Spark plugs are nickel alloys. They are fused to copper electrodes and in most cases they resist corrosion. However, constant exposure to moisture and varying temperature conditions can make the spark plugs corrode. To prevent this, you need dielectric grease or turn-up grease to prevent corrosion.
The dielectric grease; a silicone-based and repels moisture from any metallic surface you apply it to. Since you apply it on the spark plugs, it helps seal the connection between them and spark plug wires.
Electrical parts are prone to arcing when the car is in motion. Dielectric grease prevents the arcing hence prolonging the lifespan of the electrical parts.
There’s a difference between dielectric grease, silicone grease, and other types of grease.
However, Dielectric grease is silicone-based; other aspects set it apart from the silicone grease. We’ll discuss the differences later in this write-up.
What is Dielectric Grease?
Dielectric Grease is a silicone-based grease that’s waterproof and hence repels moisture on metallic surfaces and protects electrical connections in your car from corrosion. It’s also known as turn-up grease. Besides repelling moisture, it also keeps the electrical connections free from dirt, water, and other unwanted elements.
Metals react with oxygen in a process known as oxidation. The result is a metal oxide that presents itself as rust. Continued oxidation eats up the metal in a process known as corrosion. You can only prevent corrosion if you apply a substance that would hinder the reaction of the metal with oxygen.
Moisture from the environment and within the car system, metallic parts, electric plugs, heat, and oxygen create an ample environment for oxidation.
Rust build-up then creates problems for your car such as dim lights, decrease in voltage, etc.
Sometimes you may experience extreme cases of oxidation that result in overheating. The effects manifest as melted plastics, shorts, and sparks. This makes your car a potential fire hazard.
Dielectric grease acts as an insulator. It coats all the metallic parts so that no oxygen reacts with them. It also prevents voltage leaks, protecting your car from all the concerns mentioned above.
CRC dielectric grease and Permatex dielectric grease are the most popular brands today. They are great at lubricating and sealing parts that come into contact with rubber connectors.
Can you Use Dielectric Grease on Spark Plugs?
Yes. Dielectric grease is excellent on spark plugs. Since it doesn’t dissolve in nearly all liquids, you can use it in your marine and outdoor uses. The grease is useful on all electrical connectors that need rubber to seal. You also use the grease on spark plugs in your car or motorboat to prevent corrosion.
Dielectric grease is a non-conductor to electricity.
Thus, it’s an excellent grease to use with electric connectors, wires, and plugs. It also offers a water-tight seal on the connectors; remember, you only need a small amount of it large amounts of grease may prevent the vehicle from starting.
How to Apply Dielectric Grease on Spark Plugs
Dielectric grease serves two purposes on the electrical parts of your car. First, it prevents the spark plug porcelain and the boot from sticking together.
Secondly, it locks in the high-voltage power in the boot by preventing it from leaking into the side of the engine.
People use the grease on gasoline or diesel engines. The perfect time to use it is when you do a thorough tune-up or replace the spark plugs.
- Apply a small amount of grease inside each spark plug.
- Use a clean stick to smear it nicely inside the plug; ensure it’s not goopy and thick for a firm grip.
- A well-applied turn-up grease gives a tight grip around the electrical plugs.
Thus, it locks out water and dirt all around the connection. The coat also eases up the process of removing the spark plug boots.
Your mechanic may help out in the grease application process. However, you should be attentive to do it alone when you are far from an auto garage.
A tiny film of the grease is enough to lock out moisture and high voltage. Applying too much of the dielectric grease makes the plug goopy and may prevent the car from igniting.
Also, you won’t be able to press in the sockets. There’ll be no connection, and hence the car won’t ignite. Thus, the seal will not serve the purpose.
If you notice that the car isn’t starting after applying the grease, you should use cotton swabs to reduce the layer of the grease within the spark plugs.
Dielectric Grease versus Lubricating Grease
Dielectric grease only has silicone and thickener as ingredients. It’s different from lubricating grease, which has base oil, thickener, and other additives.
You can use lubricating grease to reduce friction in various machines, automotive, and industries. The lubricating grease comprises base oils from petroleum, vegetable, or synthetic origin.
The base oils are then enriched with thickeners and performance additives. The additives determine the purpose of the grease.
You need a grease nipple Zerk grease fitting to apply lubricating grease on various surfaces. The Zerk fitting is a male adapter that’s small and metallic. You use it to funnel grease on various parts of a car.
Best Dielectric Grease for Spark Plug
CRC Dielectric Grease 02085
CRC industries make the best dielectric grease in the market. Their 02085 dielectric grease is the grease for rubber, fasteners, O-rings, and plastic parts in electrical connectors of any automotive, industrial-grade machines, electrical equipment, and household equipment.
This dielectric grease will seal, insulate, lubricate, and protect electrical parts from adverse weather conditions. It’s easy to use, and you need a small amount for all your applications. Its wide applications include spark plugs, high voltage poles, battery terminals, electrical panels, scoreboards, traffic lights, outdoor lighting, switching mechanisms, and electrical contacts.
The packaging has a patent design that allows you to pump the needed amount for your application. The select-a-bead actuator allows you to select the bead width for different applications.
Permatex 22058 Dielectric Tune-Up Grease
Permatex brand cares for their large scale and small scale grease users. They package the 22058 dielectric tune-up grease in a large 3 Oz tube. The grease is suitable for several large-scale uses in vehicles, motorcycles, snowmobiles, ATVs, UTVs, Watercraft, and scooters.
The grease can withstand high-temperature conditions. Also, it doesn’t break down when the spark plug is in use. Thus, it’s perfect to use in high-energy ignition systems.
The Permatex 22058 tune-up grease is thinner than typical silicone grease. Thus, you need to reapply more often for perfect lubrication and protection. However, its low viscosity makes it suitable to use with O-rings.
Permatex 81150 Dielectric Tune-Up Grease
The Permatex 81150 tune-up grease is a great choice if you need Dielectric grease for small-scale use. It’s packed in a 0.33 Oz tube, convenient for small applications such as electrical switches, bulb sockets, stabilizers, O-rings, electrical connectors, etc.
One can use the grease to protect wiring and connections from dirt, moisture, and salt. Also, it blocks voltage leaks in various motor-driven machines, extends the lifespan of bulb sockets, and prevents the spark plugs and boot from fusing.
Its applications range from automotive, motorcycle, heavy-duty, and marine. Also, it’s the best lube for keyboard stabilizers and sealants for CCTV systems.
Mission Automotive Dielectric Grease
Mission Automotive packages its dielectric grease in a 0.24 liters mason jar. The waterproof silicone paste prevents corrosion, seals out moisture and contaminants, and hinders oxidation.
Its major disadvantage is the packaging which makes the application process difficult. Thus, the manufacturer packs an applicator brush that allows easy application. However, you can’t use the grease on small applications that would need a tiny nozzle for application.
One can use silicone paste for marine, electrical, and automotive uses. It’s useful for all lube purposes in industries and at home.
It’s safe for use, and incidental food contact won’t cause food poisoning. Also, the high viscosity makes it last on surfaces for a long time: thus, you won’t need to reapply it after a short time.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Put Dielectric Grease On Spark Plug Coils?
A spark plug coil is vital when igniting fuel from a battery. Thus, you need to keep the coil free from corrosion.
A thin layer of dielectric grease gives lubrication and protection from corrosion and oxidation. However, you shouldn’t use the clear or white grease with coils as it will be ineffective.
Where Should You Not Use Dielectric Grease?
Dielectric grease is silicone-based. Thus, you shouldn’t use it with silicone-based plastics and rubbers. If you use them together, the grease will eat away the plastic or rubber – rendering the rubber or plastic useless.
You should also avoid using it directly on pins and sockets of electrical connections. The grease acts as an insulator hence presenting electrical conductivity.
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Hi I’m Marshall based in 1478 Doctors Drive Santa Monica, CA. I’m your DIY Car Repairman with more than 5 years experience in automobile repair, a skill I learned from my old man.
I started this blog to share my experience on both simple and technical aspects of your car.