It seems like we, in the motor/gear head world, have at one time or another joked about the fact that we would be lost if we didn’t have a roll of duct tape or safety wire in our tool box. How about grease!
Grease used properly and sparingly can be a surprisingly handy tool and can help prevent a lot of problems that occur from time to time on our British cars. The foremost problem associated with grease is that it can be so messy. Here is a good solution. Buy a tube of grease and cut it in half. Use a small cheap 100% horsehair rush to apply the grease sparingly. By doing this, you will eliminate a lot of the mess. Be sure to wear an old shirt and put on a pair of throwaway type rubber gloves. You can lubricate various parts such as door, hood and trunk latch mechanisms, throttle linkages, seat slides, and threads on bolts. The grease you apply will also help prevent rust and corrosion from forming.
Grease is an excellent anti-seize compound. It makes sense to apply a thin coat of grease to the inside ends of coolant and vacuum hoses so they will come off more easily in the future. You can even use a thin coat of grease on electrical contacts to keep them from corroding.
As far as the engine is concerned, grease is a great gasket-sealing tool. Water pump and thermostat gaskets coated with grease won't leak and are reusable many times. You can use grease on carburetor-to-intake manifold gaskets without worrying about leakage. Don’t forget about using grease on valve cover gaskets. Attach the gasket to the valve cover with silicone, and grease the side that touches the head. It should not leak and you can pull the valve cove off without ruining the gasket. One other trick is to use a little grease on the end of a screwdriver to hold a screw in a tight working area.
Some of the places you would not use grease would be in high heat areas such as exhaust manifolds, headers or turbos There are some types of suspension bushings where grease should not be used. Specifically low-grade bushings made from recycled rubber.
Now the big question.
With all the different brands of grease on the market,
what grease should I use?
First of all stick to a name brand such as Shell, Mobil, Valvoline, Quaker State, and Pennzoil, just to name a few. All major brands produce excellent grease lubricants which conform to the standards set forth by the (SAE) spec J310, which is the standard for “Automotive Lubricating Greases”. These lubricating greases conform to the (NLGI), National Lubricating Grease Institute standard. These greases all possess good qualities such as excellent stability, good high temperature characteristics and water resistance properties. NLGI #2 Grade Lithium Complex EP Grease means the lubricant meets the requirements for American, European, and Japanese cars. This grease can be used on wheel bearings, steering linkage, chassis, suspension, and universal joints. Remember cheap brands are cheap for a reason. Don't compromise on quality.