Frozen car door locks? A few tricks that may help you in a pinch

January 11th, 2016 by

Untitled design

Some say prevention is the best medicine — and in the case of frozen door locks, we’d have to agree!

One of the simplest ways to avoid this pesky problem is to spray a little WD-40 or graphite-based lubricant on your locks early in the winter driving season. If an especially frigid forecast is in your future, you may want to reapply some WD-40 before temps bottom out.

If you do happen to wake up one morning and find that your locks are frozen, try one of these trusty solutions:

  • It may seem obvious, but check to see if you can gain access to your vehicle through one of its other doors. Depending on the direction of the falling snow and wind, one side of your vehicle may be in better shape than the other. If you are able to open another door, climb in and turn your car on. Frozen locks will likely thaw after your car has had a chance to warm up.
  • Use an aerosol de-icer, available at many hardware and automotive stores. Keep in mind that planning is essential. Many people make the mistake of keeping these commercial de-icers in their cars, but if your locks are already frozen, this won’t do. Instead, keep a can at home and maybe even in your desk drawer at work.
  • If you don’t have any de-icer handy, place your thumb or hand firmly against the lock and hold it in place for a few minutes. You may have frosty fingers (hopefully you’re wearing gloves), but your body heat may be enough to do the trick.
  • One last option: Consider placing a small dab of hand-sanitizer on the lock. The alcohol-based solution may cause ice to melt, as well.