Every time we enter our vehicle, the door latch is activated. It is activated again when we close the door. Doors are potentially opened and closed millions of times during their lifetime, and that means they need maintenance. We rely on the door latch to keep us safe while we ride in the vehicle and to open the door smoothly when we want to enter or exit. Sticky doors are not only aggravating, they can be dangerous. Regular maintenance will prevent this.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- White lithium grease (aerosol can or tub)
- Stiff-bristled brush
- Clean shop rag
Park the car on a flat, level surface.
Open the door as wide as possible and locate the latch. This will be on the back edge of the door, and there will be an opening in most cases.
Apply white lithium grease to the inside of the latch mechanism. This can be done with an aerosol can or a stiff-bristled brush when using a tub of grease. Both work fine: it is simply your preference which to use.
Assure that the grease is worked into the latch by opening and closing the door several times. When satisfied that the grease is well worked in, clean any excess grease from the door with a clean shop rag.
Repeat these steps on all doors as needed.
Tips and warnings
- White lithium grease is available at most hardware and automotive supply stores.
- This procedure should be performed at each oil change interval or as needed.
- Never use a general automotive grease or a graphite-based product as they can stain the vehicle's interior and passengers' clothes.
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