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Author Topic: Dielectric grease vs Vaseline (9 messages, Page 1 of 1)
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From: Tullahoma, TN
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Posted: Jun 3, 2010 04:58 PM  (Msg. 1 of 9)         

I have read here of some who have successfully used vaseline on their electrical connections.  Clymer's tells me to use Dielectric grease (very expensive).  Can anyone tell me a good reason NOT to use the Vaseline?


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Posted: Jun 3, 2010 05:10 PM  (Msg. 2 of 9)         

I was taught petroleum jelly/vaseline is good for assembeling parts because it will melt off, therefore no residue left behind. It will have NO purpose once it melts due to any heat above 90 deg.   Die-electric grease has a conductive property


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Posted: Jun 3, 2010 05:20 PM  (Msg. 3 of 9)         

Permatex 22058 Dielectric tune-up grease, about $10 at your parts store for a 3 oz. tube, about the size of a toothpaste tube.....It'll last you a lifetime.


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Posted: Jun 3, 2010 05:28 PM  (Msg. 4 of 9)         

I beg to differ.  Dielectric grease is non-conductive.  Its primary use is to lubricate and seal (i.e. spark plug boots or coating electrical connections after mating them).  Never considered it expensive no more often then I use the stuff.  I don't have an opinion on Vaseline.  Never used it.

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Posted: Jun 3, 2010 05:36 PM  (Msg. 5 of 9)         

Vaseline is a dirt magnet.


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Posted: Jun 3, 2010 05:37 PM  (Msg. 6 of 9)         

You are right it is not conductive  sorry for any mis-info


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Posted: Jun 3, 2010 05:57 PM  (Msg. 7 of 9)         

Just let me at this one, my favourite hobby horse

Plain old vaseline, it's a hundred x better than nothing.
I have been using it (petroleum jelly) on battery terminals and contacts for well over 40 years. It's what I was taught as an apprentice electrician. We used it on large traction batteries and moving contacts. Once applied to a battery you can pretty much forget about bad terminals.

On battery terminals the greasy layer excludes Oxygen which would otherwise cause Lead Oxide, a light grey layer that is insulating. Next time you are measuring a battery for voltage just lay your meter probes lightly against the lead, you will find it doesn't make contact because of the Lead Oxide.

I do the same with wires in wet areas before I crimp them into a lug. Dipping the wires in vaseline prevents them oxidizing, it excludes the air and water from the joint.
Actually if you don't have vaseline handy plain old grease or even a drop of oil is a lot better than nothing.

Marine is probably correct about it melting off >90°, C maybe.

Perhaps Dielectric grease is better, I can't vouch for that, obviously you should get some advantage for all that money. I doubt any extra conductivity you get is worth a damm.

Not to knock the "Majic Star Washer Fix" but I think it's just a work around, the sharp spikes dig into the metal and provise an alternate path past the Lead Oxide although they may help keep the contact tight also. Far better to fix it right IMHO



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Posted: Jun 3, 2010 10:03 PM  (Msg. 8 of 9)         

Vaseline will work just fine.  So will axle grease.  Niether one is the BEST but it's certainly a much better protectant than nothing.

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Posted: Jun 4, 2010 02:46 AM  (Msg. 9 of 9)         

I've used both as well and both have worked pretty well. I have dielectric grease at home and use it on my bikes, but if I'm out helping someone with their bike's electrical and they don't have any then vaseline is usually easy to find in a pinch.

The dielectric grease seems to hold up much longer. I can put it on connections and it seems to stay there for ages even when it's exposed to heat. The vaseline melts away rather quickly like Marine was saying and since I live so close to the ocean I need all the protection I can get on those electrical connections. This is why I usually use the dielectric grease....it both works and lasts

Until we ride again my friend...

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