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#256074 - 02/01/13 08:14 AM Frozen car door at the airport parking lot
Bingley Offline

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1369
Midnight. I'm coming back from a trip. It's 8 degrees, and the gusty wind cuts to the bone. I take the shuttle to the economy parking lot, and luckily, my car is still there. I click open on my key fob, then I pull at the handle. Nothing. It's frozen shut. It snowed during my absence. There is no one around. (1) What do I do? (2) What should I have done to prepare for this?

In reality, I was able to find a door that wasn't frozen shut, and I was able to open the other doors by pushing from inside the car. Then I grabbed the deicing spray and sprayed down the winters. But how can winter travelers protect themselves?

#256077 - 02/01/13 12:41 PM Re: Frozen car door at the airport parking lot [Re: Bingley]
Stephen Offline

Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 177
Loc: Canada
Is this even a serious question?

It's winter. There isn't much you CAN do except put a tarp over the car or fork out the bucks to park inside. Bottom line is winter sucks and things freeze.

A decent tarp is 10 bucks. Problem solved.

#256078 - 02/01/13 01:54 PM Re: Frozen car door at the airport parking lot [Re: Bingley]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
I'm not sure it will work on the present generation of remote opening locks, but there used to be a light grease lubricant that you could inject into the key hole. It would spread to the inner workings and keep ice from forming and jamming the mechanism.

First place to stop is a local auto supply store and see what they have off the shelf. If nothing there, a call to the auto dealer service department might point you in the right direction.

Finally, I was never able to get the old trick of inserting a key into the lock, then heating the key with a lighter to work, but you never know. . .
"Better is the enemy of good enough."

#256080 - 02/01/13 02:20 PM Re: Frozen car door at the airport parking lot [Re: Bingley]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2877
Loc: USA
With remote locks, if they're working, a frozen lock cylinder won't keep you out of your car. This was the door being frozen.

I've solved this a few ways. The hatchback in my girlfriend's car was the only way in, so I crawled forward and started the car from there a couple of times. My current car has a remote starter, so as it warms up from the inside the door can get a lot easier to open. If I can get to the ice scraper (sometimes the trunk is easier to open) I can use it as a chisel.

#256084 - 02/01/13 04:14 PM Re: Frozen car door at the airport parking lot [Re: Bingley]
Treeseeker Offline

Registered: 03/29/12
Posts: 177
Loc: California
I would use a spray on Teflon lubricant on the weatherstripping on the doors.

Like this one:

Teflon Spray-on Lubricant

Note that one of the reviewers said they used it for this purpose.

#256085 - 02/01/13 04:19 PM Re: Frozen car door at the airport parking lot [Re: Bingley]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 999
Loc: Channeled Scablands
If the de-icing spray works, you could wire a can of that somewhere out of sight
under the car.

#256087 - 02/01/13 04:23 PM Re: Frozen car door at the airport parking lot [Re: Bingley]
RNewcomb Offline

Registered: 04/19/12
Posts: 170
Loc: Iowa
I treat the weather seals on the doors of my vehicles with Silicon Spray about twice a year. This helps keep water from soaking into the foam rubber and freezing the doors shut. My fiance was having problems with frozen doors on her old Buick Century, and once I treated the door seals with Silicon Spray she hasn't had trouble since.

Teflon would probably work just as well. Make sure whatever you use dones't have any oil-bases solvents - Stick with pure Silicon Spray, or it could actually degrade the seals.

#256097 - 02/01/13 09:51 PM Re: Frozen car door at the airport parking lot [Re: Bingley]
jzmtl Offline

Registered: 03/18/10
Posts: 530
Loc: Montreal Canada
I use silicone spray on all rubber trim and lithium grease on lock cylinders every year before winter, never had a door/lock freeze so far.

#256100 - 02/01/13 10:36 PM Re: Frozen car door at the airport parking lot [Re: Bingley]
MDinana Offline

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2184
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
I suppose, depending how much of a jam you're in, you could always try and thaw the lock by urinating on it...

granted, this method works easier for some than others.

But BWS48 has the right idea - there's some product out there for this problem. I've never tried Jzmtl's or RNewcomb's methods.

#256107 - 02/02/13 12:55 AM Re: Frozen car door at the airport parking lot [Re: Bingley]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA

Equipped to unlock frozen car door

Sorry, couldn't resist.


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