Recently had to have a key made for van door lock I had no key for.
Locksmith lubed the lock and it wasn't graphite based. I asked why and he
said because of the high humidity here in the mid-south graphite is NG.
When combined with moisture it hardens like cement. Have to take his word
for it. Well established locksmith. Not some matchbook cover graduate
working out of garage and car.
What did he use? WD-40!
...and the WD-40 thread war is on again :-)
Just an FYI. Just a messenger here.
Where I am (NY state, near Rochester) they salt the roads a
bit too much. Drivers door locks turn to a lump of grey
silver metal if not oiled once or twice a year. I use WD, or
other liquid lube on drivers door locks. Actually, it's one
of the very few times I use 10w30 motor oil on a lock.
I've heard from others about graphite in humid states like
Texas. I've never lived there, so I can't comment.
Looks like I get to start the flame war on WD? Here goes:
WD-40 is the wrong stuff for lubricating anything, and only
an ignoramussy uses WD. How'd I do?
drivers side door gets all the crap from cars going the other way or
from the same way if they drive in the slow lane on a 4-lane road.
Passenger side not a problem unles driven in passing/middle lane on a
My car, a 2007 Nissan doesn't have a passenger door lock. One of
the few things that annoys me about it. They seem to assume that
I will be using the fob thingie. I don't because I already have
enough stuff in my pockets, I don't need any more.
Amen to that- my 05 caravan has 5 doors and 2 locks, drivers door and
hatch. Fob thingie is the head of the ignition key, about the size of a
serving spoon, and 3/8" thick. Keyring loop is so tiny, that if I put it
on the ring, ring won't fit in my pocket without poking me in leg. I
went out and paid an absurd amount for 2 of the 'regular' security keys,
which are also too thick (like all modern car keys), but at least I can
carry they keyring in my pocket. A separate fob, I could almost have
lived with. Now I have to remember to unlock the automagic locks when I
park at a store, so I can open the offside doors to load the packages
when I come back out. A real pain.
Never understood the appeal of fobs and remote locks. You are standing
at the door anyway. I suppose if your arms are full, they may be handy,
but unless your keys are in your hand, you have to juggle packages
anyway. And every car I have ever had with electric locks (the last 5 or
6), at least one door had a solenoid crap out, so you had to lock and
unlock manually anyway. This 05 was young and shiny enough when I got
it, that I paid to have the malfunctioning one fixed, and it was close
to $200. My previous van, a 95 (2 generations back) had a keyhole on
every door. I think they were that way through 01 or 02. Definitely a
poor choice of something to 'decontent' with.
Hmm,why not the passenger side door lock,too? ;-}
CY: That took me many years to figure out. The answer is
that as cars pass each other, the salt sprays up from the
tires. The drivers side faces other traffic. On the
passenger side, it's either parked cars, no cars, or cars
moving at the same speed. So, the drivers side get much more
I use graphite on my outdoor mailbox lock,central
Florida,and have had no
problem with it.
CY: One vote yes, graphite, from central Florida.
And NEVER squirt graphite into an older GM car's ignition lock, the ones
where the ignition key has a resistor set into it's shank.
DAMHIKT, but I did fix that screwup with liberal injections of denatured
alcohol followed by compressed air. <G>
Your locksmith probably used spray dry teflon lube. It sprays as a
liquid, then dries to a teflon powder. The advantage in locks is that
the dry teflon doesn't attract or hold dirt like oil does.
The big problem with graphite in locks is that people use too darn
much of it and it just gets packed into the lock. I ve seen people put
half of one of those squeeze tubes in a lock. Also people use graphite
when lubrication is not the problem. Their are graphite bearing
aresols that are very good for locks but you can overuse those too.
Often all you need to do is run a pencil lead (graphite) on your key
if there is a lubrication problem.
I recommend against using pencil lead as a lubricant. It *does* contain
graphite, but it also contains clay. (The amount of clay is what
determines the hardness.) The clay is abrasive and will not do good
things to the lock.
Don't know if it's still sold. Used to be, you could buy
blue and yellow cans of "Lock Ease, graphited lock fluid". I
hate that stuff. Gets sticky and messy. Well, it did make me
a lot of money at a motel near me that used it every couple
weeks on all their room locks.
Master recommends light oil for padlocks. After all, the usual problem
is corrosion. The argument against oil is that dirt can stick to it.
If you oil your lock, your key may get oily. You drop your key, and it
picks up dirt which ends up in the lock.
Wiping the key could help. Why doesn't somebody invent light oil mixed
with solvent in an aerosol can with a plastic straw? You could use it
to flush dirt out of a lock.
Master says graphite can jam padlocks. I've found that to be true if
you use a pencil to lubricate a car lock and the tip breaks off. I was
glad my neighbors didn't know who had done it. I considered it a
learning experience and used oil on my own car.
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