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Steering Column Lock Stiff. OK to lubricate ?

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onthecut   
Wed May 27 2020, 08:39am
Joined: Sep 20 2016
Member No: #2793
Location: West Mids
A degree of stiffness has crept into the igniiton key operation and I am pondering what to do about it. I had hoped it was an old fashioned set up where it was possible to replace the elctrical switch part and solve most of the issue, but (surprise, surprise), I see that isn't so.

I have come across one internet post that advocates simply using WD40 down the barrel to relieve stiffness. Has anyone tried this ? Does it work, or does it adversely affect any electrics or non-metal parts within ?

Any thoughts, or other options most appreciated.

Mike.
cruiserphil   
Wed May 27 2020, 09:01am

Joined: Jan 24 2010
Member No: #38
Location: Celbridge
Hello Mike,

I have noticed the same. On one of the cars it gets worse in warmer weather. I tried a careful shot of silicon lubricant in the barrel but it didn't improve it noticeably. Once when I started the car I didn't notice that the key didn't return at all. I was trying to figure out why the windows wouldn't open, the ventilation wasn't working and there was a funny noise from the engine compartment (starter still engaged). Then I went to shut it down and restart and found the key still in the start position. This was during hot weather.

I'd be interested in other member's views/solutions.

Best regards,

Phil C.
DSDan   
Wed May 27 2020, 10:17pm
Joined: Apr 03 2018
Member No: #3488
Location: Auckland
Not sure about modern cars particularly but can recall advice I was given in the olden days. Basically try to avoid putting oil in a lock as it will sit there and attract more and more dirt and become grungier as time goes on. Plus, too much and it will seep out and run down.

I was told to get a pencil and rub it up and down the key to get some graphite on it. Then when this is inserted it should lubricate the inner workings of the lock.
The good thing about this is as you work the key/ lock more and more the graphite will continue to be broken up and goes more powdery, so eventually diminishes instead of hanging around and getting sticky. Can't guarantee this will solve it but hope it helps.
1 User said Thank You to DSDan for this Post :
 cruiserphil (28 May 2020)
mixolydian   
Thu May 28 2020, 08:49am
Joined: Jan 03 2018
Member No: #3382
Location: South
I had similar advice years ago about not spraying oil into the lock barrel. I must confess that I've always followed it and given the amount of dust that aggregates in my car interiors, I'm keen to avoid the ignition barrel becoming a trap for it!

Slightly left-field, but I occasionally use a product called Fast-Fret on car keys. It's designed for keeping guitar strings and frets in good condition, which includes suppressing rust and general grime removal. It's a dry lubricant that you apply like a Pritt Stick and simply wipe off any excess / residue.

Graphite is always a good shout - you can get products like Lock-Ease with an evaporating carrier, meaning only the graphite is left in the barrel when the carrier gasses-off.
C6Dave   
Thu May 28 2020, 08:51am

Joined: Oct 01 2009
Member No: #1
Location: Northumberland
DSDan wrote ...

I was told to get a pencil and rub it up and down the key to get some graphite on it. Then when this is inserted it should lubricate the inner workings of the lock.
The good thing about this is as you work the key/ lock more and more the graphite will continue to be broken up and goes more powdery, so eventually diminishes instead of hanging around and getting sticky.

You can buy Graphite lubricant for locks eg: - Click Here -

You need to be careful though as it can get everywhere.... (been there)
Website
2 User said Thank You to C6Dave for this Post :
 cruiserphil (28 May 2020) , DSDan (01 June 2020)
DSDan   
Thu May 28 2020, 10:28pm
Joined: Apr 03 2018
Member No: #3488
Location: Auckland
Yes, Dave, might be showing my age there!

When I started messing about with cars in the Seventies if you wanted graphite you'd have to borrow a HB pencil off a kid for a couple of minutes and scrap it up and down your car key.

Nowadays if you want graphite you go online, pay a couple of quid by card and it's with you next morning. Times have changed!
FraserG   
Thu May 28 2020, 10:51pm
Joined: Jan 05 2015
Member No: #2011
Location: Auckland
Hi DS Dan,

Indeed, times have changed...

Do you have a Corvette C6 as well?

Your garage looks wonderful. My wife sadly controls my Citroen ownership to one at a time. I have a C6 same age as yours and it's immediate predecessor was a 1988 CX GTi 5 speed which I did not want to quit, but it wasn't negotiable!

Where in Auckland are you? I'm in Devonport. My C6 has now done 180,000 km, is Fer Gris with beige leather and a sunroof. NZ new in March 2008.

e mail icon

Cheers Fraser
2 User said Thank You to FraserG for this Post :
 cruiserphil (29 May 2020) , DSDan (02 June 2020)
DSDan   
Mon Jun 01 2020, 11:55pm
Joined: Apr 03 2018
Member No: #3488
Location: Auckland
Hi Fraser,

Sorry for slow response but went away over the weekend in a campervan for a break.
You have a NZ new C6? Wow, they're rare enough as it is but a local one must have been very lonely. Don't know how many they sold new here but I'm sure it wouldn't have been many.

No Corvette in my garage, that is just bit of a joke. I found whenever you look online for anything you have to plough through the Corvette C6 listings before you stumble on mention of a Citroen C6.

I'm in Ponsonby and would love to pop round sometime and compare cars. I'm a keen Cars & Coffee participant at Smales Farm as well and often meet another C6 there. I wouldn't want to hijack this thread so feel free to drop me a PM. Will look forward to some C6 chat.

Regards,

Danny

2 User said Thank You to DSDan for this Post :
 FraserG (02 June 2020) , cruiserphil (03 June 2020)
 

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