Do You Need to Lubricate Door Locks and Hinges?

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Any moving component requires some sort of lubrication - especially door locks and hinges. Door locks and hinges on cars, trucks and SUV's get a lot of use and can wear out over time. Proper lubrication on the locks and hinges of doors helps extend their life and use, reduce rusting, and decrease the possibility or mechanical failure and expensive repairs.

The door locks and hinges are some of the most neglected parts on a vehicle. Although today's vehicles are typically assembled with parts that have a special coating to reduce the potential of rust and contamination, they still are made of metal. By the time you realize they need care, they are often already causing problems, such as sticking or failing to open and close.

However, proper application of recommended lubricants on the locks and car door hinges can prevent issues in the future.

The Type of Lubricant to Use

The lubricant you will use on the car locks and hinges will depend on the material that the lock is made from. Most hinges are made from steel or aluminum. In general, there are four different types of lubricants that should be used.

  • White lithium grease is a thicker grease that repels water, which is a main cause for rust and corrosion. It clings to the places where you apply it and holds up to harsh conditions, such as rain and snow. It is designed to work on metal parts, such as hinges and latches.
  • WD-40 is a lubricant used for many household items as well as car parts. It is designed for light-duty lubrication or to unstick areas. It can help remove rust on car hinges and latches.
  • Silicone spray is gentler and lubricates areas that contain non-metal parts. It is safe for use on nylon, plastic and other materials. Use it for light lubrication.
  • Graphite lubricant is the choice for locks because it doesn’t attract dust and dirt, which can damage the locking mechanism.

Specific Use of Lubricants for Hinges and Locks

On most hinges, a penetrating lubricant like WD-40 is safe to use on older, steel hinges. On modern cars, specialized lubricants made specifically for hinges like white lithium grease is best. Graphite lubricant is recommended for car door locks because it won’t attract dust like oils do, which could damage the delicate components of the lock.

Silicone spray is ideal for plastic or nylon (or metal when only a small amount is needed). White lithium grease is a popular choice for metal parts, such as hinges. It helps to repel water and lasts longer in harsher conditions. It isn’t recommended for plastic or other materials besides metal because it is too harsh. Graphite lubricant comes in a tube. All you need to do is squirt a small amount into the door locks. Don’t forget to lubricate the trunk lock as well.

Lubricating your vehicle hinges and locks only takes a few minutes and can be done two or three times a year. You can also ask a professional mechanic to take care of this job as part of ongoing maintenance to your vehicle. By maintaining your vehicle properly, you can prevent many of the repair issues that occur as the result of long-term or regular use.


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125,658
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Robert

19 years of experience
715 reviews
Robert
19 years of experience
Ford F-150 - Oil Change - Aurora, Colorado
Great experience. Quick and affordable. Robert was super nice and up front with everything. Will absolutely use this service again.
Ford Mustang - EGR Pressure Feedback Sensor - Denver, Colorado
Robert showed up on time to work on the car. He worked on it even though it was snowing outside.

Ben

40 years of experience
1145 reviews
Ben
40 years of experience
Ford Taurus - Crankshaft Position Sensor - Houston, Texas
Very good, put me at ease with his knowledge and skill. I appreciate how you provide photos of the new and replaced equipment.
Toyota Corolla - Starter - Katy, Texas
Ben was great. He can and started the work immediately. He was friendly and easy-going.

Harish

26 years of experience
588 reviews
Harish
26 years of experience
BMW 328i - Spark Plugs - Concord, North Carolina
Harish was very knowledgeable and willing to explain in detail everything that was done.
Volvo S80 - Oil Change - Cornelius, North Carolina
Was awesome, quick and gave me a lot of tips, already booked him again to come fix a problem he found!

Wilson

12 years of experience
296 reviews
Wilson
12 years of experience
Kia Optima - Car is not starting - Orlando, Florida
Great mechanic showed up early did a really great job
Chrysler Town & Country - Oil Change - Altamonte Springs, Florida
Wilson did a great job again! Showed up on time and got right to work after going over everything that needed to be done. Awesome service!!

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