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Frozen door latches

what is recommended for lubricating striker latches on my friends 1995 geo prizm. she lives hear in the frozen tundra of northern ohio and always has problems with the doors not latching closed. she finds it difficult driving a standard while holding the door closed and steering wiht her knees…she dismissed wd40 says its awater based and makes things worse. I suggested a bungy cord…that didnt fair well either

correction…she lives “here” in the frozen tundra of northern ohio

I suggest you clean the latch mechanisms with a brake parts cleaner to remove any debris/lubricants. Then apply a dry graphite lubricant to the mechanisms. Any kind of wet lubricant collects dirt and dust, and when it gets extremely cold it just causes the wet lubricant to become stiff and gummy which prevents the door latch mechanisms from operating correctly.


There’s a nice product called TDL (The Dry Lube) from the makers of P’Blaster. It is a dry lithium lube in a spray can that I like to use for door latches and hinges. The nice thing is it is in a spray that can get to hard to reach places under pressure to really get it in to tight places. Should be available at parts stores and some hardware stores.

You are dealing with a component that if fails could get you killed. There is a “striker plate” (the part that mounts to the body) the only way it can fail is to become out of adjustment or bent.

When you are dealing with the “latch mechanism” (the part in the door) there are springs that break and levers that get bent,not everything is just a “lube” job.

I have replaced many Geo Prizim door latches (why do they fail? they must have met safety standards when new) they give trouble, yours are at the end of their life,the problem is they are expensive,all body parts,window regulators,lock cylindere etc. for the Geo line are expensive,go figure a cheap car with expensive parts.

Sometimes you have to lock the door and then close it. Some cars are bad like that. I have had to reposition the latch by pushing it into the right spot with my finger. It may be in the latched position for some odd reason.

Great tips. I am in the process of using them.