Grease Troubleshooting

Symptom Investigate These Possible Causes
Rolling Contact Bearings
Noise Worn or brinelled bearing
High bearing temperature Overgreasing; insufficient application frequency; incorrect
base oil viscosity; deficient EP performance of grease
Excessive leakage Damaged or incorrectly installed seals; overgreasing;
excessive softness of grease; incompatibility of greases
Excessive bearing wear Deficient EP performance; insufficient application frequency;
contaminating dirt or rust; bearing life exceeded; improper
bearing installation; excessive grease stiffness
Plain Type Bearings
Overheating Improper distribution in bearing due to stiff grease or
incorrect grooving; starvation due to insufficient application
frequency or deficient mechanical stability of grease
Excessive bearing wear Starvation due to insufficient application frequency or
defective/plugged lubricator; deficient load-carrying ability or
temperature range of grease
Enclosed Gears
Excessive leakage Excessive softness of grease; incompatibility of greases
Noisy gear box Improper lubricant level or stiff grease
Overheating Improper lubricant level or stiff grease
Pitting Not usually grease-related, but heavier grease or base oil
may retard progression of pitting
Wear and scoring If lubricant related, may be due to improper lubricant level
incorrect consistency, EP performance or base viscosity of
the lubricant or lubricant contamination
Open Gears
Gear wear Insufficient application frequency or incorrect lubrication
Build-up on gears or in roots Overgreasing; wrong type of lubricant; airborne dirt
Centralized Lubricants
No grease to poitns of application Depleted reservoir; pump malfunction; plugging; wrong type
of lubricant; airbound system or damaged feeder lines
High system pressure Plugged metering devices; malfunctioning relief valve;
excessive hardness of grease
Wet Applications
Noise/high wear Insufficient application frequency or incorrect grease;
washout of lubricant due to overgreasing, improper grease
consistency or incorrect thickener type
Excessive corrosion Wrong type of lubricant (inability to
absorb water, inability to maintain structure or deficient rust inhibition performance)
High-Temperature Applications
Noise/high wear Insufficient application frequency or incorrect grease
Excessive corrosion Improper thickener type, base oil viscosity or consistency
of grease; incompatibility of greases
Grease hardening Deficient oxidation stability; improper thickener type;
insufficient application frequency
Low-Temperature Applications
Restricted component motion Grease with insufficient low-torque performance or wrong
base oil viscosity
Difficult application IGrease with insufficient pumpability performance; wrong
base oil viscosity or inconsistent quality
Freeze-up Deficient water absorption/shedding performance

More Information

If you have questions or would like additional information about Grease additive products, please contact us at Industrial@lubrizol.com 

Types of Grease

Grease Testing

Troubleshooting