Car problems

Beat the Cold: Easy Solutions for Unfreezing Your Car in Winter

Unfreezing Your Car in Winter

Being a car owner in winter might be a challenging experience, especially if you live in a region where temperatures consistently drop below freezing. The winter season often presents many challenges for car owners, with one of the most common frustrations being dealing with a frozen car. As the mercury plummets, you might encounter issues like your car refusing to start, its doors stubbornly frozen shut, or its windows and mirrors concealed under layers of ice.

However, don’t despair, as even in the face of these formidable challenges, a handful of practical tips and tricks can help you regain control of your vehicle and ensure it runs smoothly, even on the coldest of mornings. Nonetheless, to guarantee you still arrive at your destination on time, it’s wise to set your alarm at least an hour earlier than your usual wake-up time.

Car Completely Frozen Over

Car Completely Frozen

Freezing rain can freeze an entire car through a process where rain falls in liquid form but then freezes upon contact with surfaces at or below freezing temperatures. Whenever you find yourself with the car doors completely frozen, there are some steps to follow to get out of this chilled situation.

Try All Doors

It’s common to overlook simple solutions during a stressful event, such as being locked out of a car in freezing weather. The pressure of the situation can cloud our judgment, causing us to miss basic options. Therefore, it’s essential to keep this helpful tip in mind.

Have you tried all possible ways to get into your car before trying more complicated methods, such as breaking in? It’s not just the passenger doors you should check. Depending on how your car is parked and the direction of the wind, some locks may be frozen while others may be free. Try the rear hatch, especially if you have a hatchback. Sometimes, these less obvious entry points can be your best bet for accessing your vehicle, even on freezing days. Remember, exhausting all options before resorting to extreme measures is important.

Always Keep a Loc De-Icer Handy

De-Icer Handy

Using a lock de-icer can be a real game-changer when faced with a frozen car lock. Simply take out your de-icer, with its slender nozzle, and carefully insert it into the frozen lock. Squeeze it or push, and the problem is solved!

But here’s a pro tip: don’t just save your deicer for emergencies. These gadgets also prevent locks from freezing again, even in temperatures as low as -60°C. Most deicers come with a corrosion inhibitor, which provides extra protection to the lock’s components. Additionally, if your de-icer contains isopropyl alcohol, it can help remove stubborn grease. This means that de-icers are not just a quick fix but a preventative and maintenance tool.

A Hairdryer Can Also Do The Trick

When your car’s lock is frozen, it can be a hassle to get it open. However, if your car is parked in your driveway, there’s a convenient solution – the hairdryer method. All you need is a long extension cord and your trusty hairdryer. Bring the hairdryer close to the icy lock and gently direct the warm airflow into the lock mechanism. This warm gust works wonders within minutes, allowing the key to slide smoothly into the lock.

In addition, if you’re dealing with icy windows or a frozen windshield, the hairdryer can come in handy for quick thawing. So, consider the practicality of your hairdryer on those cold winter days. It’s more than just a hair-styling essential – it can be a valuable tool for solving everyday problems.

Some Hot Water can Melt Your Problems Away

To unfreeze a lock, heat some water in a kettle and let it cool for a few minutes. Then, slowly pour the warm water over the frozen lock. Try to trickle some water into the lock mechanism, but make sure the water is not too hot to avoid the risk of burns. The success of this technique may vary depending on the severity of the cold, and it may take some time for the lock to thaw completely, especially in extremely cold conditions.

Warm Your Key to Smoothen the Process

If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t access a hairdryer, hot water, or any de-icer, your best option is to warm up the key before inserting it into the lock. You can use a lighter or a similar mild flame source to gently heat the metal part of your car key for a few seconds. After that, cautiously attempt to insert the warmed key into the frozen lock. It is essential to use gentle and slow movements and avoid forceful actions. Patience is crucial in this process.

If the lock doesn’t yield on your first attempt, don’t worry. Just reheat the key and try again, ensuring the key is fully inserted into the lock. Should the lock resist, keep the heated key in the lock for a short while, letting the transferred heat work on melting the ice within the lock mechanism. After this, a gentle turn of the key should help you unlock the door. This straightforward technique can tackle those challenging winter lock situations.

Car Lock Jammed Because of the Cold

If you tried all the tips and tricks above, but the car lock still won’t budge, there’s a big chance that something broke inside it. It could be from the cold or just a coincidence, but you need to get access to the car as soon as possible.

If your car door lock freezes over during winter, it’s advisable to call a professional locksmith for assistance. These experts have the necessary tools and expertise to safely and efficiently thaw the frozen lock without causing any damage to your car. They can use specialized de-icing products or professional-grade tools to ensure a smooth and safe process. Going the DIY route can worsen the situation; leaving it to the professionals is better. Additionally, a locksmith can advise you on preventing future frozen locks, making it a long-term investment in your vehicle’s care during winter.

Final Words


Most of us would love to have a pre-heating system installed in our cars so it’s already warm and defrosted when we need to work on a cold day. Some people settle for a garage to avoid problems caused by frost. In addition, there are specific covers that can prevent your doors and windshields from freezing. Knowing your options can save you a lot of trouble and help you arrive at work on time.

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