An essential part of general car maintenance is caring for the car door locks. They are perhaps the most neglected part of the vehicle, yet they are susceptible to various problems, including rusting and jamming, if they’re not tended to. In order to clean the lock or to lubricate it, you need to access the interior of the locking interface, which is a bit tedious.
Understand the Need for Lubricating Car Door Locks
Just like any other metallic surface, car door locks are subject to moisture-related issues like rusting. Further, repeated insertion of the key into the locking configuration and neglectful handling by people makes the mechanism vulnerable to impaction of debris along with moisture, sweat, and contaminants found in the surrounding air.
The only solution for protecting your locks against such issues is to thoroughly clean and lubricate them. An un-lubricated car door lock is more prone to jamming as the grime and moisture tend to get wedged between the locking components. This problem is accentuated in areas with consistently low temperatures or high humidity.
Cleaning Car Door Lock Is Vital
Cleaning the car door lock, before lubricating it, is critical. This ensures that the debris doesn’t end up impacted deep within the lock by the lubricating agent. To access the inside of the lock, you can wrap a dry cloth around the tip of a small screwdriver. Insert this within the car door lock and move it in a circular manner. Now, pour a few drops of rust-removing solvent on the cloth and insert the screwdriver again. Do it once or twice more, using a clean cloth each time. In colder conditions, drying the lock with a hair dryer is recommended to ensure that no crystals form within the mechanism.
Use Silicone Lubricants
A silicone spray lubricant is the best solution for your locks. This type specifically is impermeable to water and sticks to the surfaces inside your locks for a longer period. Make sure to buy a lubricant with a spray straw to access the deeply-positioned parts of the locking system.
You should position the spray straw within the key hole, pushing it until it seems to be stuck. Start spraying the lubricant in short blasts. Follow each spray-shot by a resting period of about two seconds. Next, insert the key in the door lock and move it around repeatedly. This ensures that the lubricant is properly smeared over every part of the locking mechanism. Repeat this process for every car door lock.
Follow Up with Anti-rust Spray
You should wipe the lock after lubricating it since the lubricant shouldn’t be left on the car’s surface for too long. Follow this by applying a coating of anti-rusting solution. A graphite spray is ideal for this purpose, and the application procedure is similar to the one explained above for lubricant. However, don’t insert the straw of this spray too far. If the spraying is too invasive, it may form a coating on the locking cylinder that can cause door-lock jamming rather than preventing it.
Ideally, you should end this project by spraying the silicone lubricant on the small weather stripping around the door lock as well, since this helps prevent freezing.