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Best lubricant for vehicle ignition switch

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Big 86
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:26 pm    Post subject: Best lubricant for vehicle ignition switch Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hello all!

I have an ignition switch that is a little stiff, and was wondering what lube works best to cure this. Anyone have a favorite? Is there any to avoid that might cause harm/damage? May be a dumb question but some newer vehicles have issues with ignition switch failure and I don't want to contribute to this. Currently have WD40 and PB blaster on hand, thoughts on using either of these products? Thanks in advance.
 
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JOB
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Best lubricant for vehicle ignition switch Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I use silicone in my Windstar
 
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Ken-Pa
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Best lubricant for vehicle ignition switch Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Blaster isn't a lubricant - its for penetrating only . WD40 will evaporate fast. Go to an auto parts store & get a good graphite lock lubricant .I've had to use it in the past & it worked for me . Make sure its not your key tho . I have one key for my truck that I have to fiddle with in order to get the ignition switch to turn .HTH ! God bless
 
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Chris(WA)
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Best lubricant for vehicle ignition switch Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I second the graphite. You want a dry lubricant so it does not collect dust and dirt.
 
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barnE
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Best lubricant for vehicle ignition switch Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Graphite says this old timer and my dad, long gone, used the same stuff. Powder form. Stick a pinch in a straw and gently blow it in the lock. Dave
 
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Jack345
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Best lubricant for vehicle ignition switch Reply to specific post Reply with quote

To prevent ignition switch failure its best not to have a large ball of keys hanging from switch, the extra weight will cause the lock and switch to wear faster and if live has rough roads the wear will be quicker. Lub with graphite,if you use too much keys will come out black and wife will not be happy.
 
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brokenot
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:17 am    Post subject: Re: Best lubricant for vehicle ignition switch Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If this is a vehicle ignition, keep in mind that the lock cylinder the key is inserted into isn't actually the switch. When you turn the key, you're actuating a rack/sector assembly that moves a linkage rod. The rod is attached to the actual ignition switch which is located on the upper side of the steering column way down under the dashboard.

Anything binding anywhere along the way can cause stiffness, (for instance the rack/sector teeth, or the surface the rack sector slides back and forth on).

As long as you have a working key, the lock cylinder itself is easy and cheap to change out if it's causing the sticking, but I'd be more suspicious of the other bits involved. (The markings in red on this drawing don't illustrate anything I was trying to point out...they were already on the drawing that I cut & pasted from another site.)




Wink
 
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Greenday
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:33 am    Post subject: Re: Best lubricant for vehicle ignition switch Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Never use WD-40 in a lock. Ya it will work good when you first spray it in but then wait about a month when it starts gumming up. WD-40 will atract dirt and dust. I like silicone spray or graphite in locks.
 
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DownSouth
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:42 am    Post subject: Re: Best lubricant for vehicle ignition switch Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I used to rub a pencil lead on the rough part of the key, seemed to free it up. But who knows what a pencil lead is made of these days.....
And can you still buy a pencil???
Otherwise, some graphite will do the trick.
 
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Dusty MI
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:30 am    Post subject: Re: Best lubricant for vehicle ignition switch Reply to specific post Reply with quote

brokenot wrote:
(quoted from post at 04:17:32 11/14/11) If this is a vehicle ignition, keep in mind that the lock cylinder the key is inserted into isn't actually the switch. When you turn the key, you're actuating a rack/sector assembly that moves a linkage rod. The rod is attached to the actual ignition switch which is located on the upper side of the steering column way down under the dashboard.

Anything binding anywhere along the way can cause stiffness, (for instance the rack/sector teeth, or the surface the rack sector slides back and forth on).

As long as you have a working key, the lock cylinder itself is easy and cheap to change out if it's causing the sticking, but I'd be more suspicious of the other bits involved. (The markings in red on this drawing don't illustrate anything I was trying to point out...they were already on the drawing that I cut & pasted from another site.)




Wink


You are right. The Ford E van series have this problem. That rod is a very strange shape.
I've had to change a couple.

Dusty
 
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Dan in North Houston
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Best lubricant for vehicle ignition switch Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Graphite is best but I've been using spray silicone for years with good results. And it doesn't create a mess on the key that ends up in your pocket.
 
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Inno
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Best lubricant for vehicle ignition switch Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I think the answer will depend on what type of ignition switch your vehicle has.
Some of them are as in the diagram posted, others are not and there are actual electrical connections up in the steering column.
Either tell us what vehicle you have or find a shop manual with a good diagram so you can see what you are spraying your lubricant in to.
Some GM vehicles use a resistor pellet in the key shaft, lubricant or graphite could very well change the resistance the vehicle "sees" and you may not be able to start your vehicle regardless of how easily the key turns.

When I used to work in an electronics shop many people thought that a quick squirt of WD40 (or whatever else they had within reach) would fix anything. I can't tell you how many cassette decks were ruined when the WD40 got on the belts and slip clutches. There ain't no cleaning that will fix it after that!
 
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Big 86
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Best lubricant for vehicle ignition switch Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Vehicle with stiff ignition switch is a 96 Olds Cutlass Cierra, should have mentioned that in the original post.
 
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wilder11354
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Best lubricant for vehicle ignition switch Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Have to agree that most times, its in the rack and pimion of actuator that causes binding. if its a tilt wheel they are more problem prone to wearing out the rack assembly.
 
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souNdguy
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:43 am    Post subject: Re: Best lubricant for vehicle ignition switch Reply to specific post Reply with quote

i like spray silicone. dry and doesn't colelct dirt / dust, does dispalce moisture.. shouldn't hurt electronics.. and won't stain yer pockets.

soundguy
 
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