Home
Blog Car Care Advice Grease Vs Oil (Differences + How To Choose One)

Grease Vs Oil (Differences + How To Choose One)

September 14, 2021

You need a new lubricant for your car, but you’re not sure whether you should choose grease or oil.  

What are the benefits of using grease vs oil?

What is each type used for?

What suits your car better?

In this article, we’ll help you clear up these questions and give some pointers on choosing the right lubricant for your vehicle parts.   

This Article Contains:

Let’s begin!

Automotive Grease Vs Oil: What’s The Difference?

Automotive grease and engine oil (mineral oil) are both a type of automotive lubricant used for the lubrication of car engine parts.

Both lubricating grease and oil contain common ingredients, including a base oil and additives. 

The primary difference between the two is that grease contains a thickening agent along with the base oil, affecting its consistency and viscosity. The thickener turns grease into a thickened oil, which is much stickier and solid (or semi-fluid).

Apart from lubrication, both grease and oil serve several purposes, including:

Note: As a point of interest, you might have heard of yellow grease or brown grease. These aren’t automotive greases but food production byproducts. Yellow grease is used cooking oil, and brown grease is waste collected from a grease trap or grease interceptor.

Now, let’s get back to automotive grease and oil. 

What are lubricating grease and oil used for? 

Grease Vs Oil: What They’re Used For 

On a base level, both oil and grease perform similar functions. 

But certain applications do demand the special use of either grease vs oil.

Let’s see what each type of lubricant is better-suited to:

A. Grease Lubrication 

A grease lubricant has a higher viscosity than oil. Thanks to the addition of synthetic grease additives and a thickening agent, grease lubrication is ideal for the following applications:

B. Oil Lubrication

Certain applications will require lubricating oil rather than grease. The type of motor oil used could be mineral oil or synthetic oils, with the necessary additives. 

Motor oil is best used for the following:

So what are the benefits of these lubricants? 

Grease Vs Oil: Which One Is Better?

There is never a bad lubricant when it comes to grease and motor oil. 

Both have advantages that give them an edge over certain applications.

Let’s take a closer look at these advantages: 

A. Advantages Of Automotive Grease

Grease consistency is ideal for many applications. The thickening agent gives it the following advantages over engine oil:

In contrast to grease, lubricating oil has the following advantages.

B. Advantages Of Engine Oil

Engine oil is ideal for high-speed and fast-moving applications.  It has many benefits (regardless of whether it’s mineral oil and synthetic oil), primarily:

Keeping these benefits in mind, how do you decide which lubricant is right for the job? 

How To Choose The Right Lubricant

Whether you need oil or grease will depend on the nature of your task. 

Let’s look at some examples for a better picture.

Here’s when you’d use an oil lubricant:

Engine parts that frequently reach a high temperature require engine oil lubrication since oil can circulate the heat around, cooling down the engine. 

Gearboxes also require gear oil instead of grease for lubrication. Grease may easily bleed under high pressure. Gear oil, on the other hand, is perfect for such high-speed applications.

And here, grease works better:

Car equipment that frequently comes in contact with moisture is better suited for grease since oil lubricant can easily wash away when exposed to water. Specialty greases like lithium grease or polyureas grease will work better for heavy-duty and long-lasting applications.

Remember, using the wrong lubricant can lead to improper lubrication. 

For example, you don’t want to use synthetic oils for load-bearing lubrication since lithium grease or calcium grease would be a better fit here. 

Your vehicle’s manual is also an excellent guide to help determine which lubricant to use for your car parts. 

You may also choose specially formulated lubricants for specific applications. For example, oils like gear oil and gun oil are formulated with specific viscosity ranges to suit their job.

Closing Thoughts 

Whether you use grease or an engine oil lubricant, the important thing to remember is to set a regular replacement routine. Most lubricants don’t last forever, and improper lubrication may cause engine failure and other serious problems. 

Choose a lubricant that is best suited for the job. Both oil and grease have their advantages, and you should choose one with the right additives for maximum efficiency. 

Fortunately, you can easily avoid improper lubrication and engine wear with routine car maintenance. 

Why not reach out to RepairSmith for this?
RepairSmith is a mobile car repair and maintenance service that offers competent and upfront pricing along with ASE-certified mechanics who’ll take care of all your car repair needs. Contact them to get a quote!