Door locks and hinges get a lot of use and can wear out over time. You may wonder if lubricating them will help extend the life of your car door locks and hinges or if they are designed to last without continued maintenance.

Car door locks and hinges are some of the most neglected parts on a vehicle. By the time you realize they need care, they are often causing problems, such as sticking or failing to open and close. Lubricating the locks and car door hinges can prevent issues in the future.

Type of lubricant to use

The lubricant you will use on the car locks and hinges will depend on the material.

  • Graphite lubricant is recommended for car door locks because it won’t attract dust like an oil would, which could damage the delicate components of the lock.

  • Silicone spray is ideal for plastic and nylon or even 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.

Lubricating the car locks and hinges

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.

When lubricating your hinges, remember your doors and the hinges on your gas tank cover unless you have a vehicle with a coverless gas tank. A squirt of WD-40 will keep the hinges free of rust. This lubricant as well as other lubricants come with a long, narrow straw that connects to the container, and all you have to do is press down on the top of the can to apply the lubricant.

Car hood and trunk hinges also need lubrication. You can use the white lithium grease on these areas and spray along the moving parts. Use WD-40 on the latch for the hood after cleaning the area with a clean cloth.

Many door hinges have non-metal parts, so WD-40 or a silicone spray are the ideal options for these areas. A few squirts should keep them working smoothly.

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.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Do You Need to Lubricate Door Locks and Hinges? and was authored by Joyce Morse.


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