Top 8 Best Wheel Bearing Greases
By | Last updated: September 2, 2020
wheel bearing grease. Pongchart B/Shutterstock.com

We’re confident a good many of you saw the viral video from earlier this week in which a tire and wheel assembly seemed to warp in from another dimension to clobber someone’s front porch at speed. Pick your favorite part of the video (there’s plenty) – the assembly itself tearing down a rural highway at a tremendous clip, the fact it actually rang the doorbell after impacting the home, or the guy in orange shorts who shows up after the destruction and stands there in complete befuddlement.

It’s likely we’ll never get a complete answer as to what exactly happened – but here’s one good theory: a seized bearing caused metal fatigue which led to the separation of wheel assembly and trailer. This is plausible, given the remains of Mr. Runaway Tire include a severely smoldering hub area.

Either that, or it’s the evaporation effect after the wheel assembly crossed into our universe.

1. Editor's Choice: Valvoline Full Synthetic Grease

Valvoline sells a wide variety of greases, as one would expect of a company that plies its trade in oil lubricants. They are offered in a range of tub sizes, ranging from 14 oz cartridges to 35-pound buckets. Dude with the missing trailer wheel needed the latter.

This option is a full synthetic, an interesting option to bearing grease that generally smells like the bottom of a particularly foul tar pit. Valvoline says this stuff is fortified with extreme pressure additives for exceptional load-carrying capability. It also apparently helps inhibit rust and oxidation.

Pros/Well-known brand, thousands of positive reviews
Cons/Paradox of choice
Bottom Line/Try the synthetic line and save yer nostrils

2. Lucas Oil X-Tra Heavy Duty Grease

Your author used to abhor product names that intentionally misspell commonly used words, until he found himself in a ‘drive-thru’ looking through a windshield treated with ‘x-pel’ coating. At that point, I figured it was a losing battle and decided to embrace the chaos.

If one accepts stories about old Jags and other British cars at face value, then it might be concluded that Lucas Oil is a lot better than Lucas Electrics. This particular product apparently lasts four times longer than regular grease, begging the question why they sell the regular stuff in the first place. It should be noted that most Lucas Electrics didn’t last four time longer than anything.

Pros/Virtually waterproof
Cons/Only one choice of tub size
Bottom Line/Great choice for high speed bearings

3. Lucas Oil Red 'N' Tacky Grease

We’ll stick with Lucas Oil for a minute since their range of products in this area is so vast it could surely consume its own section at an auto-parts store. This is a smaller tube of product instead of a larger tub and is promoted simply by its color.

Doing literally what it says on the can – being red and tacky – this grease is advertised to be a technical blend (better than a theoretical blend, I guess?) of lithium and polymers plus a heavy dose of anti-wear and anti-seize agents. These are not the same as secret agents, by the way.

Pros/Multipurpose application, it's red
Cons/Small 14oz tube
Bottom Line/Especially good for sliding surfaces (mind out of gutter, folks)

4. Mag 1 High-Temp Wheel Bearing Grease

That’s ‘Mag 1’ in the title, not ‘Magi’. Those are the dudes who show up at Christmas concerts with frankincense and myrrh, played by the only kids in class who own dressing gowns. This is a wheel bearing grease advertised to have anti-wear and extreme pressure additives.

Sold in a one-pound tub, real-world reviewers say it’s good not just for wheel bearing jobs but also for any high-temp applications with moving parts. Fun fact: this apparently includes firearms, with several customers recommending it for that use. Murica!

Pros/Low price, high praise
Cons/What's that brand name again?
Bottom Line/It apparently provides 'good pumpability' (mind, gutter, etc)

5. Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease

In the same vein as Valvoline, Mobil 1 ought to have approximately eleventy billion permutations of wheel bearing grease given the field in which they play. This is true, so we’re again selecting a synthetic product for similar reasons mentioned earlier.

Mobil 1 says this stuff withstands the effects of water washout from heavy rainstorms or other high water wash events. As an avid off-roader, this is the type of ad copy that causes me to sit up and pay attention … even if most other products on this list do exactly the same thing

Pros/Good for heavy loads and in occasional water
Cons/Odd (single) story of specific failure in reviews
Bottom Line/Country of origin - United States

6. Timken Premium Red Wheel Bearing Grease

Despite not appearing on my radar in any way, shape, or form prior to the research of this post, Timken is apparently a well-loved brand collecting a solid 4.7 out of 5-star rating. It’s available in two sizes: 14 oz and 16 oz.

This Timken brand of wheel bearing grease is a premium, hi-temp, red grease and is specifically formulated to handle the demands of both disc and drum bearing applications. In other words, go ahead and use it on your trailer like the guy in the video at the top of this story should have done.

Pros/Very positive reviews, mentions of a warranty
Cons/Only small tub sizes
Bottom Line/Learn something new each day

7. Sta-Lube New Generation Wheel Bearing Grease

‘New Generation’ is not the same as ‘Next Generation’, so don’t go getting any ideas that this stuff has been tested in the Jefferies Tubes of the Enterprise-D by Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge. They could probably have used some of this stuff against the Borg.

Captain Picard would probably appreciate Sta-Lube being available from a bunch of sellers on Amazon, meaning he needn’t be bound to spending Starfleet latinum with that devious Ferengi trader. Prime shipping is not available in the Romulan Neutral Zone.

Pros/4.9 out of 5 stars
Cons/Only 20 reviews
Bottom Line/Make it so!

8. Plews & Edelmann LubriMatic Marine Trailer Wheel Bearing Grease

Chuckle if you will at the inclusion of a marine product on a list showing up at The Truth About Cars, but your author can say with absolute certainty that some products intended for marine environments are totally over-engineered and therefore make for great products on land.

Case in point? The marine battery I deployed on a tired old Ford Escort that had starting problems. After its installation, one only had to look at the ignition key and that 1.9L lump would fire to life. As for this product, its special calcium sulfonate complex, a water-insoluble formula, provides excellent corrosion protection under severe conditions.

Pros/Multiple uses, marine-grade
Cons/You'll probably want two tubs of it
Bottom Line/The briny sea provides once more

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Rental Reviews, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Main Photo Credit: Pongchart B/Shutterstock.com. Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

3 Comments on “Just Keep Rollin’ – Best Wheel Bearing Greases...”


  • avatar
    JMII

    Project Farm will be happy to answer this question.

    Timken makes wheel bearings for many vehicles so I would go out on a limb and assume their grease is decent.

    I’ve used a variety of greases on my saltwater boat trailer hubs which have seen plenty of use. I generally grab whatever is on the shelf and honestly feel its more important to keep the grease fresh with yearly maintenance then go with a particular brand. Living in FL I fish year round and often trailer 200 to 400 miles about twice a month.

  • avatar
    poggi

    Pulled a motorcycle trailer equipped with 8″ wheels across country a few times. Used the Mobil 1 red synth. Occasionally checked hub temps that never exceeded 100 deg after 90 mph runs in 90 deg + weather.

    Mobil 1 is sold in tubes for grease guns not just tubs.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    The lithium based greases are not for wheel bearings .

    I find the synthetic greases tend to have the best heat resistance .

    The first picture shows the wrong way to pack a roller bearing maybe include a link to the proper method ? . it’s not difficult, just a bit more time than slathering it on the outside of the bearing where it does little good .

    -Nate

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