Vehicle Lubrication

With the application of some lubricants you can get your vehicle to be nice and quiet again and probably avoid repairs as well.  The lubricants we will be discussing are:

Motor oil – To make sure all your engine’s parts work correctly.

White lithium grease – A thick grease great for metal-to-metal joints like latches and hinges.  Same availability as above.

WD-40 Penetrating Oil – a popular penetrating spray for the lubrication and freeing up of sticking metal assemblies.  Available atmany hardware stores and auto parts stores.

Graphite lubricant – The best choice for delicate mechanisms.  It is a dry powder compound and as such will not attract dust and dirt to mechanisms like oils do. Also available at most hardware stores and auto parts stores.

Here are five known “squeak areas” that mechanics suggest you have lubricated or get lubricated periodically:

1.    The Engine

Many car manufacturers say that you should get your motor oil changed every 3,000 miles, but some say that you can go 5,000 miles. Motor oil contains additives to prevent corrosion and break down of a vehicle’s engine. Oil changes extend a car’s life.

2.    Hood Latch

Your vehicle’s hood latch will be at the front of the car. The hood latch secures your hood in the down position.  They typically grab a circular metal loop that is on the front of the hood.  These latches get dry and this frequently makes unlatching the hood tough.  Locate the latch mechanism (there could be two) and give it a blast with the white lithium grease.  Then open and close the hood a few times to work it in.  Lubricate the trunk latch the same way.

3.    Hood Hinges

Lift up your hood on your car and you will see two scissor- like hinges holding the hood to the vehicle body.  Spray those hinges with white lithium grease.  We spoke with the Service Manager at Sheridan Nissan in Newark, DE, a full-service car dealer, and we were told that people should do this at least twice a year so the mechanism functions freely.

4.    Lock Mechanisms

Most modern-day cars have electronic locks but if your cars’ doors have the old-fashioned electronic locks then they need to be lubricated periodically. You can keep these mechanisms moving freely with a blast of dry graphite powder inside the lock’s tumbler.  Spray a bit into every lock and move the cylinder with your key a number of times to work the graphite into the mechanism. Ensure that you do this to all of your doors, and your trunk lock as well.

5.    Gas tank lid

This hinge is out in the open and gets hit with salt and grit. Give it a squirt of WD-40 a few times a year to keep it from rusting up.

Cars with a few years on them eventually start to groan and squeak. As you may know, the noise can come from places like your car’s door, the hood or the trunk. We hope you have enjoyed this article!

Image via Wikimedia

Jonathon Landry

Jon has been an automotive enthusiast his entire life, and has worked with cars for the past ten years as a mechanic in Ohio. Since his retirement, Jon has chosen to share his passion for the automotive industry, by contributing to a number of automotive blogs in North America. He has also been a major supporter of the Go Green initiative for automakers.

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