During last Friday's ice storm, I made a mental note to start my car periodically so the doors didn't freeze shut.  Well, guess what?  I got involved in other projects, forgot to start my car, and my doors were frozen shut when I went to use it the next day.  Since I don't have a remote car starter, I did what any other adult would do.  Cursed, blamed the weather (not myself), and banged on my car doors to try and get them open.  Did I do the right thing in this situation, or are there better methods to thaw your car door out?

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Prevention is the Best Medicine

Ideally, you want to prevent your door and locks from freezing in the first place.  I live in the Berkshires, I should have been more prepared and had a cover or tarp to put over my car and locks.  Or bought a house with a garage.

If Just My Lock is Frozen

If it's just your lock that's frozen over, hand sanitizer can actually do the trick!  It's something most of us have, thanks to the pandemic.  Just rub a little on your key, and gentle try to insert it in the lock.

Another option is to use a lighter, if you have one.  Simply hold your key over the flame for a few moments, insert it into the lock, and the ice will begin to melt!

If My Doors Are Frozen Shut

If, like me, the doors were also shut, here are the best solutions:

1)  Push on the door like I did.  Yes, it's a tried and true method.  Push on the areas where the door closes.  That said, if the ice is too thick, you may need something else.

2)  Hairdryer.  If you can get a hairdryer plugged in to reach your car, this method is safe and will work.

3)  De-icer.  Again, be more prepared than I was.  Invest in a de-icer which will do the job.

4)  Warm water.  You'll have to lug warm or lukewarm water from your sink to your car, but this method will work also.  Pour it around the frame, push with your body, and the door should thaw nicely.


Do NOT use boiling water to thaw your car.  The boiling water could damage plastic or electronics that are inside your door.

Last Friday's ice storm wasn't the first, nor the last ice storm that we'll see here in Berkshire County.  Remember to be prepared, and I hope these tips help if you get frozen out of your car like I did!

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