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Frozen doors are annoying, but you easily remedy the si... Frozen doors are annoying, but you easily remedy the situation by following a few tips (Credit: bradleygee, Flickr).
We are asked questions all the time by readers via our comments section or Facebook page. The Car Coach answers them.

Dear Car Coach:

It's that time of year again. Any tips on how to prevent doors from freezing shut? I have a 2003 Dodge Durango and have had problems already. RM

Dear RM:

Plan your attack on frozen locks in advance, before you get stuck out in the cold.
The first thing you should do when encountering a frozen door is to try accessing the car through other doors or the rear hatch if necessary. Jump in, start the engine, and let it run for several minutes. It won't take long for your car to heat up and thus warm the locks on all the doors.

Here are some other quick thawing solutions:

Things You'll Need:
- Matches or lighter
- Hair dryer
- Toilet paper tube or straw
- Lock deicer
- WD-40

1. Heat your key. Sometimes a frozen lock needs a little warmth to get the tumblers moving. Wearing thick gloves, carefully use a match or lighter to heat your key and then insert it into the lock. The heat will melt ice inside the lock and allow you to unlock the door. WARNING: Modern key fobs contain computer chips that are easily damaged. Unless you have a single key, this is NOT a good option.

2. Keep a straw or toilet paper tube handy during winter months. In the event that your lock freezes, place the tube over the lock and warm it with your breath or a hair dryer. This technique may look silly, but it works. Your breath can be all that it takes.

4. Using a hair dryer to heat the key or the lock itself is another good option, but finding an electrical outlet nearby can be a problem. You'll need a long extension cord or a portable hair dryer if your car isn't within reasonable range of an outlet.

5. Prevent your locks from freezing by keeping a can of deicer or WD-40 on hand and spraying your locks at the end of the day. Since most frozen door locks are the result of condensation inside the tumblers, deicer will help keep the condensation from freezing. You can find deicer in most hardware and automotive stores or in gas stations and convenience stores during the winter months.

Warning:

NEVER pour hot water over your lock. This will increase the amount of water inside the lock and result in future frozen locks.

If you think that using a remote is the best solution, think again; doors freeze shut too.

One final tip: cover a rag with WD-40 and wipe the weather strip (rubber door seal) in the evenings to prevent your door from sticking in the morning.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 78 Comments
      Richard Colony
      • 2 Years Ago
      Dear Car Coach - You TOTALLY ignored the topic of frozen "DOORS"!
        sja8800
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Richard Colony
        last of sentence of article covers sticking doors
      • 2 Years Ago
      Here's my simple article to unlock frozen doors: Apply heat or anything that will melt the ice without damaging the automobile. Can I have a job as a writer now?
      clarkkentdlyplnt
      • 2 Years Ago
      Never use WD40 on rubber seals. Vaseline is a much better approach
      Giocalfa
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oil + Rubber ? Definitely not a good idea !!! Oil inside the lock ? Another not so good idea !!! There is a proper lock lubrication product -> Dry Graphite ( powder ) !
      Nichole
      • 2 Years Ago
      If you think Jamie`s story is good,, one week ago my sister's boyfriend also brought home $4171 just sitting there seventeen hours a week in their apartment and they're neighbor's step-mother`s neighbour has been doing this for 3 months and brought in more than $4171 parttime from their laptop. applie the information on this site Great60.com
      • 2 Years Ago
      This person never mentiond that her car door locks were froze. She actually said her Doors Were Freezing Shut. This is a big difference. First try entry thru other doors. To unfreeze doors there are two options 1) pound with your fish around top and right side of doorr at seam (not recommender for most people) 2) Purchase a rubber mallet and use in the same manner as the fist option. The mallet when tapping gently and several times will not cause damage to your vehicle. Just be sure to not leave the rubber mallet in the car.
        rhans43832
        • 2 Years Ago
        Excuse me...I don't have a fish anymore, it could not take the pounding.
      mauzbiz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Partially fill a baggie or zip lock bag with hot water and press it up against the keyhole for half a minute. Heat will be conveyed to the mechanism and it should be deiced. Even if you are at a parking lot somewhere (at work or shopping mall), hot water would be available. Just remember to carry that empty baggie with you during the winter just in case. There is also a novelty light item available for your keyring that heats up a metal probe as a lock deicing option.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Who uses a key to open a car door anymore ? Ever heard of a remote ? My cars are over 10 years old and I have remotes. The issue is the water freezing the door gaskets. WD40 works.
      HELLRAISER
      • 2 Years Ago
      My motorcycles don't have doors. Or locks.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @HELLRAISER
        That's certainly a problem that hasn't been addressed. And I wouldn't even know where to begin in your situation. Anyone out there that can help this gentleman? Sorry, would have to put a lot of thought into your situation. Meanwhile, have a good weekend.
        joyceherb
        • 2 Years Ago
        @HELLRAISER
        But do they have windows??
        • 2 Years Ago
        @HELLRAISER
        True
      vtmilitia
      • 2 Years Ago
      Don't spray hot water on your windows to melt ice off. Oh well,give it a try if you don't believe me and let me know how it worked out for you.
      • 2 Years Ago
      That is sooo true. Never ever spray hot water on windows to melt the ice off! Are you in for a surprise that you don't want at all. Trust me! LOL
      Larry OKC
      • 2 Years Ago
      have done the warm/hot water thing all of my life (am going on 50) and have never had any issues with locks refreezing (the problem isnt water inside the lock but covering the lock), windshields cracking and the like...most of these ideas are silly if not dangerous or completely unpractical ( a hairdryer, really? maybe a battery powered one or I know a 12 volt 1 you plug into the car accessory ..oh wait, you cant get into the car) but the WD-40 idea is worth a try it works for a lot of other things.
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