If you keep a car long enough, at some point you are going to start hearing squeaks and groans when you open things like your car’s door, hood, gas tank lid or trunk. Lets face it, when this starts to occur the “new car feeling” is long gone. However, we can help you recapture some of that feeling with a few simple lubrication techniques. With just 15 minutes of work, you can quiet those squeaks and noises and probably avoid costly repairs too. All you need are a variety of lubricants. They will cost you a little but you will be able to use them for years and they will come in handy for household problems as well.
The lubricants we will be discussing in this article are:
- White lithium grease– great for metal-to- metal joints like hinges and latches. These need a “clinging grease” to repel water.
- Graphite lubricant – The right choice for locks. It is a dry compound and thus won’t attract dirt and dust to lock mechanisms like an oil would.
- WD-40– a very popular, penetrating spray for light-duty lubrication and freeing up sticking or partially rusted metal assemblies.
- Silicone spray– Another very popular lubricant great for lubricating nylon, plastic and metal where only a thin layer of lubricant is necessary.
Here are the top items that you should go after first”
LockMechanisms– Most of us don’t think much about our door locks until the key breaks off in the cylinder. Keep these delicate mechanisms moving freely with a blast of dry graphite powder. Spray a little in each lock and move the cylinder with your key several times to work the graphite into the mechanism. Make sure to do this to your doors, and your trunk lock.
Gas tank lid – This hinge is out in the open and gets hit with a lot of grit and salt spray. Give it a squirt of WD-40 a few times a year to keep it from rusting up. Wipe away any excess to keep it from dripping onto your car’s finish.
Hood hinges – Wipe the hinge area with a clean rag and spray it with white lithium grease. Move the hinge (hood) up and down several times to work the grease into the hinge mechanism. Be sure to get it into both sides of each hinge. Lubricate your trunk hinge the same way and make sure it moves freely also.
Hood latch – lubricate your hood latch mechanism with white lithium grease. Do this at least twice a year so the mechanism works freely. Close and open your hood a few times to work the lubricant into the mechanism.