rc diff oil or grease

RC Diff Oil Or Grease: What Should You Choose?

Differential fluid is an integral part of RC cars. This fluid is very important for the proper function of the differentials. Grease and diff oil are the most popular differential fluid for RC cars.

But which one should you choose, RC diff oil or grease?

Well, the answer varies with many factors. Firstly there is the case of weight if the diff fluid. So the grease or oil which matches the weight should be used. You should also follow the guidelines of the manufacturer. Then comes other factors like the temperature and budget for the fluid.

These are only the basic points. You must have in-depth knowledge of these factors. Only then will you be able to make a wise decision. Kindly keep reading to know it all!

Short Comparison 

RC diff oil or grease, this is a very common question among RC enthusiasts. The answer to this question depends on various factors. Both oil and grease can be used in the differential. But there are certain conditions that the user must comply with.

Or else the grease or oil won’t work well with the differential. Choosing between oil or grease is not as hard as gluing the RC tires. Also, you need to know why rc diff oil has such a significant impact on RC cars-

Now. you only need to know the details about these two RC liquids properly. Following the RC diff oil chart is a good idea. Besides, there are other factors too.

FactorsDiff OilGrease 
Best forCenter DifferentialFront & Rear Differential
Heat GeneratedLessMore

In the next sections, I will present the detailed factors that you must consider before concluding. So please keep scrolling!

Extended Comparison

The Differential is an important part of RC cars. It maintains balance in the power delivery between the wheels. So it is very important to use the correct fluid. Check the below-given details that you must consider while deciding on the differential fluid. 


The first thing you need to be sure of is the weight of the differential fluid. The weight of this fluid is also measured in viscosity. The synchronization of the fluid and the differential depends highly on the fluid weight.

mechanical gears
Source: eurorc.com

The performance of the RC heavy diff oil and light oil is different. To understand, you must know about the differentials. The motion, speed, and balance of the wheels changes with the weight. The weight of grease is more than the diff oil.

However, there are different kinds of oils available in the market. They come with various levels of viscosity. So, it’s important to know the requirements of your RC. However, you can go for the oil kits to avoid any confusion.

Traxxas 5136X Differential Oil Kit is one of the most famous ones in the market. Another great choice is Team Associated 5457 Silicone Differential Fluid. The latter one is based on silicon by the way.

You can select according to your need from their huge options. But usually, diff oil is lighter than grease.

Usage & Applications

There are mainly 3 types of differential systems. The Front, Center, and Rear differentials. The weight of oil or grease used in these is also different. The grease can be defined as heavy lubricating oil.

RC heavy diff oil
Source: rccaraction.com

So for heavy weights, you might want to use grease on the differential of your RC car. The front and rear differentials need heavy fluid. So grease is the best choice for these parts of the RC car.

As the topic of using grease came up, don’t you want to check out some products? After all, without any idea about the RC grease products, how can you make a wise decision?

Here are some affordable RC diff grease suggestions-

Tamiya 87099 Cera Grease Hg is our first pick. It is made from high-quality materials and designed for long-lasting performance.

Are you more of a silicon type of person? Then TEAM LOSI RACING Silicone Diff Grease will be the ideal pick for you.

On the other hand, the center differential works best with the diff oil. It is due to the lighter weight of the oil. You can easily choose between them according to the RC diff oil weight guide


Another important aspect of the differential fluid is its contact with the differential. The differential does not stand stationary when the car is in motion. So the fluid used on it might get scattered. Then the motive of using it will fail.

RC diff oil weight
Source: carousell.sg

Generally, grease scatters faster than differential oils. It goes away from the differential when motion takes place. On the other hand, the best diff oil stays in its place quite easily. 

So if contact is your first preference, differential oil will be the better choice. Or else, grease will do the job for you.

Heat Generation

As mentioned earlier, the differential is always on the run when the car is in motion. So it can get hot pretty easily. This can be a matter of concern for many RC car enthusiasts. The diff grease and oil used on the differential have a role in the temperature.

diff grease and oil
Source: youtube.com

The grease gets hot pretty easily. So the temperature of the differential will also increase. On the contrary, the diff oil does not get hot quickly. This can be beneficial in maintaining a cool differential temperature. 


For the longevity of your RC car, you must know how often to change RC diff oil. Since the oil is to be changed frequently, you have to watch out for your budget too. You can not go overboard with the differential fluid. 

Because there are many other areas of expenditure for your RC car. The price of the grease is quite low. And the price of the diff oil varies with their weight and other factors. But generally, it costs more than the grease.

These are the factors you must be careful with for the best diff fluid setup. Also, be sure to use the best RC tools for changing the differential fluid. By following my advice you would be able to avoid any mistakes and make the right decision.

Final Discussion 

It’s not easy to choose between diff oil and grease. Yet I will try to help you!

The cost of grease is quite low. And it is very useful for front and rear differentials. But you will have to compensate with the heat generated. Also, the contact with the differential is less.

On the other hand, the diff oil provides more contact. The heat generation is less in oil too. It works well with the center differential. But the cost is more.

If you have a tight budget, go for the grease. Or else, the diff oil is a better choice due to its variability. It is a very good RC diff grease substitute.

You can also follow the suggestions of the manufacturer for the longevity of the RC car. The warranty of the car also remains intact by following their advice. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What weight diff oil should I use in my RC car?

The weight of diff oil you should use in your RC car depends on the position of the differential. The function of the three diffs is not the same. So the weight of the diff oil used is also different. Usually, the front and middle diffs require heavy oils. Whereas the rear one needs lighter oil.

How often should you change RC diff oil?

You should change the RC diff oil based on your usage. However, there are some basic principles of change. Changing the diff oil 2-3 times during the season is enough. But if your frequency of usage is less, the changing period will be bigger. Similarly, for more use, quick change is needed.

Do RC Cars need a differential?

Yes, RC cars need a differential. The presence of a differential in the RC car is very crucial. It plays an important role in maintaining the balance between the wheels and power delivery. It is also needed for smooth control of the car. Besides some exceptions, all RC comes with differentials.


This is all on today’s topic, RC diff oil or grease. I think that now you can successfully choose the correct diff fluid for your RC car.

Always follow the manual given by the manufacturer before making any changes. This is very significant for the lifespan of the RC car.

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