A squeaky door hinge is an annoyance that you have to deal with each and every time you get into your car. Luckily, it also happens to be one of the easiest automotive maintenance problems to deal with. It requires no tools to repair and usually only a few minutes spent kneeling in front of the hinge itself before the issue is resolved.
Why does your door squeak, and how can you deal with it? Read on to find out.
Why Does It Squeak?
Groaning, moaning, creaking and squeaking — these are all typically signs that the part of your vehicle making the noise in question is in need of lubrication, and your door is no different. When it first left the factory, the hinges on your car door were coated in grease in order to help them slide effortlessly. Over time, however, that grease wears away. The hinges also pick up dirt and grime over time, which jam into the mechanism and cause even more noisy friction. Once the grease is gone, the noises start, as metal rubs up against dry metal and the other gunk inside the hinge.
What Can You Do?
The simplest and most obvious solution for dealing with a noisy hinge is to give it some grease. What kind of grease? How much is enough? There are a number of different schools of thought on this subject, but, in general, a multi-purpose automotive lubricant is the right call for dealing with a squeaky door hinge. You want to find a lubricant that comes in a spray bottle to make sure that you penetrate as deep into the hinge as possible. Powdered greases such as graphite might not be able to work their way into all the nooks and crannies in the same way as a propelled liquid grease.
Before you apply the grease, it’s also worth cleaning the hinge itself. Use a paper towel or rag to clear away the grime and grit that has accumulated over the years. Once it’s clean, spray the new lubricant into the unit.
Can You Prevent It From Coming Back?
Grease is going to wear off over time no matter what you do, but there are a few steps you can take to prevent a squeaky door hinge from becoming a chronic problem. The key is to avoid exposing the hinge to moisture, which translates into not leaving your door open for extended periods of time in the snow or rain. If the hinge gets wet enough, it’s possible that it could start to corrode. In which case, the noisiness may become more pronounced and harder to deal with.
A squeaky door hinge can be a nuisance, but it’s a simple, DIY fix.
Check out all the maintenance parts available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on dealing with a squeaky door hinge, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photo courtesy of Morguefile.
Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.