I've never lubed one as a preventive measure, but I sure lubed alot to fix them. To free them I've always used penetrating oil and worked them back and forth, it seems they freeze to the housing somewhere. It would be hard to get white lube inside the housing. I might soak my cables in motor oil inside a plastic pipe to get a few more years from them if the still move after sitting outside for years.
Here's a neat trick I used, it works for lubing any cable.
Take a 1 foot long piece of any hose (clear is better) that has the inner diameter close to the cable mounting surface outside diameter (the round area at the end that sits against the frame mounting bracket).
Fit the hose on the cable end and hang it vertically above an oil catch can. You may start by filling the hose with wd40 or similiar and wait for the stuff to work it's way down the cable. It will start dripping out the other end eventually. Jiggling the cable will help to get the old crap out.
I used thick gear oil (skunk oil) for final oiling. After you get the cable free with WD40, fill the hose again (this time wiith gear oil) and let it sit for hours. The gear oil is thick and will take some time to flow through.
I did all my original cables this way and they turned out like new.
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