A lock is a product that's primarily used outdoors, where it's exposed to the elements. Properly maintaining it can help prevent jamming.
Even though many of our products have protective covers over the keyways; dirt, grime, salt, and dust can still find its way into the key cylinder. Because of this, performing scheduled maintenance is very important, just like changing the oil in your car or lubing the chain on your bicycle. There's no hard timeline on when you should maintain your lock, it really depends on the elements and frequency that you use your lock. However, bi-monthly is a good starting point.
If you're already in the habit of regularly lubing your chain, adding your lock to that is a good way to remember as well. For harsher elements like rain, snow, and salt water, you may want to increase the frequency of maintenance to keep your lock in optimal condition and good working order.
While a lot of our locks look very different, the functionality of the locking mechanism is similar.
Specific areas in the locks to apply lube is as follows:
In a U-lock - the shackle tips, the dead bolt locking areas, and the keyway:
In a chain - the keyway, integrated hook area, dial area and insertion area on a combination chain:
In a folding lock - keyway, dials on a combination folding lock, insertion area and steel bar tip:
In a cable - keyway, insertion area, dial area on a combination cable, post and insertion area on a combination cable:
The lubricant that we recommend is Finish Line with Teflon fluoropolymer. Teflon is one of the most slippery substances available and it's not an oil, it's a wax based substance. It doesn't drip but clings to the parts inside the lock.
First, wipe off any areas that you can with a paper towel to remove dirt or grime, you can use a degreaser here if you'd like. Also, remember that standard WD-40 is a solvent and will be used to remove the lubricant and is not a lubricant itself, it will actually dissolve the lubricants.
Now, add two to three drops to the areas to be serviced as illustrated above.
Once you've added the lubricant, lock and unlock your lock so that it coats all of the internal mechanisms. Five times should be sufficient. If it feels a little stiff, feel free to add another drop or two.