Is your car squeaking in all the wrong places? Check out the ‘whats’ and ‘wheres’ on how to silence your car once and for all.
If you keep a car long enough, at some point you’re going to start hearing squeaks and groans upon opening things like your car’s door, the hood, the gas tank lid and the trunk. Luckily with the application of a few lubricants you can quiet your car and avoid costly repairs.
The lubricants we will be discussing in this article are :
WD-40 – A very popular penetrating spray for light-duty lubrication and freeing up sticking or metal assemblies. Available at most hardware and auto parts stores.
White Lithium Grease – Great for metal-to-metal joints like hinges and latches. Same availability as above.
Graphite Lubricant – The right choice for locks. It’s a dry compound and thus won’t attract dirt and dust to mechanisms like an oil would. Also available at most hardware stores and auto parts stores.
Here are four known “squeak areas” that mechanics suggest you lubricate periodically:
- Lock Mechanisms – Most of today’s cars have electronic locks but if you have a key lock on your car’s doors, it should be lubricated periodically. You can keep these delicate mechanisms moving freely with a blast of dry graphite powder. Spray a little into each lock and move the cylinder with your key several times to work the graphite into the mechanism. Make sure to do this to both of your doors, and your trunk lock too.
- 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. Be sure to wipe away any excess to keep it from dripping onto your car’s finish.
- Hood Hinges – Lift up the hood of your car and you will see two scissor-like hinges holding the hood to the car body. Lubricate these mechanisms with white lithium grease. Do this at least twice a year so the mechanism works freely. Be sure to close and open your hood a few times to work the lubricant into the mechanisms after you apply the lubricant.
- Hood Latch – Your car’s hood latch will be at the front of the car and it secures the hood in the down position. It typically grabs a circular metal loop that is located on the hood assembly. These latches get dry and make unlatching the hood difficult. Locate the latch (there may be two) and give it a good blast with the white lithium grease. Then open and close the hood a few times to work it in. Lubricate your trunk latch the same way.
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