing the inboard pad to wear prematurely. Petroleum products like wheel bearing and chassis grease will break down from heat and splatter onto the friction materials, brake rotors and drums.

Metal brake components like mount slides and backing plates require high temperature lubricants as well. A good dry film lubricant containing solids like graphite works great on metal to metal parts. It's important not to get any of this type of grease on rubber components though. The rubber can swell or deteriorate.

These lubricants must be able to withstand high temperatures. Brake system's reach temperatures in the hundreds of degrees. Most high temperature brake lubricants provide protection around 400° F and some up to 600° F. Lubricate any metal components that make contact with each other to prevent excess vibration and wear.