A special kind of surface modified copper nanoparticles was selected as the auto-reconditioning materials to in situ generate a copperized protective film on iron-base metal surfaces under designed tribological conditions. The morphologies and element distributions of the formed film were observed and determined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS). The micro mechanical properties and tribological behaviors were investigated by nano test system and ball-on-disc tribotester. The results show that the morphology of the protective film is smooth, the nano-hardness decreases by 46% and the friction coefficient of the copperized protective film is about 0.10. The forming mechanism of the auto-reconditioning film can be described that the copper nanoparticles deposit on the worn surfaces and form iron-copper alloy film with lower hardness and shear strength, which has better friction-reducing, antiwear and surface-optimizing behaviors.