OX-GARD, made by GB Electrical Inc., is the best-kept secret in the electrical industry, because it has indispensable applications in the automotive world too. It is an anti-oxidation compound (a conductive grease-like substance) that electricians use on electrical connections, as well as conduit connections, and other places where copper and/or aluminum join, that are exposed to the elements and need lasting protection.
It can be used throughout the electrical system in vehicles, especially under the hood. I use it on all my crimp-on connectors, by applying it to the wire before I attach the connector and crimp it on. Then I put it on the connector as well before I slip it into place. This insures a good, long lasting and trouble free connection.
There is some confusion between OX-GARD and the more common dielectric grease products. So let me clear it up. Basically OX-GARD conducts electricity, dielectric grease does not. Dielectric (translated to layman's terms) means insulation. It provides excellent protection against moisture, but since it doesn't conduct electricity, it can not improve the connection itself. When you use dielectric grease, it is forced out of the point of contact in the connection, and thus does not interfere with the flow of electrons, but fills in the air gaps and keeps air and the elements out. This is great for new connections, but it does not promote conductivity of the connection itself, and so will not help with an older connection that has developed even the slightest corrosion or oxidation. OX-GARD is impregnated with fine abrasive metallic particles that bite into both surfaces improving the connection between the contacts, and promoting current flow through what would normally be small voids between the two surfaces, effectively increasing the total surface area of the contacts, reducing resistance, and allowing more current to flow through the connection.
This reduced resistance translates directly into a cooler more efficient and reliable connection, especially in high current applications like your battery posts, alternator terminals, high output headlight/driving light wiring, high watt stereos, winches, etc., which means brighter lights, louder stereo, even longer winching times, because you are not wasting power through a poor connector.
The only advantage of dielectric grease over OX-GARD, is the fact that it doesn't conduct electricity, so you can slather it on without worry of shorting out adjacent conductors, like found in a multi-pin connector. This is why you need to be careful with OX-GARD, and only use it sparingly, being careful not to get it on anything else but the connection itself. Think of it as a solder grease, and don't short anything out with it. If you are applying it to small pins and sockets of a connector, use the large end of a flat toothpick and carefully apply to the contact surfaces, and just wipe away any excess when your done, and it will be fine. Also, when applied to older connectors, its abrasive properties will actually help "sand" away the corrosion you can't get out by cleaning, and by working the connector on & off repeatedly, you will be able to improve an otherwise poor connection.
OX-GARD is available at just about any hardware store, hiding in the electrical supplies section, usually around the wire stripers, and other house wiring tools. It comes in a cream colored tube and all you'll need is the 1 oz size, that'll last the average shade tree mechanic (like myself) a lifetime, ...and you can use it on all your connectors, ...on all your cars, ...and give what's left over to your grandchildren when you don't drive anymore, because it's like Brillcream, ....."a little dab 'll do ya' ".
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