Quality anti-seize is one of the most useful supplies you can keep in your automotive shop. It helps reduce rust,prevents galling, and makes it easier to remove bolts for future repairs. However, if you’ve spent any time listening to others around the shop, you know there is often heated debate about when and where to use it. Here’s what you need to know.

Where Anti-Seize Works Best

1. On Parts You Will Remove Frequently

This is one of the best uses for lubricant. If you have parts that will be removed frequently for repairs or replacement. Brake caliper bolts are a perfect example. They can be tough to remove thanks to their exposure to the elements and frequent use of mixed metals on brake components, yet you need to get them off to change the brakes.

2. High Temperature Applications

High temperatures contribute to corrosion, which can damage bolts and make removal difficult. For this reason, many shops use anti-seize on high-temperature fittings like exhaust bolts where it limits high-temperature corrosion and makes future removal easier.

If you choose to use grease on the exhaust or other components that reach extreme temperatures, be sure to choose one that is suitable for them. Some products are designed specifically for high-temperature applications while others lose effectiveness at a few hundred degrees.

3. Where You Connect Mixed Metals

Another common type of corrosion is caused by mating mixed metals. Steel and aluminum are common examples in an automotive shop. A small amount of grease on the connection acts as a barrier to reduce the galvanic process and preserve components.

Where Not To Use Anti-Seize

1. On Already Damaged Threads

There is a common misconception that a lubricant can help fix damaged threads. The reality is that it isn’t going to happen. If you have a bolt that has stripped, cross-threaded, or rusted threads, the best course of action is to replace it.

2. On Exposed Threads

Like any semi-solid lubricant, anti-seize is excellent at attracting contaminants. This can cause serious problems on exposed surfaces, so try to keep it on threads that will be covered. This is more of an application error than an intentional use of the product, but it happens every day.

3. Where Torque Cannot Be Adjusted

good-quality anti-seize grease will reduce the amount of torque needed to tighten connections. Therefore, you must reduce the amount of torque used. If that is a problem, you should not apply grease to the connection. This is a big reason why many people choose not to use it on wheel lugs and spark plugs. In the first case, under-tightening can cause the lugs to fall off, while in the latter overtightening can damage the spark plugs and lead to a time-consuming repair.

Find the Supplies You Need

While its use is often the subject of debate, anti-seize grease can be very helpful when used in the right situations. Applied sparingly, it helps prevent fastener damage and makes future repairs easier.