Powertrain and Underbonnet

What we’ve learned about the lubrication of powertrain and under-bonnet components – knowledge that comes from working with OEMs and world-class Tier One suppliers.

Starter Motors

Starter motors must withstand the elements, temperatures from -40˚C to 200˚C, and 50,000 duty cycles or more. Issues of high load and torque, especially during cold crank, also have to be considered. Effectively lubricating the motors’ gears, bearings and splines requires a careful blend of synthetic oils, additives and gellants. Popular starter motor lubricants feature PAO and ester blends with additives for extreme pressure, corrosion protection and friction reduction. We suggest: Rheolube 380

Starter Motor Solenoid

Failure of the starter motor solenoid can lead to “click, no crank.” A motion-damping, water-resistant PAO mitigates this problem. It eliminates piston solenoid galling. It also slows the motion of the piston. This reduces the incidence of gear misalignment, which in turn reduces gear knock, extending the life of the gears and reducing potential warranty issues. We suggest: NyoGel 774L

Disc and Drum Brakes

Calipers are an integral part of disc brakes, anti-lock brakes and traction control systems. Key to their peak performance is a lubricant’s ability to survive in temperatures from -40°C to 200°C. Silicone-based lubricants have proven very successful in meeting this requirement. They are compatible with EPDM, provide excellent long-life wear protection, resist salt water and road grit, and represent one of the most economical choices for 200°C applications. Silicone greases for calipers may also be used for adjusting screw and backplane of drum brake mechanisms, which reduces the number of parts in your design. We suggest: Fluorocarbon Gel 880

Electric Brakes

For bearings and gears of electric brakes, a PTFE-thickened, medium viscosity, fluorinated grease is recommended. We suggest: UniFlor 8921R (please get in contact if interested in this product)


Bearings, pistons, and lead screws in anti-lock braking systems are constantly exposed to brake fluid. EPDM rubber seals and o-rings also pose potential compatibility problems when exposed to some synthetic oils and greases. PFPEs are the only extreme-temperature lubricants that are EPDM compatible and resistant to brake fluid. Traction control systems use essentially the same components as ABS; fluorinated greases have also proven successful in these systems. We suggest: UniFlor 8512

Superchargers and Turbochargers

Synthetic lubricants have been a mainstay in lube-for-life superchargers and turbochargers. For gears and powdered metal parts, a light viscosity ester oil with a copper deactivator and EP agents is recommended. For high-speed bearing applications, a light viscosity ester grease with EP additive has a good track record. We suggest: Synthetic Oil 605

EGR Valve

The Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve is exposed to extremely high temperatures and acidic exhaust fumes. PFPEs thickened with PTFE perform well in this demanding environment. They offer the broadest temperature capabilities of any synthetic lubricant and are unaffected by corrosive gases and liquids. PFPE/PTFE lubricants regularly ensure 100,00 mile EGR service. We suggest: UniFlor 8921

Electronic Throttle Control

The stepper motor that powers an electronic throttle control must withstand high temperatures as well as caustic, fuel-system vapours. Fluorinated lubricants, inherently inert, tolerate this kind of environment. In addition to staying fluid at very low temperatures, their superior thermo-oxidative stability prevents high-temperature varnishing, even at continuous temperatures of 250°C. We suggest: UniFlor 8512R

Idle Air Actuator

An extremely small stepper motor with very low torque, the idle air actuator requires a low-viscosity synthetic bearing lubricant for cold-temperature performance. The lubricant must also survive an extreme temperature environment rich in fuel vapors. An extremely light, fluorinated grease, thickened with PTFE is recommended. PTFE exerts minimal drag on the system. Fluorinated oils can be specified for temperatures from -90°C to 250°C. We suggest: UniFlor 8961 (please get in contact if interested in this product)

Cooling Fan

Radiator-fan motor bearings must withstand high heat, dust, dirt and debris. A complex sodium-soap, light viscosity ester is effective. It is also an option for bearings in alternators, water pumps, and air conditioner condensers. We suggest: Rheoplex 6000HT or Rheotemp 500

CV and Universal Joints

High speed. High load. High temperatures. Boot compatibility. To address the multiple lubrication challenges posed by constant velocity and universal joints, a blend of synthetic hydrocarbons oils with EP additives and antioxidants has proven successful. Alkylated naphthalene blends show great promise. PAO/ester blend greases deliver long life for heavily loaded metal gears. We suggest: Rheolube 380

Wheel Bearings

Applying synthetic lubricants to wheel bearings makes the rotating interface as efficient as possible, improving fuel consumption – particularly for high-performance vehicles. A medium viscosity, synthetic hydrocarbon grease offers excellent performance. We suggest: Rheolube 365A (please get in contact if interested in this product)

Can’t find a product that meets your criteria or matches your application, please check out the following two brochures for more information (open in new tabs):

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