Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Lubricate your car door hinges

How to lubricate your car door hinges — which lubricant to use

Since car door hinges are exposed to the elements they can rust, make noise and become stiff and hard to open. When they rust you wind up with a creaky car door that groans every time you open it. If you don’t lubricate your car door hinges, the hinge pin will wear to the point where the door begins to sag no longer lines up with the door strike.

How car door hinges work

Each car door has two hinges; the upper or main hinge and a stabilizing hinge. The main hinge carries the bulk of the weight of the door and usually includes two position stops to hold the door in a partially open position. However, in some vehicles, the door check/door stay contains two detents to act as position stops and limits how far the door can open. Both hinges and the door stay must be lubricated to prevent wear.

lubricate car door hinge

door check

Example of a typical door check/door stay/limiting strap

What happens if you don’t lubricate your door hinges

broken car door hinge pin

The dotted lines show where the hinge pin used to be. Notice the broken remains of the pin at the bottom. The repair will cost around $200 if the shop can find the right hinge pin for your vehicle.

As mentioned above, the upper hinge carries the bulk of the weight of the door, and the door pivots on the hinge pin. Rust buildup causes the hinge pin to wear, which causes the door to sag. When the wear becomes severe, the door will no longer line up with the door strike and the door won’t latch. At that point, you’ll have to replace the hinge pin (if you can find replacement pins) or the entire hinge. Hinge replacement can cost around $250 at a body shop, so it pays to lubricate your door hinges.

How to lubricate your door hinges

Spray white lithium grease is the best product to use to lubricate car door hingslubricate door hinges. It stays in place and is a good metal-to-metal lubricant. Find white lithium grease at any home center or auto parts store. If the door isn’t making creaking noises, simply spray the grease in all the locations shown below. Then open and close the door multiple times to work the grease into the joints.

However, if the door is creaking, use a rust penetrating lubricant (PB Blaster or Liquid Wrench) to wick deep into the joints and hingd pin. Operate the door multiple times to work the penetrating fluid into the hinge pin and position stops. Once the creaking disappears, follow up with a liberal coating of spray lithium grease.

©, 2021 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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