You may have bought a bike from a renowned bike shop that has the most high-end components with a warranty for long-lastingness. Can you use car grease for bikes? But you’ve to remember that nothing lasts really long if you don’t take proper care. Also, regular maintenance is required to keep up the excellent performance. Bikes are no different from that. Cleaning and bicycle bearing lubrication is a regular duty either you ride frequently or not. Then again, there’re always a few rules to follow.
You can’t just lubricate your bike in any way or with any universal grease. You’ve to how to apply, when to apply, where to apply and most importantly, which lubricant or oil to apply. You can find greases in any local shop, hardware store but don't go for cheap grease. Or else you won’t get benefited at all rather notice downside. That's why it's important to know grease type. To clear your confusions regarding this matter we’ve come with the answer one of the most common questions, “can you use car grease for the bike’? Or, does bike grease need to be bike-specific?
Car grease VS Bike grease
What makes grease appropriate for bike? Grease or lubricants of any type are more or less same, which means as they are made or similar purpose, the ingredients don’t vary. But that doesn’t mean bike grease and car grease are identical. They have their differences because that’s why we have different names for them, right?
Almost all kinds of lubricants or greases are lithium-based or silicon grease, and that’s the primary ingredients. According to international standard ISO 6743-9, greases are divided per intended use conditions. And all are used to prevent corrosion. That’s why people consider all of them as same. But there’s one crucial difference, which is a car or automobile grease are thicker and has more petroleum than bike lube.
The reason for the thickness of car lubricants is, as cars and other automobiles are engines-based and runs on the power of electricity or heat; components tend to get heated more. As a result, when grease or lubricant is applied to a car’s engine or other internal parts, the heat tends to vapor the oil. But the thin layer of a car lubricant or marine grease doesn’t get vaporized easily as no extreme heat gets produced, and it stays on the engine and other parts as these are thick grease. It also helps to minimize the overheating of the engines. That’s why automobile lubricants are stickier than other lubricants
On the other hand, bike grease or lubricant is light grease means it isn’t thicker much like motor oil, because while riding, the components of a bike don’t produce excess heat or temperature like a car does. As a result, it doesn’t require thicker substance as a lubricant because it doesn't provide an ideal thickness for bikes or bike bearings and may show issues for rolling resistance and lower friction. That's why you should always consider, what to look in a grease for bike bearings.
Car grease for bikes
From the above section, you may have got the idea of what’s the difference between car lubricants and bike lubricants. But we won’t say that you can’t apply car grease on a bike even though it’s thicker than the parts of a bike requires. You can use it, but not everywhere and in small quantities. In some parts, you may apply car grease, but in other parts such as in sensitive components, you should apply bike grease. So let's clear out another frequently asked question which is "which parts of my bike should I lubricate"?
Threads and clamped parts
We apply lubricants on bike threads, pivot points, screw threads, bearing balls, bottom bracket threads, seat post, brake pads and parts that are joint together not on the entire bike. These parts don’t move much and oiling them with a car grease won’t do any harm. Instead, you may not have to apply grease anytime soon on these parts as the car grease will create a thick layer on them.
Bearings of a bike or moving parts such as chaining, crankset, wheelset shifters, pedal threads, derailleur pulley, bottom bracket, disc brakes, front derailleur etc. requires lubricants the most for smooth and safe riding. But if you apply car grease here it won't be an optimal choice as, the thickness will slow down the easy movement of these parts. That’s why it’s better to use specific bicycle bearing grease there. Although remember to apply grease on clean bikes with warm soapy water or warm water.
You have the choice to apply car grease on your bike, but as it’s not wise to apply it on all over the bike as it may harm the bearing system, you may have to go through double expenses for buying both car and bike grease. Also as the bike doesn’t produce heat as much as a car does, the thick oil substance doesn’t get vaporized on the bike, and it may attract much dirt, mud etc and show many other downside to the bike’s components. It’ll create an issue for cleaning the bike frequently and also slow down the bike. Still if you want to apply car grease then we'd suggest to add only a light coating. If you’re a regular rider either on city roads or off-roads, we’d say it’s an important thing to apply specific bicycle grease or softer grease to your bike than car grease to avoid extra hassles.