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Problems with a Grease Gun

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Grease guns lubricate a variety of different equipment such as cars, lawn tractors, heavy equipment and industrial machinery. Most moving parts have grease fittings, so lubricating the parts is easy. The end of a grease gun fits onto the nipple of the grease fitting, then the grease gun pumps lubrication into the part. Different problems arise with the different types of grease guns.


You can find three types of grease guns, including battery powered, pneumatic and manual. The most common problem with any one of these is when the guns no longer pump grease. Refilling the grease gun cures this problem. Each gun has a grease cartridge. Once the cartridge empties, insert a new cartridge into the gun.


The tip of the grease gun clogs over time. Dust, debris and the hardening of grease in the end of the tip are common causes of this clogging. You can clean out the clog with a small pin or screwdriver. The grease gun then will allow grease to pump out of the end again. Store the grease gun in a room or storage area that does not fall below 40 degrees to prevent the grease from hardening and clogging the gun.

Battery Dead

A battery powered grease gun uses a battery similar to one used on a cordless drill. This type of grease gun comes with a battery and a battery charger. Again, like a cordless drill, the battery holds a charge for a certain amount of time and then requires recharging. A dead battery or weakening battery will not pump grease. The battery easily snaps free from the grease gun and easily inserts into the battery charger.

Air Pressure

A pneumatic grease gun operates on air power, and this comes with problems. An air leak or blockage in the air flow stops this type of grease gun from working properly. Each connection point on a pneumatic grease gun has seals that need attention or maintaining so the seals do not dry rot. Once the seal dry rots, or cracks, air pressure decreases or fails because of the lack of pressure through the air lines. You can hear and feel an air leak at these points. Replacing the connections, seals or O-rings of the pneumatic grease gun is the only way to correct this problem.

Wrong Grease

Each type of grease gun has different designs and uses different types of grease. Some grease guns only use a certain type of grease and do not properly pump a thicker grade of grease through the gun tip. A thicker grease will also clog up a grease gun. Each type of grease gun requires the correct type of grease and grease cartridge to work properly. When purchasing new grease cartridges, take the old grease cartridge with you.


Horacio Garcia has been writing since 1979, beginning his career as the spokesperson for Trinity Broadcast Network. Within 10 years Garcia was being called upon to write speeches and scripts for several state and federal congressmen, local broadcast networks and publications such as "Readers Digest." He received his bachelor's degree in public relations from Argosy University.