How to Keep Car Doors From Freezing Shut

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Preparation is key to preventing icy conditions from freezing your car doors shut. But, if you do find yourself with a frozen car door or lock, you might want to try lubricant, alcohol, or one of these other tips and tricks.
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Here’s what you need to know about preventing your car doors from freezing shut (and what to do if it happens to you).
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How do I keep my doors from freezing shut?

Prepare your car for icy weather

If the weather forecast predicts freezing temperatures, freezing rain, freezing fog, or snow, it might be worth taking preventative measures to make sure your doors don’t freeze shut.
Place duct tape over your doors and locks to prevent moisture from getting inside and freezing the lock shut.
Key Takeaway Prepare your car for icy conditions well in advance.

Replace missing or damaged door gaskets

A rubber door gasket (aka, the rubber seal that rests on the edge of your car door) can freeze and cause the door to seal shut if it’s already damaged. Before freezing temperatures hit, check your door gaskets for rips or gaps.
You can purchase a replacement gasket at your local auto store or online.

Clean the door frame

Use a rag to wipe down any debris or buildup on the car door frame. Freezing temperatures can cause the moisture around dirt and debris to freeze.

Coat the rubber gaskets with a protective liquid

Use oil or lubricant to coat the rubber seals. The oil or lubricant will prevent excess water from entering the seal and freezing over.
You can use a rubber conditioner, silicone spray lubricant, WD40, or even nonstick cooking spray as a protective liquid.
Make sure to use a lubricant that won’t damage your car in the long run.
Key Takeaway To prevent your car doors from freezing shut, use a car-safe oil or lubricant to protect the rubber seals on your car doors.

Cover your car

A car cover or tarp can minimize the amount of moisture that can get trapped in your door and locks. A car cover is a useful item to have on hand during an ice storm.
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What to do about frozen locks

There are a couple of things you can do to de-ice your locks.

Use rubbing alcohol

Soak a paper towel in rubbing alcohol and rub it over your key and lock. Use rubbing alcohol with a 60% or more alcohol content to better adhere to the key. The alcohol will stick to the key and lock and will prevent the moisture from freezing.
You can rub alcohol on your locks and keys once a week to prevent frozen locks. If your locks are already frozen, this method can help melt the ice, but it will take some time.

Spray the lock with lubricant

Use a lock-specific lubricant to melt the ice on severely frozen locks. You can use graphite, Teflon-based, or greaseless lubricant, but make sure to use only one lubricant type per lock. Using multiple lubricants could cause a gummy build-up to form.

Spray de-icer for frozen locks

De-icers are used for severe icing. To remove ice, you spray a de-icer directly into the lock. If your region experiences frequent icy conditions or storms, this product is good to have in your garage.

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Frozen locks are a pain to deal with, but finding cheap car insurance doesn’t have to be.
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FAQs

Does Vaseline keep car doors from freezing?

Yes, it can, but it can be super messy and may leave a residue on your car.

Can I use WD-40 for lubricant?

Absolutely, but repeated use can break down or dry out the rubber gasket.
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