I have locks on few vehicles that are in need of lubricating. I had read/heard of several options, and I wanted to see what are the common methods and techniques.
Graphite powder. Quite a few people suggested it, including parts shop salesman, so I gave it a try. At first I didn’t realise it was a dry powder (I assumed it was some sort of graphite-based grease), so I ended up getting my hands dirty, but did not get much of an improvement in the end. I could not puff it into the lock itself as the tube opening was too large for the lock slit, so I got some on my key, and tried to get as much as possible inside the lock cylinder. Is there a good method of application of graphite powder? Does it even work as good as it should? I don’t see how it would protect the lock from the elements (which would be an issue with cars with exposed locks, and with motorcycles).
Liquid lubricant. Obviously, using something like general-purpose spray lubricant would not do much good, as it would just run off out of the lock cylinder and make a mess. However, I had seen some advice about using some sort of sticky spray (would lithium grease work?) that could work.
Grease. Is it possible to use some sort of clean grease for the locks? If it is, would putting the grease on the key and working it inside the lock be sufficient, or is it better to take the lock cylinder out in order to properly lubricate its innards?