How to Apply Dielectric Greaseby Christian Killian
Applying dielectric grease as a preventative measure is simple task that should become a regular practice on all automotive connectors that may be exposed to the elements. Bulbs, under-hood connections, spark plug boots and any other connector that may get wet or corrode are great candidates for dielectric grease. Most dielectric greases are silicone-based and can be purchased in a small packet or large tube depending upon your needs.
Unplug the connector or remove the bulb from the socket (depending upon the type of component you're working with). Be careful not to break the connector removing it or you will have to replace it before reconnection.
Clean away any corrosion on the connector using a small wire brush and a mixture of baking soda and water. Apply pressure gently. This may require several applications to get the connector completely clean.
Scrape any stubborn particles from the connector using a small screwdriver or pick tool. Be sure to only scrape off the debris and not part of the connector.
Open the tube of dielectric grease and apply a small amount to the surfaces of the connectors where they meet. The grease will help stop future corrosion while allowing the electricity to make contact through it.
Reassemble the connector or plug in the bulb carefully. If any grease squeezes out during reassembly, wipe it off with a rag or towel.
- Any bulb or connector exposed to the weather should have dielectric grease on it.
- Apply new grease any time you change a bulb or annually on connectors under the hood or on the exterior of the car.
- Many under-hood connectors have clips that hold them together. Be careful when separating these--such clips are prone to breakage. If a clip breaks, the connector must be replaced to avoid future connection problems.