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About Everything Wiki » Self-Development » How to open a frozen car

How to open a frozen car

03 May 2023, 19:03, parser
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Even residents of regions with not the harshest winters sometimes can't open the car. The reason for this is temperature differences: moisture accumulated during the thaw freezes, tightly grabbing the mechanisms of locks and door seals. As a rule, this happens when we are in a hurry.

How to open a frozen lock

On cars equipped with a burglar alarm, you can open the lock with a key fob. However, at low temperatures, the battery often runs out in it and it becomes useless. Then you have to open the door with a key. And there are three ways.

Don't forget to check all the doors, not just the driver's door. Hatchbacks and SUVs can also be accessed through the trunk.

Method 1. Crumble

If the lock froze slightly and you managed to insert the key into the well, try to crumble the ice inside by rotating the key from side to side. Proceed carefully, do not make much effort. Overdo it — and the remnants of a broken key will be added to the ice jam.

If the driver's door does not give in, try to do the procedure with the passenger door.

Method 2. Warm

If you can't turn the key in the lock, you can try to melt the ice. The easiest thing is to heat the key itself with a lighter.

A more effective option is to insert a thin metal object into the lock and heat it already, transferring heat inside the mechanism. A hairpin, a piece of wire or an unbent key ring will be suitable as a conductor. If there are other cars nearby, try heating the lock with a red-hot cigarette lighter.

What you should not do is pour hot water: in the cold it will immediately cool down and freeze, further aggravating the problem.

Another harmful advice is to blow through the keyhole. The heat of your breath is still not enough to melt the ice, but the resulting condensate will immediately freeze. Moreover, by negligence, you can even stick to the lock with your lips.

Method 3. Defrost

It is most correct to use a special defrosting spray, the so-called liquid key. A small canister only needs to be attached to the lock and press the sprayer a couple of times. The alcohol-based liquid will melt the ice, and the lubricant included in the composition will prevent corrosion and protect against subsequent freezing.

If there is no liquid key at hand, but there is a pharmacy nearby, you can buy alcohol and a syringe and inject the lock: the effect will be the same.

But it's not worth spraying WD-40 and other kerosene-based liquids into the lock. They will not help much against ice, but at the same time they will wash off all the grease from the mechanism.

How to open a frozen door

Unlocking the lock is only half the battle, because to get into the car, you still need to open the door. Because of the larger area, it, or rather rubber seals, freeze to the body much more strongly.

In no case should you pull the handle with all your might: the door is unlikely to budge, but the handle may fall off. To open a frozen door, you need to knock it with your fist around the perimeter and press on it. So you open the sealer, the ice on it will crumble and release the door from captivity.

You can also try to shake the car from side to side.

For hatchbacks and station wagons, try slamming the trunk shut several times, if you can open it, of course. The air flow will push the door from the inside.

How to open frozen windows

There is no special need to open the windows, unless you are going to wipe the side mirrors directly from the cabin. However, in order not to inadvertently spoil the mechanisms of the window lifters, it is better in no case to try to lower the icy windows before the interior warms up.

When the ice melts, the windows can be opened and also treated with silicone grease where the seal fits.

And do not clean the mirrors with a scraper: it leaves scratches and can damage the anti-glare coating.

If your car is not equipped with electric heating mirrors, try to clean them from the ice with warm air. When the car warms up, direct a stream of air from the heater through the open window,

How to keep the car from freezing

  1. Wipe the door seals dry and treat them with silicone grease or spray.
  2. Before putting the car in the parking lot, let it cool down. Ventilate the interior by opening all the doors and trunk so that the moisture evaporates or freezes.
  3. Be sure to treat all locks with a moisture-repellent silicone-based lubricant.
  4. If the locks are constantly freezing, dry them well by putting the car in a warm garage or in an underground parking lot. The car will warm up, and then all the moisture will evaporate.
  5. When you leave the car overnight, remove the snow from the top and bottom of the doors.
  6. And don't forget to throw newspapers on the floor. They will absorb the melted snow, the humidity in the cabin will decrease.
  7. Always make sure that the car is properly dried after washing. The washer must blow compressed air through the window seals, wiper blades, washer nozzles, as well as locks, door handles and the gas tank hatch.

And how do you get into a frozen car in winter? Share tips in the comments!

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