How To Open Frozen Car Door Locks In The Winters

One cold morning in New York, you approach your car, and bummer, the doors are frozen solid shut! This can happen to the best of us and can be embarrassing too. It is not difficult to learn how to open frozen car door. The doors can freeze shut when water seeps between the seal and the car frame, or into the lock itself.

To get inside your car, you’ll need to dislodge the ice with some heat, or with a solvent. Let us learn how to effectively deal with the problem.

Why Do The Car Doors Freezes Shut?

The basic reason for this to happen is the formation of ice. Ice can act as a temporary weld between the joints and cause them to stuck. However, there can be many other reasons for this to happen. Here are some common reasons-

1. Ice Formation In The Door Seals


Cold weather can be really harsh on our cars. The extreme ends of temperature can cause the water to become ice between the door jams. when this happens, a tight seal is formed which is very difficult to break free. If you are too harsh on the door while opening it, then you can easily cause a dent or break the door handle.

2. Dysfunctional Car Door Locks

A door locking system of the car can also become prey to the cold weather. The water that has seeped into the door lock can freeze and become a solid piece of ice chunk. If this happens, then you won’t be able to unlock the car door and it will be frozen shut! In some serious cases, the expanded water in the form of ice can crack the whole lock assembly.

3. Electrical Gremlins In Cold

The newer cars like Tesla Modle 3 have those fancy pop-out door handles in them. Many consumers have complained that in extreme cold cases, they fail to pop out, leaving car owners clueless! This can be very frustrating when you have to go urgently somewhere and the car door handle fails on you.

How To Open Frozen Car Door?

In extremely cold temperatures drop, car doors tend to freeze due to ice forming on the door. In these cases, the aim is to open the door without causing damage to the car’s body. The main steps to unstuck the door are as follows-

1. Gentle Push And Pull

Try to apply some pressure by leaning on your door. Push as hard, but gentle, as you can. The pressure can help break the ice around the door’s seal. It will enable you to open the door. This process assumes you have unlocked your car. But if the lock itself is frozen, then follow the next step.

2. Use The Ice Scraper

You can use the ice scraper to remove any excess ice build that you can see. sometimes, the ice is not stuck deep into the door seal, but they are just at the surface level. So in order to unstuck your car door, you can first scrape the excess ice off the car. This is a very effective and simple way to deal with the problem.

3. Use Warm Water


Take some lukewarm water and pour it directly around the seal of the door. Repeat this several times as the ice can be thick. Dry off the inside of the seal, when you are able to open the door, to prevent re-freezing. Do not use hot water. The temperature difference will shatter your window glass. You can even use water from the hose as it is warmer than the ice.

How To Prevent Frozen Car Doors?

Freezing cold and ice in extreme winter weather put drivers in challenging situations. The challenge of frozen car doors and locks is all very common and we all face the question as to how to open frozen car door. Here are some steps that you can use to prevent the problem from happening in the first place-

1. Always Keep Door Seal Clean

A dirty car door seal will not seal the door properly. It will result in water seeping in between and freezing. You need to keep them clean with detergent or some cheap liquid chlorine bleach. Wipe the area with the diluted solution. After cleaning, wipe down the area thoroughly with a dry cloth and leave it to dry.

2. Use Glycerin Based Moisturizer

In order to prevent damage, use a protective product for rubber. Some people use a glycerin-based skin moisturizer. It is a perfect answer to the question how to open frozen car door? Spread it with your fingers on the door seals and you are good to go for the season. Some silicone sprays and petroleum products are also available. The downside is that they cause wear and tear to the rubber.

3. Prevent Car Door Locks From Freezing

Keep the door locks clean by using compressed air into the lock. It will force out any moisture. Again, Glycerin and Vaseline can be used because of their antifreeze properties. Apply some to your key then insert it into the lock. It should be done regularly in winter. Also, keep it lubricated as per the recommended schedule of car maintenance.

How Much Will It Cost To Get Doors Unfreeze?

If you do not know how to open frozen car door, the good news is that the answer will not be burning a hole in your pocket. For the most part, it will only require some labor of love to get things going again. Still, the basic things like using products like WD-40 or the silicon spray can cost you around 10$ a pop. 

In case the whole locking mechanism has gone bad by expanded ice in the barrel, you have o replace the entire lockset from the dealer. it can cost up to 300$.


So we have clearly established that the problem of car doors freezing up can be easily prevented by you. All you have to do is to follow some general maintenance practices with regard to the door seals and door locks. The problem is not that grave and it can be easily solved with home remedies. If you still have any doubts regarding the problem, then comment down below.

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