Cold Weather Awareness- Doug's Tip of the Month


Situational awareness and common sense are crucial for proper lubrication, especially in harsh environments. This applies to automotive, commercial, and industrial applications alike. Understand your equipment, its needs, and the surrounding environment for optimal performance and longevity.

Consider the following points:

  1. Ambient Temperatures:
    • Note the temperatures your equipment operates in, as they impact lubricant performance.
  2. Environmental Conditions:
    • Assess cleanliness and debris levels; adjust filtration or use desiccant breathers accordingly.
  3. Greasing Practices:
    • Adapt greasing frequency for cold seasons; choose the right NLGI for the application.
    • Follow the "5 Rights of Lubrication" to avoid over-greasing. 
      1. Right Product
      2. Right Application
      3. Right Amount
      4. Right Place
      5. Right Time
  1. Gear Box Inspection:
    • Monitor for vibrations or noise; early detection can prevent bearing or gear issues.
  2. Hydraulic Systems:
    • Ensure systems are sealed and free from dirt and moisture to prolong hydraulic fluid life.
    • Follow the rule of thumb: cleaner and drier hydraulic fluid lasts longer.

Considerations for specific applications:


  • Engine Oil: Choose the correct type (conventional, synthetic blend, synthetic) for the vehicle and environment.
  • Grease and Gear Lubes: Select based on NLGI, Base Oil Viscosity, and Viscosity grade.
  • Antifreeze: Maintain a 50/50 mix with De-Ionized/De-Mineralized Water.
  • Tires: All Season or Snow

Commercial (On and Off-Road) Equipment:

  • Similar lubricant considerations as Automotive, with additional attention to Hydraulic Fluids and Antifreeze for heavy-duty applications.


  • Hydraulic Fluids: choose the correct fluid for the application (AW, HVI, R&O, Turbine)
  • Gear Fluids: choose the correct fluid for the application (EP, Non-EP)
  • Heat Transfer Fluids: choose the correct fluid for the application (Flash Points, Operating Temperatures, Skin Boiler Temperatures)
  • Coolants: Metal Working Fluids – choose the correct fluid, what is being done? (Drilling, Stamping, Broaching, Forging), Neat Oils – Mineral base oils, Water Soluble (Conventional, Semi Synthetic, Synthetic).

In summary, the environment and ambient temperature significantly impact lubricant performance and equipment life. Choosing the right lubricant for the specific application and conditions is essential for optimal results.

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