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 How to Unlock Frozen Car Door in 3 Simple Steps

How to Unlock Frozen Car Door in 3 Simple Steps

Winters have dawned upon us and it’s a good time to learn how to unlock frozen car door in 3 steps. Mornings can be chilly and getting out of bed becomes a challenge. However, what’s even worse is when you walk to your car and try to open it, guess what? The door won’t budge open no matter how hard you pull right?

Yep, locks and doors can get frozen during low temperatures and that can become a pain for those in a hurry.

But don’t worry. We’ve got it all sorted for you and compiled a few ways you can unfreeze your car door and be on your way.

Before we share some tips and tricks on how to unlock frozen car door, let’s go over some of the ways you can prevent your car door lock from freezing. If you haven’t run into a frozen car lock before, then you’re one of the lucky ones. However, it’s better to take preventive action before things start to get messy especially during this time of the year.

How to prevent a frozen car door and lock?

There are a few things you can do to ensure that your car lock or door does not jam during winters.

Compressed Air

This is a very simple and quick process. Before you leave your car in your driveway for the night, spray some compressed air into the lock to force out any moisture that is present. Moisture tends to freeze in cold temperatures and therefore can freeze the lock from inside leaving you with a stressful morning.


Just like compressed air, glycerin, vaseline and any other lubricant made for cars will help you prevent the car door lock from freezing. Lubricants and vaseline have antifreeze properties. To apply lubricants into a car door lock, rub some on your car key and insert the key. To get the lubricant in there properly, simply repeat the process again.

Now that we have mentioned a few ways one can go about preventing door lock freeze, let’s go over what can be done to avoid car doors from freezing.

Water-resistant Sheet

Water-resistant sheets like tarp have been used for decades by people to protect themselves from the wind, cold or extreme heat. Simply cover your car in tarp or any other water-resistant sheet to prevent any moisture or rain during the night.

Protective Lubricant

Car door rubbers can grab onto moisture and thus freeze overnight jamming the door shut. It’s better to lubricate the rubbers with protective lubricants or vaseline to prevent the door from freezing. However, do note that vaseline on car door rubbers can lead to wear and tear over time.

Now that we’ve gone through some of the ways you can prevent your car door lock or the door itself from freezing, what to do if it’s too late. Yes, there are times when you just forget to take preventive measures or don’t actually care for them (I see that you like to live dangerously…). If the car door lock freezes and you’re wondering how to unlock frozen car door then read on. This next bit is for you.

How to unlock frozen car door?

There are a couple of ways that you can use to unlock your frozen car door.

Apply heat

If you have a lighter around, heat up your car key and insert it in the lock. The heated key will help the ice inside the lock allowing it to break free. Turn the key in both directions slowly and gently keeping in mind not to rush this process. Before you heat up the car key, do ensure that the key is made from metal otherwise you will risk damaging your car key and still have a frozen car door lock.

Sanitize your key

This might come as a shock to you but it works! Alcohol in hand sanitizers prevents the car door lock from freezing and also helps in thawing the ice. Cover your key in hand sanitizer and insert it in the door lock. Try to jiggle your key and turn it around a few times. It should thaw the ice and release the lock allowing you to turn the key completely and open the car door. If you don’t have a hand sanitizer available then replace it with vaseline. It’ll take a bit longer but will get the job done.

Buy a de-icing spray

Frozen car doors and locks will happen often during winters, hence it is beneficial to invest in a de-icer. De-icer is the most effective method if you’re wondering how to unlock frozen car door or it’s lock. Buy two so that you can keep one in the car for emergency purposes while out and about and the second one inside your home. This will help in times when the car door lock gets frozen and you have only one de-icer kept in the car’s glove compartment.

You can also exhale into the car door if you have nothing available at your helm. Exhaling will generate heat and slowly thaw the ice. It might take time but it should work. You can then pat yourself on the back and call yourself a survivalist.

You’ve learnt some tips and tricks on how to unlock frozen car door. Before you get on your way, here are some tips on what not to do when you have a frozen car door or lock.

  1. Never force your way inside the car by tugging on the handle and hoping a bit of pressure will budge the door open. Many times, you’ll end up with a broken handle or damaged car door rubbers.
  2. Try not to force the car key in a frozen lock without trying any of our methods mentioned above. The pressure might break your car key and leave the broken part inside. This can create an additional headache to deal with.
  3. Avoid using hot water. Yes, your car is sensitive to hot water and thermal shock is a thing. It’ll end up damaging the car and might make things worse for you.

SmittyBigTowing Writter

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