Brake Components and Lubricants

Brake Calipers

Lubricate rubber brake components with a high-temperature silicone or synthetic lubricant that does not contain petroleum products. For example, 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, squealing, and screeching sounds occur.

Brake Slide Pins

A fixed brake rotor vs. a floating brake caliper.

Many of today's brake systems utilize floating calipers that contain slide pins. These pins usually have a rubber bushing for smooth movement and support in the bore. Unfortunately, these rubber bushings and o-rings can swell from petroleum-based lubricants, inhibiting movement and causing the inboard pad to wear prematurely.

Dry Film Lubricant

A brake drum backing plate.

Metal brake components like mount slides and backing plates require high-temperature lubricants as well. A dry film lubricant containing solids like graphite works excellent on metal to metal parts. However, it's important not to get any of this type of grease on rubber components. The rubber swells or deteriorates.

Rubber Brake Parts

Rubber and plastic brake components.

Rubber and plastic brake components are especially vulnerable to swelling and deterioration. This is why it's so important to use high-temperature silicone or a non-petroleum synthetic lubricant. Other lubricants cause the rubber to swell, reducing slide pin movement and braking performance.