One of the biggest things we run into in our area are locks that begin to “work harder” where the “key isn’t turning in them anymore” or “my key just stopped working.” Unfortunately, there are several stores that sell ‘lock graphite.’ In our climate, when using this type of lubrication; in the winter it freezes and in the summer it collects as much dirt as possible.
The simple solution for us to share with our customers is WD-40. It helps to clean out the locks, including the graphite, that has built up (a lot of times due to multiple applications.) One of the main reasons is that WD-40 will evaporate after you use it to clean out your locks. [I don’t suggest using it in your ignition cylinder, if your ignition is having problems with a key then it is probably due to something much more serious. I would recommend taking it to a locksmith to check and see if the problem is key or lock related.]
A customer called us the other day to have us come open her vehicle for her. While on the phone, she told me that she had the key in her hand and although it had worked the lock earlier it had stopped working. She went on to explain that she had had this problem before, when the lock had water in it, and she simply had to wait for it to dry out then the key worked again. After hearing her explain this, I told her to try some WD-40 and call me back if it didn’t work. She was skeptical, but agreed to give it a try, then she called me back to thank me and let me know that it had indeed worked. This is just one example.
If you have had a file cabinet or a t-handle on a canopy or any lock that you haven’t used a key for in a while and you have the key, try using WD-40 to free up the lock. I simply can’t tell you how often this is the solution to a problem. We have had customers come into our shop when a key is ‘no longer’ working in the trunk and I can’t tell you how many times a squirt of WD-40 to clean out the lock has done the trick.
Of course, this is not ALWAYS the solution to the problem. Sometimes a key is so worn down that it stops working or it starts to wear down the lock cylinder so that it no longer works. In these cases, the a key to code or rebuilding the cylinder is the solution.
For other WD-40 uses, visit their site here.
© 2014, Shauna. All rights reserved.