Baby, it’s cold outside. Winter is in full swing and the possibility for storms is high. When wind and precipitation come together with below-freezing temperatures, all sorts of things can happen to your car. One of the most annoying consequences of the cold and wet weather is trying to open your car door and finding that it has frozen shut.
When going back inside to wait for Spring isn’t an option, here are a few ideas to unfreeze a frozen car door:
- Remote start. If you have remote start installed on your vehicle, now is the time to use it!
- Deicer. A commercial deicer can be sprayed on the door where the ice has formed.
- Household items. If you don’t have deicer, you can try using rubbing alcohol, windshield wiper fluid, or diluted white vinegar. Note that these items can do some damage to the paint or rubber gaskets inside the door, particularly if used too frequently.
- Water. You can pour lukewarm water over the frozen areas. Be sure to dry the door off once you have it open to prevent refreezing. Never use hot water as the abrupt temperature change can shatter your window. If cold water is the best you can do, give it a shot. Cold water is still warmer than ice!
- Your body. Try pushing on the door to create pressure and break the ice inside the door.
The only thing better than getting a frozen door open is preventing it. Consider these tips to avoid an icy car in the first place:
- Car cover. Using a tarp or car cover will prevent rain and snow from getting on the door.
- Rubber conditioner. This special formula found in auto stores can be sprayed on to the rubber gasket in the door to prevent moisture from building. In a pinch, you can use cooking spray, but that can breakdown the rubber over time.
- Plastic trash bag. You can also close a plastic bag between the car door and the frame. The car door will be fully shut and will properly lock, but the gasket won’t be able to freeze to the door.
Don’t worry, soon enough the warm weather will return and the icy automobiles of winter will be a distant memory… until next year that is!
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