How to Keep Car Doors From Freezing Shut in Winter

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  • How to Prevent Car Doors from Freezing in Cold Weather
  • How to Open Frozen Car Doors
In the winter months, extreme cold temperatures can affect your driving in more ways than one. Besides hazardous road conditions, cold weather can also wreak havoc on the condition of your vehicle. From frosty windshields to frozen doors, there are plenty of frustrating conditions that come with the season.
While the most obvious way to prevent things like frozen locks and other cold weather annoyances is to keep your vehicle inside or in a covered parking area, that’s not always possible. If you don’t have access to a garage, there are still some steps you can take to shelter your car during inclement weather.
Here’s how to keep your car doors from freezing shut, and what to do if you have doors that have already frozen.

How to Prevent Car Doors from Freezing in Cold Weather

Tip 1: Invest in a vehicle tarp. If the region you live in sees large amounts of snow or freezing rain, and you don’t have access to covered parking, then it’s a good idea to invest in a vehicle tarp. Also called a car cover, vehicle tarps are made to fit over the top and sides of your car to protect it from the elements. A vehicle tarp offers an extra layer of protection during adverse weather conditions, and it can make it a lot easier to get on the road in the morning after a big snow fall.
Tip 2: Put duct tape over your door lock. You might not have heard of this simple solution, but putting duct tape over your door lock can help keep it from freezing. The duct tape over keeps moisture from getting inside of the lock itself, so the component stays dry and can’t freeze. Just be sure to keep the duct tape off of your vehicle’s paint to avoid potential damage.
Tip 3: Clean the inside of your car door frame. The rubber seal that runs along the inside of your door frame helps keep moisture out of your vehicle. Dirt, dust, and debris can collect here and provide a place for water to accumulate and freeze. Simply rub a clean, damp towel or microfiber cloth around the interior of the door frame to remove any debris. While doing this, check that all of the rubber pieces are solid and intact. If the rubber barrier has holes or tears, it might be a good idea to replace it with a new one from the auto parts store. This barrier is essential for keeping moisture and debris on the outside of your vehicle.
*Tip 4: Apply rubbing alcohol to your car key and door lock.** To discourage freezing, apply rubbing alcohol to your car key and door lock using a paper towel. Reapply each week to maintain effectiveness.

How to Open Frozen Car Doors

Tip 1: Push on the frozen door. Carefully push or lean against a frozen car door to break the layer of ice. This generally requires very little pressure, so don’t push so hard that you might cause a dent.
Tip 2: Use an ice scraper. After clearing snow from your car, use an ice scraper to remove ice around the door frame. The thin edge of an ice scraper will allow you to target the space between the front and back door frame where ice collects. Once you break the ice here you should be able to open the door.
Tip 3: Use a commercial de-icer. There are many de-icing products for vehicles to melt ice that has accumulated on surfaces. Follow directions carefully when applying a lock de icer, and avoid getting the product on your clothes or skin.
Always make sure that your car door is unlocked before you try opening it. If possible, leave your vehicle door unlocked in the cold weather to avoid the lock freezing in place. Prevention is the best strategy when it comes to frozen car doors, so take the necessary steps to save yourself time and hassle in the morning.

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