What's the black goo ozzing from Judith's doors?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Aug 01, 1995

Dear Tom and Ray:

My husband and I have a 1987 Nissan Stanza, purchased new, which has developed a problem that none of the mechanics, including the dealer, have been able to cure. The doors are all leaking a greasy, black ooze. It's coming from the holes where the locks latch to the body and it collects on the latch posts, the doors, and anything that comes into contact with them. We have lots of clothes that would be in the rag bag now save for the fact that I found a product that really removes this mess. Do you have any idea what this substance is and, more importantly, how do you stop it from oozing? This car has given us many miles of good service, and we would like to continue driving it. Thanks.

RAY: It's got to be grease, Judith. The door is connected to the car by nothing but the hinges. There are no oil passages in there, no coolant passages, no grease fittings or transmission oil reserviors in the doors. Somebody probably just overgreased the latch mechanisms.

TOM: Someone may have reponded overzealously to a complaint you made about the doors sticking or freezing. Or, perhaps the nice guy who changes your oil every three thousand miles does you a little favor and greases the door latches every time. But however it got there, there's too much grease in there now and that's why it's oozing out onto your Calvin Kleins.

RAY: And the way to get rid of it is to take the doors apart. The inside panel comes off, and exposes all of the mechanical parts. My guess is they'll be dripping with black ooze, which can be wiped off. Then someone can re-grease those parts more judiciously.

TOM: If it turns out nobody has ever greased the latches, write back to us. If you've discovered a car door here that's actually manufacturing grease, we'd like to go in with you on the patent.

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