Many motorists are faced with the inability to open car doors in winter. By the law of meanness, this often happens at the most inopportune moment. As a result – plans under the threat of failure and nervousness from the very morning. In this situation there are two ways out: to use public transportation or try to open the stubborn door. We advise how to cope with a disobedient car. For this we have selected several ways to solve the problem.
Why the doors freeze
There may be several reasons for the trouble:
- The car is badly dried after washing;
- it was very cold at night: because of the temperature difference a condensate formed, which froze and jammed the door in the morning;
- the car was parked under the open sky, snow got into the cracks.
Most often, the trouble happens because of the temperature difference inside the cabin and outside. The formed condensate firmly grips the rubber seals, the lock is covered with ice inside and outside. There are several ways to cope with the situation, the main thing is to choose the right ones. Otherwise, you can break the lock and tear off the seals.
How not to open the door
In an effort to solve the problem quickly, try to act in cold blood. This will help to make the right decision and not to harm your “swallow”.
Reject drastic measures:
- Do not use brute force. If you try to open the car with a jerk be ready that the door will bend, the handle will come off and the lock will break. At the same time the seals are torn.
- Do not pour boiling water on the mechanism. Water will quickly cool down in the cold, the ice on the door will become thicker, and the lock will lock harder. But even if the door will open, a new problem will appear: the paint coating will go microcracks. And that means that in the gaps will begin to get water. Corrosion will appear, and the car will not look good.
Do not heat up the openings with a lighter (candle, match). Open fire will cause paint to lag on the coating – it will bubble or crack. Plus the seals will be damaged.
Rejecting these methods will save you and your car from damage, and you’ll save yourself the cost of repairs.
Safe ways to open a frozen door
Avoiding hassle by installing a remote car control. Smart electronics will turn on the engine and interior heating in advance. You will only have to go to the car at the programmed time and open the door.
But this method is not suitable for everyone. Some do not want to spend extra money for the device, others are afraid of theft during heating, and others are afraid of discharging the battery. Therefore, most drivers prefer other ways:
- open the other door. It is not at all necessary to enter the cabin from the driver’s seat. Try opening the doors from other sides. They may be more malleable.
No luck? Open the luggage compartment. If the design of the car and your dimensions allow, you can get into the cabin.
- Press the door. But do not pull on yourself. On the contrary, try to put all your weight on the door, trying to push the interior a little bit. Frozen sealing rubber should give slightly, zaplyuvavlyaet from an aperture. After that, you will have to warm up the interior and go about your business.
Important: This method is better to apply not to the driver, but to the passenger door. Choose the one that is used less often. The fact is that the sealing rubber suffers with a force solution. If it breaks off on the driver’s side, you will have to urgently deal with the repair or replacement. The door will look sloppy, and snow and moisture will get into the voids.
It is another matter if you managed to open the back door. The damaged rubber can be put back in place, fixed with some product and continue to drive for a while longer. Try not to open it until you can work on replacing the seal.
- Lock defroster. It is great if you have a special tool for cars in anticipation of frosts. And keep it with you, not in your glove compartment. Then you will only have to act according to instructions: apply, wait, open.
If you don’t have such a defroster, use what you can find. For example, antifreeze or any liquid with alcohol. They work in the same way.
Fill a few drops into a syringe without a needle (or a bottle with a spout), gently inject it into the keyhole. Wait 2-3 minutes and try to gently turn the key. If failed, repeat the operation. The main thing is not to press too hard on the key. Otherwise you will break both the key and the lock.
- Silicone Grease. Silicone grease doesn’t harm rubber or metal. The grease comes in handy tubes with a long spout. You should put it in the lock, wait a while and try to open the door.
If there is no such grease, it can be replaced with shoe polish. A sponge soaked in colorless silicone will cope with the problem just as well. And it will cost much less.
- Key ring defroster. The device runs on battery, in defrosting mode – 8-12 minutes. The keychain is equipped with a retractable probe about 3 cm long. Heats to 150-200 °C for a couple of seconds. Using it is quite simple:
- Pull the rod out of the case – the device will turn on immediately.
- Wait a couple of seconds for the probe to heat up.
- Insert the pin gently into the lock slot and wait a moment.
- When the mechanism thaws, remove the dipstick, insert and turn the key.
- Open the door.
Many devices are equipped with an LED flashlight, so you can use them in the dark.
Important: If there are children in the family, keep the keychain defroster out of their reach.
- Warming pad or water bottle. Fill a container with warm water. Bring it to the lock and wait for it to thaw. During the manipulation, make sure that the hot heating pad or bottle does not touch the cold door.
After you are able to open the car, don’t forget to wipe the condensation off the lock and seals. Treat the dried lock with a water repellent.
- Hair dryer. A risky method, but when you don’t have anything on hand, you can try it. The main thing is not to use too strong and hot jet. It is enough to use a medium hair dryer at a slow speed. And do not bring the air very close to the surface of the car.
Approach the hair dryer with small pauses, trying to get into the hole and not touch the paintwork.
8. Hot Wrench. Heat the key with a lighter. Insert into the lock hole, hold for a while to melt the ice. Carefully turn the key. If failed at first attempt, repeat the operation.
To avoid getting into an uncomfortable situation, it is important to take measures against door lock frosting ahead of time:
- Refuse to wash your car in the evening. If you drive often, try to do it in the morning.
- After washing the car, make sure the seals and lock well are well dried. To do this, open the doors and keep them open for at least 10-15 minutes.
- Treat problem areas – lock wells, hinges and seals – regularly with silicone grease or an anti-freeze agent. Don’t forget about preventive maintenance of the rear doors and trunk.