Lubrication is crucial for the smooth operation and long-term reliability of machinery. However, even with best practices, issues can still arise.

Understanding and troubleshooting these common lubrication problems can save time, reduce costs, and prevent costly machinery breakdowns.

In this blog, we will look at common lubrication issues and suggest solutions to keep your equipment running smoothly.

Common Lubrication Problems and Solutions

  1. Over-Lubrication

Problem: Over-lubrication can cause grease to build up, leading to increased friction, overheating, and damage to seals.

Solution: Follow manufacturer guidelines for the appropriate amount of lubricant. Use automatic lubrication systems where possible to ensure precise application. Regularly monitor equipment to adjust lubrication levels as needed.

  1. Under-Lubrication

Problem: Insufficient lubrication can result in excessive wear, increased friction, and potential equipment failure.

Solution: Establish a regular lubrication schedule based on manufacturer recommendations and operating conditions. Utilise condition monitoring tools like vibration analysis and oil analysis to detect early signs of under-lubrication.

  1. Contamination

Problem: Dirt, water, and other contaminants can enter the lubrication system, leading to premature wear and corrosion.

Solution: Implement proper storage and handling procedures for lubricants. Use seals and breathers to prevent contaminants from entering the system. Regularly replace filters and conduct oil analysis to identify and address contamination early.

  1. Wrong Lubricant Selection

Problem: Using an inappropriate lubricant for the application can cause inadequate protection, increased wear, and system failure.

Solution: Consult with your supplier and refer to equipment manuals to select the correct lubricant. Consider factors such as temperature, load, speed, and environmental conditions when choosing a lubricant.

  1. Lubricant Degradation

Problem: Lubricants can degrade over time due to oxidation, thermal breakdown, or contamination, leading to reduced effectiveness.

Solution: Implement a lubricant condition monitoring program to regularly test and analyse lubricant properties. Replace lubricants at recommended intervals or when tests indicate significant degradation.

  1. Incompatible Lubricants

Problem: Mixing different types of lubricants has the potential lead to adverse reactions, resulting in reduced lubrication performance and potential equipment damage.

Solution: Avoid mixing lubricants unless specifically approved by the manufacturer. If changing lubricant types, thoroughly clean the system to remove any residue of the previous lubricant.

By following these guidelines and utilising the troubleshooting checklist, you can effectively manage common lubrication problems and ensure the optimal performance and long-term reliability of your equipment.

Lubrication can often be a complex business and a difficult one to get right.  Our team of experts are here to help and guide you through.  Whether it be advice on and installation of automatic lubrication systems, support with used oil analysis to check for contamination or professional guidance on lubricant compatibility, call us on 0800 612 3536 or email and we will be delighted to help.