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Oil for locks - Dogbreath
With the cold weather coming, what oil should I use for the door locks? WD40, 3 in 1 or grease?
Oil for locks - volvod5_dude
The locksmith where I work recommends a small amount of WD40.
Oil for locks - Dynamic Dave
The locksmith where I work recommends a small amount of WD40.

The problem with using WD40 is,

a) it doesn't take long to dry out, thus needing a further application.
b) You risk washing out any grease the manufactuer puts in place to lubricate the lock.

Personally, I would initially use WD40 to free up the lock mechanism, then dip the key either in oil or grease and then insert the key in and out of the lock a few times, each time re-dipping the key into the jollop.

Oil for locks - CMark {P}
Yup, WD-40. Fit the nozzle extension (thin straw) and use that to open the lock flap (if fitted), then a short (1 sec.) squirt should see you sorted.

Be aware that, depending on your model of car, there is a risk of staining the door trim on the inside as the WD-40 can shoot straight through the lock and onto the door trim panel which can stain through if it is a wicking-type fabric material. I have seen it happen.

If you are concerned about this, spray some WD-40 into a suitable container (such as the cap) and dip the key into the liquid. Then with a drop on the key, run it into the lock several times. Clean the key each time with a lint-free soft cloth.

PS do not use oil or grease as dirt will cling to the residue and will clog up the lock barrel in the long run.
Oil for locks - Mike H
When I was a young lad (late 1960s), Holts used to sell a non-sticky oil specifically for locks, in small aerosol cans. I believe also that the lock de-icer contained a lubricants as well. I know this because of my saturday job in Halfords!
Oil for locks - Peter D
Yes WD$0 but only a short burst one secong is far too long. Have a cloth ready incase ir runs down your paintwork.


Oil for locks - jc
The best recommendation is absolutely clean and dry but not normally feasible on a car.
Oil for locks - Toad, of Toad Hall.
I use WD40. When I top up the oil sometimes I'll dip the key and work it in and out...

I only bother with drivers side.

These are my own opinions, and not necessarily those of all Toads.
Oil for locks - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}
Rub a soft pencil on the key and the graphite will provide a dry lubricant.
However if the intent is to keep out water / ice WD40 is probably the best bet.
Oil for locks - Bats
I use a dry lube teflon stuff that is sold for lubricating bicycle chains. Comes in a little bottle - shake it before use then drip it on the key and work it into the lock a couple of times. Seems to work quite well. I use it on the door hinges too. Using normal mineral oils seems to attract crud that forms a nice fine grinding paste after a time. This stuff evaporates but seems to leave behind a good lubricant.
Oil for locks - eMBe {P}
check out the advice given by Cyd (well qualified car designer, engineer) at

Oil for locks - CMark {P}
Here is a excerpt from a Land Rover Technical Bulletin for DEFENDERS 1991 LD 001:

All exterior keyholes should be masked prior to using dewaxing solvents on the vehicle.

During the PDI and subsequent services a small quantity of water dispersant/ lubricant should be injected into all exterior locks...

Should any high pressure water tests be carried out on the vehicle, all exterior keyholes should be masked.

-------end quote-------

In the case of these locks, we used WD40.

Oil for locks - CMark {P}
PS forgot to say that exactly the same (early 1991) instruction was issued for Discovery and Range Rover. Bulletin Numbers LJ 001 Item 6 and LH 001 Item 9 respectively.

Oil for locks - Cyd
Sorry C - the instructions for New Range Rover specifically told dealers NOT to put WD40 or similar in exterior locks. A small 2g tube of special lock grease can be bought from LR dealers for locks.

I wrote those instructions in 1994. If they've been changed then it goes against the engineers (my) advice (and that of the lock supplier).

For the DIYer a spray can of white grease is best. WD can be used to free up a gritty or stuck lock, but follow it up in a day or two with grease.
Oil for locks - CMark {P}
Hi Cyd,
no need to apologise my friend. In fact, thanks to your advice, we won't be messing up our HuF locks on our Series 2 Range Rovers, Mercs, BMWs and Volvos with plain old WD40.

Can you remember who supplied the pre-94 Land Rover locks? IIRC also a major and well known supplier, though I have forgotten the name. Were HuF locks also fitted to Discos and Defenders after 1994?

My posting above is from 1991 Service Bulletins and thus pre-dates your info. No further mention is made of lock lubrication in any Land Rover Service Bulletins up to the end of 1993 (when I changed jobs and moved out of Land Rover Export Service).

If you're wondering why I have all this old Land Rover information to hand, it is because I have got it all down from the attic to read up about rebuilding the V8 and LT77 gearbox in my rally car:-)

One of the (many) problems we had in Africa was dust ingress which also affected the locks (though not too badly). A one-second blast of WD40 during routine service (every 3000 miles in adverse operating conditions) was just what was required to free them up again. I have to admit I still rather shudder to think what would have happened in Tanzania if we had been filling the locks with special grease (although I am sure the HuF locks exceeded all the relevant Land Rover/ BMW specs and tests including dust ingress).

Coming back to Dogbreath's initial question: what type of car do you have?

PS I would just like to say I will be off-line for 5 weeks as from tomorrow as we are going on our family hols.
Oil for locks - Cyd
The name of original Disco / Defender lock supplier is on the tip of my tongue. I'll come back to you if I remember it. Disco II was Valeo. HuF locks never made it onto other LR products.

Using WD40 in Africa was probably working because you were doing it frequently and you were washing out dry dust. I would subtend the view however that had you used grease you could have serviced the locks less frequently.

The important thing though is that you were servicing them. Most people just don't bother (and it won't get done at low cost service outlets either) and so wonder why they freeze or sieze.
Oil for locks - CMark {P}
Hi again Cyd,
we were a low cost service outlet in Tanzania. The biggest LR dealer in the world (at the time) and the official labour rate was £1:50 an hour! And this was after I had pushed through with the local management a 100% increase!

"Blessed are the cheese makers".
Oil for locks - John S

I've used the 'spray grease' rather than white grease. Seems to be somewhere between WD40 and white grease - leaves more of a residue than WD40, but less heavy than white grease, which I'd thought was a bit sticky for locks. Have to say it's gone into the BMW after the locks got stiff last winter, and that's been fine since.


John S
Oil for locks - Cyd
Spray grease is certainly an acceptable solution. Indeed it is probably better for locks which have not seen lubrication for some time. It's a little "thinner" when sprayed and will get into the workings better, great for locks that get used frequently, just refresh more often.

WD40 is also excellent for washing out neglected locks - it's just that once its dried out it only leaves a thin film behind.

I would try to stick to white grease for locks which get little use (eg boot lock, passenger door or even drivers door on cars with remote operation CDL). Being slightly "thicker" it will resist washout better. White grease is also non staining - better in case any excess gets transfered off the key to your clothes.

The object of the exercise is to fill the space around the tumblers with lubricant thus preventing water & dirt taking up residence and causing corrosion (or freezing) and eventual siezure. Exactly which lubricant is less important.
Oil for locks - Doc
I have used Waxoyl (from an aerosol) which seems to last well.
Oil for locks - Paul Mykatz-Tinks
how long have you been doing that? I thought it turns hard after a while?
Oil for locks - Doc
It does solidify over time, but as it is basically wax, it does not cause any problems and continues to lubricate.
Oil for locks - Cyd
Hhhhmmmm.... not convinced. Sorry, but you won't ever catch me putting waxoyl into locks. If I ever get the chance though, I'll set up some long term tests to see if it works.

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