There are few things more frustrating than a rusted screw that just won’t budge, or a bolt that’s so tight, you can’t get it loose no matter how hard you try. That’s when it’s time to break out the penetrating oil. But what is penetrating oil, and how does it work?
Penetrating oil is a chemical lubricant that helps loosen rusty or frozen bolts and screws. It works by creeping into the small spaces between the threads of the screw or bolt, thereby freeing it up.
In this article, you’ll learn some common home and auto repairs that penetrating oil can be used for. Read on to learn more!
Frozen Door Hinge
If your door is sticking and won’t close properly, chances are the hinges are frozen. To fix this, simply penetrate oil onto the hinges by spraying and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, open and close the door a few times to work the oil into the hinges.
Rusted Door Knob
At some point, nearly everyone has dealt with a stuck door knob. Whether it’s due to rust or simply tight tolerances, getting the knob to turn can be a frustrating experience. However, there is an easy way to loosen a stuck door knob: just apply some penetrating oil and wait a few minutes.
The oil will help to lubricate the moving parts and break up any rust that may be holding the knob in place. Once the oil has had a chance to work its magic, try turning the knob back and forth until it comes loose.
If your window is stuck shut (or stuck open), squirt some penetrating oil around the edges of the frame. Then, try opening or closing the window to work the oil into the mechanism.
Frozen Brake Calliper
If your brake calliper is frozen in place, you won’t be able to brake properly. To unfreeze it, remove the calliper from the car and soak it in penetrating oil overnight. In the morning, try moving it back and forth until it loosens up.
Rusted Battery Terminal
A corroded battery terminal can make starting your car a real pain. To clean it up, spray some penetrating oil onto the terminals and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, use a wire brush to scrub away any corrosion before reconnecting the battery cables.
Stuck Lug Nuts
Over time, lug nuts can become fused to your wheel studs, making them extremely difficult (if not impossible) to remove without stripping the threads. To loosen them up, spray each lug nut with penetrating oil and let them sit for at least an hour before trying to remove them again.