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Dielectic Grease - The Pros and Cons!


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Hi All.

Hearing a few electrical issues of late which could be attributed to the overuse of Dielectric Grease.

 

Dielectric Grease first and foremost is an electrical insulator and will Not aid in the conduction of electricity. It may help keep moisture away from connections but even silicone grease or similar will do that.

 

Dielectric grease is an excellent electrical insulator for applications around High Voltage areas well into the kilovolts where the possibilty of flashover could occur.

 

For general automotive application where there is only 12v,  or the 100ac volts or so from the stator of your charging system, a better product which can assist in electrical contact, avoid oxidation and also blocks out moisture is Ox-Gard. Its not conductive to the point of causing shorts between adjacent connections so don't worry about that.

 

Please....I'm not claiming to be an expert, it's just that in my working life we had very specific uses for Dielectric Grease and that was most certainly Not for the benefit of electrical contacts or conduction, quite the opposite!

Cheers. :fing02:

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In theory, a good firm contact in both terminals (e.g., spade terminals) "should" scrape off anything you put on there, but some terminals don't do scraping action.... I avoid di-electric IN the terminals, it should/can be applied after the connection is made to the back of the connectors to make them water/air proof.

 

I use OxGard sparingly, and try not to cross-contaminate an adjacent terminal.  Some discussion about it also not being all that conductive, but........ it was designed for aluminum house wiring to prevent aluminum corrosion.

 

Bottom line, IMHO, if you use either, ensure your terminals make a good solid connection.

 

I am not an electronics expert, but contact cleaner should help with connections.  I had one once that was "contact cleaner with lube"..... which I believe may be silicone??.... dunno for sure, but it sounded better to me.... one can clean up terminals with contact cleaner, blow dry and put your connectors together..... dielectric grease on the back to waterproof......

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I wish I  knew where the notion of using di-electric grease on connector pins got started  - we see it regularly.  Apparently the prefix "di" is not understood.  In Greek it can mean "two", and in Latin "apart".  Dielectric grease literally means "keep electricity apart from itself grease"  If it were renamed that maybe its mususe would be much less.  It indeed has its place,  but likely nowhere on these bikes is its use called for or of any value. (I will call an exception to that - I use silicone grease on the gaskets of the turn signal and brake bulb sockets, makes it WAY easier to remove them). Use of it on connectors and then not understanding the problems that follow is to me as baffling as if an owner filled up with diesel and then could not understand why they had a no-start. Both gas and diesel are useful, but only when used appropriately. Same with DE grease and Oxgard. Soon after a I got my then new 6th gen, I separated each and every connector, carefully treating each pin with a tiny amount of Oxgard.  A recent inspection shows them all remaining in as new condition. YMMV

 

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Er, silicone grease is dielectric grease.  Perhaps it is a bit counterintuitive to apply an insulator to electrical connections, but that substance was undoubtedly chosen to prevent bridging between adjacent contacts--which could be a real issue for signal circuits.  If you're relying on the grease to make the electrical contact, you've got a bigger problem than the grease!

 

Ciao,

 

JZH

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My personal technique that seems to work well for me is a sparing application of oxguard on the terminals themselves. I also use some dielectric grease on the plastic bodies of the connector, but this is all a "little dab'll do ya," kind of job.

 

I've also noticed something that looks suspiciously like oxguard in use on some of the higher current connectors in Toyotas I've owned. Take it for what its worth...

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I typically use some dielectric grease at the back of the connectors where the wires enter the plug to keep water from draining down into the actual connections and to help prevent corrosion at the crimped wires.

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It all depends with me, I’m sort of hit and miss on using it. I have a couple different tubes along with some KOPR-SHIELD on my work truck. If I feel it’s a benefit to keep a handle on corrosion or help keep contaminants out of something I’ll swipe some in or on the connector and the K-S is great on electrical threaded connections. Just like battery terminals for the little effort it takes a little K-S is applied. 
 

Word to the wise, the K-S can be one of those things that gets tracked everywhere…… 

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