Ever tried to open your car door on a frosty winter morning only to discover it’s been frozen shut? You might have panicked, frantically pulling at the door handle, but to no avail. Besides waiting for the ice to thaw, what can you to do unlock a frozen car door? We’ll give you some prevention tips and well as tricks for de-icing your car door quickly.
How to Prevent a Frozen Car Door
Preventing a frozen car door lock or handle is simple. Keep your car out of the cold! If you don’t have access to a garage, put a cover over your car to protect it from the elements. If you have neither a garage nor a cover, you can try this life hack for preventing a frozen car lock:
Rub alcohol, hand sanitizer or petroleum jelly on your car key, then stick the key in the ignition and jiggle it around a bit. If you use the jelly, be sure to wipe you car keys off afterward! A substance like rubbing alcohol or Vaseline can help prevent frozen car door locks. Who knew?
How to Unfreeze a Car Door
How do you melt the ice off your car door handle in a jiff? There are several methods you can try, though some reportedly work better than others.
Tip #1: Use an Ice Scraper
If it’s only your handle that is frozen, and not the door seal or door lock, you should be able to use an ice scraper. If you don’t have an ice chipper, you can use a similar plastic object, like a credit card.
Tip #2: Pour on Water
Fill a pitcher with lukewarm water and pour it over your frozen door lock or door frame. Be sure not to use hot water, which can actually break your windshield because of the temperature difference.
Tip #3: Blow With a Hair Dryer
Hair dryers aren’t just for creating the perfect holiday party ’do this season, they’re also for de-icing the driver door! If you have a blow dryer that doesn’t need an electrical outlet or own an outdoor extension cord, you can use your favorite beauty appliance to help melt the ice on your car. If it’s a frozen lock that need thawing, some people suggest placing a toilet paper tube between the dryer and lock to help funnel the air.
Tip #4: Buy a Lock De-Icer
There are several lubricants on the market meant to help melt the ice on your car. You can buy a spray lubricant, like a de-icer spray or lock de-icer, at most auto shops and big box stores.
When cold weather hits during the winter months, you can be sure to expect some ice on your car. But now that you know how to unfreeze a car door or lock, you’ll be totally prepared! Be safe out there, drivers.