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Seized and Frozen Locks
Lock cores are one of the most neglected parts when it comes to preserving your racks. There are a few different ways locks can be affected by the elements, if overlooked and not cared for they can eventually cause some unwanted issues. Over time locks can and will corrode, causing them to seize up stiffer than… well, you get the idea. Honestly, what it comes down to is basic life practices “Preventative Care”. If your rack system is not attended to for an extended period of time, chances are you'll have some unintended consequences down the road.
Wait! Corroded and Seized locks isn't the only lock issue you might encounter. Another annoying lock issue that plagues a portion of the population are those of you who live in cold climate locations. You guessed it! Locks will literally freeze up! Now, if either of these situations occur in your reality bubble, we have a few relatively easy tips to help prevent and possibly resolve the issues at hand.
Typically, these issues occur from not doing your due diligence in maintaining your rack system. We know most people have an abundance of things going on in your lives and the last thing you’re thinking about is the locks on your rack system, until the issue becomes a stressor. This is where we reveal our huge revelation! The recommended preventative care for locks is... WHITE LITHIUM GREASE. Yes folks, White Lithium Grease does a great job in helping prevent locks from freezing, corroding and seizing up. The secret is now out! If you use your rack system year-round you should plan to grease your locks at least once a month, or at lease check them a few times a month to ensure they’re functioning properly. Note: If you live in colder climate locations where it gets below 32 degrees another good option is biobased white lithium grease.
Disaster strikes! Locks that already compromised and seized up, you would typically want to spray the lock with the White Lithium Grease lubricant and allow some time for it to sit and penetrate the lock. Then, place a few drops of the same lubricant on each side of the key, and insert the key into the lock. The key may need to be installed and removed several times to loosen up the pins in the lock. Repeat this process a few times if necessary.
Unfortunately, sometimes your locks reach the point of no return. When your locks reach this point where the lubricant isn’t affective you may have to drill out the lock, which can be risky proposition. There’s a high probability of damaging the lock housing (which is where the lock inserts into) if not done with precision and care. So, the key to your locks and racks longevity is “PREVENTATIVE CARE”.
Cold Climate Care
Those hardened humans living in the northern cold climate locations, occasionally deal with their locks literally freezing up. This annoying problem can cause a slew of mild nightmares! For instance, getting to the mountain, unable to unlock your cargo box, or ski carrier, or vice versa after a long day of skiing and snowboarding your locks freeze up not allowing you to lock or unlock your rack system. Either way, not a good start or end to the day!
Fat Bike Riders known as “FatBiking” could potentially run into this same issue with their bike rack locks freezing up. If you use our “Preventative Care” technique by using biobased white lithium grease it'll help these issues. Biobased Lithium Grease works great in below freezing temperatures.
Now, if you’re locks are already frozen, you might freak out a little bit and maybe even call it quits for the day depending on your resolve, or you can give these ingenious tips a try:
1) Heat the Key – Heating the key when your lock is frozen can help melt any ice has formed in the lock cylinder. Be safe, use winter gloves as the key can get hot when trying this method. You may have to repeat this method a few times to succeed.
2) Spray De-icing Formula – If you live in some of the northern states, chances are you may have some de-icing formula during the winter months for situations like this. Spraying de-icer directly into the lock should help melt any ice in the lock allowing your lock and key to function properly.
3) Hand Sanitizer/Rubbing Alcohol – simply coat your key with hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol and insert the key gently into the frozen lock, but don’t force it. The last thing you want to do Is compound the problem by forcing the key and breaking the key or breaking the key off in the lock.
All in All, lock issues can be annoying and stressful but can be avoided with a little PC!
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