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I am going to do a DIY brake job on my car and am trying to sort out how to lube everything. I found this helpful list of places to lube: What brake components need to be lubricated? but it does not mention what type of lubes to use.

On my car, the manual says to use silicone grease on the pins. After reading around online, it seems like every synthetic grease I find has stories about rubber bits swelling. Is the general consensus to use real silicone on the slider pins?

Also, anything metal to metal seems more lenient. Moly is popular, and some people use anti-sieze. I saw warnings against anti-seize getting dusty, and nothing really against moly. Is something with molybdenum generally recommended?

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Two lubes are needed to properly lubricate caliper type brakes.

Silicone is used on the slider pins and anything that touches rubber. A generous amount that completely coats the pin, hole wall and rubber expansion boot is needed. Be sure to coat the boot lips that fit in the grooves that hold them in place, this act as a sealant. This lube will not swell rubber parts and does not dissolve in water.

A different, grease based, lubricant is used on all parts of the brake pad that touch the caliper. A thin even coat is applied to the pad ends and backing side in the areas where the piston or caliper body touch the pads. It is also advised to apply to apply a thin coat the shims on the caliper bracket where the pads ends will slide. This has two purposes. It allows the pads to move freely in the bracket which reduces both wear and noise. It also inhibits corrosion which can cause the pads to bind thus increasing noise and wear. We use this product; others are available. It must be a high temperature tolerant formula.

Brake Pad Lube

Pad lubrication is often omitted to the detriment of brake life.

  • Would you use a 3rd anti-seize lubricant on bolts and other non-moving contact surfaces that are in danger of seizing (i.e. the hub to the rotor). Or would you just re-use one of the 2 above mentioned lubricants for that job as well? – DragonFax Jul 30 '17 at 8:50
  • @DragonFax We use anti-sieze on the hub to rotor face and bolts that hold caliper on the knuckle. We never put any lubricant of any kind on the wheel studs, bolts or lug nuts. – Fred Wilson Aug 1 '17 at 23:31
  • In the info from Permatex on that ceramic lubricant, it says for metal to metal contact only, but it also says it's safe for rubber and plastic parts, and explicitly lists caliper slide pins as one of the places it can be used. Is there a reason to use a separate silicone grease for those instead? amazon.com/Permatex-24125-Ceramic-Extreme-Lubricant/dp/… – Nathan Stretch Sep 14 at 6:25
  • Although it appears if you wanted to use one product for both, their "Silicone Ceramic Extreme" would be an even better option: amazon.ca/Permatex-24129-Silicone-Extreme-Lubricant/dp/… – Nathan Stretch Sep 14 at 6:29

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