Lubricant for instrument gauges

Having now replaced the snapped speedo and tachometer cables is a horrendous dry squeak / scream from gauges- lubrications for the dried up felt recommended? Wd40; engine oil, vegetable oil, lithium grease?

My temperature gauge used to be a bit reluctant to move. I think I used Electrolube switch cleaner spray to sort it.



You don’t want you use any type of grease as it gets pumped up the cable and into the instrument head causing the needle to fluctuate. I believe you really should use dry graphite but wouldn’t know where to find it. I use 3 in 1 but wipe the cable so that only a thin coating is left.


Plenty around, just google graphite powder.

Don’t know when last the gauges may have actually worked and of course there is always the possibility someone has already ‘fixed’ them
My understanding is there is a felt collar around the connection to the cable- suspect this is where the noise is coming from

I presume you are asking about the speedo and tach, not the other 3 gauges.
Dry or wet graphite used to be sold for cables when cars had cables, and is still sold for locks.
For the instruments themselves, sewing machine oil or 3-in-1 oil in the shaft opening in the hairline gap between the stationary outer part and the inner rotating part.


Yes! Been there, done that. Had to clean the disc and the insides, just a tiny bit of grease or oil in the wrong place gets the needle jumping.

Spray products for cleaning electric equipment would probably work, I think they contain graphite or teflon for lubrication, you can most likely ask about this in some knowledgable electric tool shop.


If Andrew Waugh was still here I guess he might recommend the original horologist’s favourite - Sperm Whale oil.
Step one: clean mechanism by dousing in volatile organic compound of your choice.
Step two: catch a sperm whale…

For those living too far from the sea, you could try your fishmonger: “A pound of whale blubber please and could I have the head for our cat?”
Bring a flatbed…