Greasing Parts

A little dab helps things work right

While regular changing of the motor oil and filter is the path to take for long engine life, it's also important not to forget the multitude of other wear items that require regular lubrication that are in, on or attached to a vehicle. Any time two surfaces rub together they wear each other out. Without the precious molecules of grease in between them, the two halves can stick, squeak, groan, wear out before their time, or fail altogether. While grease comes in many different flavors, the important part is to get it in between the parts, and use the right grease for the job.

An added benefit to keeping surfaces greased is protection from moisture, corrosion and rust. Steer clear from lightweight all-purpose lubricants. They might work temporarily, but they don't stick around long enough to repel moisture and provide long lasting protection against friction, wear, and moisture. Although there are plenty of so-called miracle products out there that make fantastic claims, there are a few old greasers that have been hanging out a long time and know how to get the job done.

Anointed King of Grease

The undisputed king of grease for miscellaneous automotive applications is white lithium grease. The obvious lubrication advantages are augmented by its ability to repel moisture, excellent retention, low odor, and corrosion protection. White lithium grease comes in a variety of consistencies. The best pairing to get for keeping things moving smoothly is a tub of the pasty thick stuff, and a can of the spray variety. Use the paste on heavy-duty areas like door hinges and hood latches. The spray can is perfect for smaller spots. The small straw on the spray can helps with application in tighter areas such as door latch mechanisms.

Between the two types, everything can get covered. Hinges will keep hinging, latches will unlatch, seats will slide in their tracks, and hoods, hatchbacks, and doors will open and close as they were designed. Another good lubricant to have around is a spray can of silicone. Silicone is excellent at repelling moisture and is therefore perfect for keeping door and trunk locks from getting sticky. Remember that every vehicle is different and presents its own lubrication challenges. Always check the owner's or service manual for chassis lubrication points, intervals, and recommended type of grease.

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