3-in-1 oil

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ITS_MFRR est. 2010
Anyone have experience using 3-in-1 oil as a lubricant for model railroad motive power and rolling stock? One of my tenders has developed a nasty screech. I don't have any lubricant specifically marketed for model rairlroading, but I do have a bottle of 3-in-1 in the garage. The label makes no mention of any harm to plastics or painted finishes. I'd hate to learn this the hard way. Thanks.

Jason in Colorado.


Long Winded Old Fart
I wouldn't use 3in1 oil unless it was an O scale or G scale engine. I use Mineral Oil on my HO scale. Very sparingly. If you have or had a Baby in the house at one time you probably have some mineral oil.:D You can also use Graphite Powder.


Well-Known Member
Do you have any Dextron III Mercon auto transmission fluid? That stuff is excellent as a lube on all sorts of things because it is safe for plastics and paints. I use it exclusively on my trucks and locomotives, and have done so for seven years now.


Master Mechanic
Whatever you do, don't use 3 in 1! The base in it will damage plastic.

Selector has it right. I've used ATF on my RR stuff for years. Marvel Mystery Oil is good as well.


tranny fluid is also a cleaning agent or detergent if you will;)
i have used 3-1 oil with a toothpick (work great for applying lubricants to small areas) and it seemed to work great:eek: i will now switch to transmission fluid:D

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