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Old 08-11-2011, 05:29 PM
 
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The ignition switch on my car does not turn smoothly. Is it safe to use W40 to lubricate it? Thanks.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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What I have found works well here is to dip the key into ATF, then put the damp but not dripping wet key into the lock.

Different cars feature different levels of integration of the lock and the actual electrical switch, if they are tightly joined WD-40 is one of the few lubes that probably won't cause problems with the switch.

But a small amount of ATF has always worked for me.
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Old 08-11-2011, 08:14 PM
 
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There are better/specific products out there. WD-40 and ATF are going to eventually get "gummy" and make more problems down the road. Every bit of gunk/pocket lint will stick to it inside your ignition tumbler.
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
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What about penetrating oil with graphite sprayed onto the key?
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidt1 View Post
The ignition switch on my car does not turn smoothly. Is it safe to use W40 to lubricate it? Thanks.
before you start running any kind of lube through the switch, and WD40 is fine, take good look at the key first as it may be worn out.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
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Just use a dry lubricant. Some of these come as a spray can and include a small tube (just like WD-40). Some are used when reloading ammo for lubricating the cases before sizing, but there are several out there you can use. You can also use silicone lubricant spray.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbohm View Post
before you start running any kind of lube through the switch, and WD40 is fine, take good look at the key first as it may be worn out.
As stated above, WD-40 is not fine. It will eventually gum up and collect all sorts of unimaginable gunk.
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:39 AM
 
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You'll also find that many ignition lock cylinders (and keys) simply wear out, which is what can be causing the stickiness you're now encountering rather than a lack of lube.

For a lot of car lines, you're better off to get a lock cylinder replacement installed now while you can still move the cylinder to the appropriate position rather than having a lock failure where it cannot be readily rotated to the removal position. On many car lines, the cylinder can be inexpensively replaced at this time, while if you wait and have a failure ... it can be a lot of work to remove the old cylinder.

In any event, it's not advisable to use any oil or wet lube in a lock cylinder ... as posted above, it traps all kinds of dirt and gunk that foul the lock. Dry graphite or a teflon lube are the way to go.
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:41 AM
 
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Graphite in a safe liquid carrier is what you need. It looks like a liquid in an aerosol but it is really just graphite in something that evaporates completely. Don't put anything else in there. Loc-Ease or something like that. A little spray can with a little tube on it.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:00 AM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
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I know in my cars sometimes the steering wheel lock puts a strain on the ignition key and just moving the wheel slightly the ignition switch turns easily. This does not happen all the time as it all depends on the position of the steering wheel when you turn the key off.

Remember you asked for opinions and you got a few and they are all different so you get what you pay for.
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