The analog sticks on the PlayStation 3 (PS3) controller can become stiff and difficult to press. In most cases, parts of the controller have become damaged and your only option is to replace the controller. In some cases, you can extend the life of the controller by lubricating the sticks. Only non-conducting lubricants should be used on the controller.
Remove all five screws on the back of the PS3 controller. Remove the back of the casing from the controller, exposing the interior.
Remove the battery and rumble pads from the controller. The battery is the plate on top of the circuit board. The rumble pads are the round attachments in the handles of the controller. Do not disconnect anything.
Remove the screw in the circuit board. Removing the circuit board allows you to see the underside of the buttons, direction pad and analog sticks.
Add two drops of non-conducting lubricant in the underside bowl on each analog stick.
Put the circuit board, battery and rumble pads back into place. Reinsert the screw holding the circuit board before putting the battery back into place.
Place the back of the casing onto the controller. Reinsert the five screws to hold the casing together.
Getting a replacement controller through the warranty is always a better option than attempting to repair a faulty controller. Attempt to service the controller only after the warranty is expired and your only other option is to purchase a new one.
Do not add more than two drops of lubricant or you risk having it overflow and leak into the controller when you reinsert the parts. Never attempt to perform any type of repair or maintenance on a PS3 controller that is still under warranty. Any consumer maintenance voids the warranty on the controller.