This has probably been asked before but I missed it. How often should modern, semi-scale and scale locomotives be lubricated? In the case of MTH engines with DCS, a notice flashes up on the hand held that says: "Maintainance Required". I assume that that would mean lubrication, right? So, is that triggered by hours of operation or "scale miles" moved. What about other makes of engines, particularly brass, short run locos. My DCS engines seem to flash that notice about every 1,000 scale miles.
Also, this begs another question: What do you lubricate, periodically on the engine? Certainly driving wheel axle bearings, perhaps the journal box bearings on pilot, trailing or tender trucks. Also, some instructions say to lube the pickup roller bearing as well as the "hinge" for the pickup roller. How about side rods on a steam engine: like on the main driver with several rods connected to it including main rods, side rods and valve gear. Do you also attempt to lube the armature shaft bearings of the motor and the worm shaft bearings of the gear box. This, of course, would require some disassembly of the engine. Finally, the worm and gear, itself, which would require a different type of lube. Diseasels, which may be easier to lube, also would require some lubrication. What parts, besides the obvious axle bearings and side gear bearings, do you lube? In the case of those brass steam engines, some of the newer ones actually have "sprung" driving wheels. I would check and lubricate the vertical slides that the bearings can move up and down, in.
For myself, I have been using a 5W-20 synthetic motor oil for most items requiring oil. I actually have been using a Teflon based oil with that additive. (Slick-50, T-Plus or other brands.) My theory on that use is that the Teflon, which has almost a zero coefficient of friction, just might make the parts last a bit longer. For the "grease" used on the worm and gear, my choice has been a Teflonated white, or Lithium grease.
Okay, so with about 50 engines, or so, on the layout and the shelves, maintenance becomes a PITA routine. How many of you do it at all? If so, how often? Do you keep records of when you lubed certain engines? Do you do this maintenance yourself or do you take the engine in to a repairman for service?