A careless step during a routine lubrication could damage a customer's door-lock assembly. Here's how to avoid this potentially costly mistake.
Readers probably would agree that lubricating a common automotive door lock doesn't require great technical skill.
Nonetheless, I have watched an experienced but impatient technician permanently damage a door lock assembly. Patience is the key to performing this valuable little service without incident.
Some tire dealers and service shop operators add value to a job by lubricating a balky or sticking door lock on a customer's vehicle.
One technique is treating the lock with a type of aerosol product called "dry lube," which lubricates without leaving a wet residue. (Reportedly, the wetter the lubricant's residue, the more readily it attracts and holds dirt.)
What's more, experience shows that dry lubricants containing Teflon do a fine job of rejuvenating balky automotive locks — especially on vehicles in the snow belt.
An aerosol can of lubricant usually comes with a thin, plastic tube that snaps into its spray nozzle. The tube directs or aims spray lubricant into the desired place — in this instance, the door lock.
Typically, sliding this plastic tube about one-eighth inch or so into the lock assembly is adequate. Usually, two squirts into the lock and repeatedly operating that lock with the key does the job.