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6 Critical Places to Lubricate Your Car Before Winter

A little lubricant in the right places can do wonders for your car this winter.

winterize a carShutterstock/ Dmitry Dven

Get Your Car Ready for Winter

It’s cold outside, so hopefully you took the time to winterize your car, getting it ready to run smoothly and hassle-free this time of year. If not, there’s still time. In addition to things like checking your battery and tires, we also recommend lubricating a few spots on your car, things like door hinges and weather stripping. Proper automotive lubricant can prevent binding and freezing and save you money by preventing needless repairs. You can lubricate your car in less than 20 minutes. All you need is dry Teflon spray, spray lithium grease, WD-40, a rag and glass cleaner.

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Lubricate window tracksFamily Handyman

Window Tracks

Spray your car window tracks with silicone spray or dry Teflon. Silicone stays slick even in cold weather, so windows slide smoothly, lessening the wear and tear on your window motors.

Lower the window glass and shoot dry Teflon spray down the front, rear and top window channels on each door. Soak the tracks. Then run the window up and down several times to spread the lube. Finally, raise the window and clean off overspray with glass cleaner.

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Car weather strippingFamily Handyman

Weather Stripping

Spray silicone on all of your car’s weather stripping. Silicone will keep ice from bonding the rubber to the metal doors. That’ll make doors open smoother and may even prevent tears in the weather stripping. Coat all the weather stripping with dry Teflon spray. And then spread it with a cloth. Finish the job by lubing the hood, trunk or tailgate latches with lithium grease. And then spray the door hinges. Operate the latches and doors several times to spread the grease.

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car hood latchFamily Handyman

Hood Latch

Spray aerosol lithium grease on the hood latch mechanism. And use the spray straw to force the lock ‘door’ open. Then inject a quick shot of dry Teflon spray into the lock cylinder. You don’t want to fight a balky hood latch when it’s snowing and you’re trying to add windshield fluid.

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lubricate car locksFamily Handyman

Lock Cylinders

Keep your lock cylinders working smoothly by injecting dry Teflon lubricant spray. And insert your key and rotate the lock to spread the lube. You never know when your remote keyless entry system might let you down.

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car door hinge Family Handyman

Door Hinge

Spray lithium grease on door hinges to keep them opening smoothly and prevent rust. First, wipe the hinge area with a clean rag and spray it with lithium grease. Move the hinge several times to work the grease into the hinge. And be sure to get it into both sides of each hinge. Wipe away the excess to keep it from collecting debris.

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FH05DJA_45413_011 lubricate wd 40 car gas tank lidFamily Handyman

Fuel Tank Door and Gas Cap

Road salt can corrode the gas cap and the door to your fuel tank, leading to rust and making it hard to open. A shot of WD-40 on the hinge a few times a year will keep it opening and closing without issue. The same goes for the gas cap itself. Dirt, grease and corrosion can all make it hard to get the fuel cap off when you need put gas in your car, or make it difficult to get closed up after you fill the tank. Spray some WD-40 on the gas cap’s threading to keep it working smoothly all year long.