Automotive anti-seize is a humble compound with superhero capabilities. Many people underestimate the power of a thin coating of this lubricant, however, when you apply it correctly it can help prevent a range of problems and expensive repairs.
What Are Anti-Seizes and Why Are They So Important?
Anti-seizes are special compound lubricants that protect metal components from rust, thread binding, corrosion, and chemicals. They act as a barrier between extreme temperatures and chemical and water infiltration. These compounds also make it easier to disassemble vehicle components even after years of use.
Normally, these lubricants consist of a grease binder and tiny, almost microscopic particles, which can be metal or ceramic. Some of the most common types of anti-seizes are copper, graphite, and nickel.
How Does Anti-Seize Work?
These lubricants mixed with particles create a thin protective layer between the two metal surfaces you will join. This helps reduce wear and friction and helps prolong the lifespan of the components involved. It also makes it easy to take apart and put back together if your car needs repair work.
Where Can You Use It?
You can apply anti-seizes on the threading of nuts and bolts and can use it in brake assemblies, exhaust systems, and engine components, among others. It is especially helpful when you are joining two distinct types of metals. For example, if you are joining aluminum parts with steel, galvanic corrosion can occur, however, with a thin layer of the right anti-seize compound, they won’t make direct contact and will remain in excellent condition.
How Can Anti-Seizes Save Time and Money?
While it may cost money to purchase these lubricants, you should think about the long-term benefits of using them. When you apply them to your assemblies and parts, you prevent rust or corrosion that you may have to repair or replace down the road.
You also save time because your car will be much easier to work on should it need repairs. Whether you work on it yourself or take it in, repairs will be faster where anti-seizes were properly applied.
How Is Anti-Seize Applied?
While each manufacturer has its own instructions, there are a few general tips that are important when you go to apply anti-seize.
First, always ensure that all of your components are clean and free of grease, rust, debris, and dirt.
Then, apply only a very thin, even coat of product to points of contact or to the threading. You don’t need much to get the job done, and will only end up with a mess if you over-apply the product.
Reassemble the parts as quickly as you can to avoid contaminants settling into the compound.
How Do You Choose the Right Anti-Seize?
Each compound works for different purposes, so it’s key to choose the right one. Consider the temperature range involved, the pressure the part will experience, and the compatibility of the lubricant with different materials.