Tips To Prevent Your Car Locks From Freezing Shut
Freezing of car doors and locks are a common problem in winters. The freezing of car doors leads to lock-ins and lockouts that can put any person or family in trouble. It can lock people inside or outside their car, and they need to call a professional to open their car.
Such problems can worsen the situation when a professional is not available. Therefore, it is essential to know some tips to prevent falling into such situations. There are many things that car owners can do to prevent the freeing of doors and locks of their cars. Check these tips to prevent the freezing of car locks.
Use a car lock lubricant
The car locks can freeze due to access of moisture or frost in its mechanism. The moisture can rust the parts inside a lock, and frost can prevent their movement. A car lock lubricant prevents the collection of moisture and frost on the internal parts and also in the keyhole.
If you don’t have a lock lubricant, you can also use a WD-40 lube. However, you should not always use the WD-40 lube as it can degrade the lock tumblers. Use WD-40 only when it is urgent, and car lock lube is not available. It is best to start using a car door lock lube as soon as the winter season starts in your location.
Frozen power windows
If you are not able to roll up or down your windows using the power window button, you should stop pushing the button. Pushing the button for longer times can damage the window motor. As the window is frozen, you need to try an alternative method to open or close the same.
You can use a debit or credit card between the window and strip to break up the ice. Remove the frost from the window by using the plastic card. You can also use a hairdryer or heat gun to blow hot air to melt the ice.
Try pushing the power window button after melting the ice. The windows should open and close as usual.
Inspect worn gaskets
Every car door has a rubber gasket that enables the doors to open and close smoothly and prevent hitting the frame of the car. Sometimes the gasket gets torn and blocks the door that becomes difficult to open. A worn gasket that needs replacement can also prevent the door from opening and closing smoothly.
To check the gaskets, you need to inspect them completely. Look for any tears or gaps from where water can enter the door. In case there are gaps or the gasket is torn, you should replace the same. Also, it is best to replace the gaskets of doors and boot space every three years.
Coat the rubber with a protective liquid
A protective liquid can prevent the rubber gaskets from getting torn and offer them a long life. It repels water and reduces the amount that enters the door of your car. The best long-term care options are possibly a rubber care solution and rubber conditioner.
You can use silicone lubricant as it lasts longer, but it can weaken the seals of foam rubber and should be kept away from the paint. WD40, another light lubricating oil, or even non-stick cooking spray, is an easy option, but the rubber may become dry or disintegrate by repeated use.
How to deal with a frozen lock
Once your car door locks get frozen, you can use a de-icer or hot air blower to melt the ice in the lock. If you have the de-icer, you can spray it inside the keyhole. In case you don’t have a spray can, you can use an injection syringe to spray it in the keyhole. Then wait for a few minutes until the de-icer melts away the frost in the lock. Then apply some lube on the key and insert it in the keyhole to open the lock.
In case you don’t have a de-icer, you can use a hot air blower or hairdryer. Blow some hot air for a few minutes in the keyhole, and it will melt the ice in the lock. Then insert a lubricated key in the lock and rotate it as usual. The lock will open within a few attempts. If case you don’t have a lubricant, you can apply rubbing alcohol on the key and try to open the lock.
Heat the key before using
Hold the key with a pliers, over a lighter or match with the toothed end, then insert it into the handle. If the key is entirely metal, with no computerized fob, you can heat the key safely before inserting it into the lock. However, you should not practice this method if you have a computerized key with a chip as it can damage the electronic parts that can cost you with expensive replacement.
Door Lock Cylinder Replacement
Sometimes the door lock cylinder also gets worn due to moisture and after a long time of usage. You can consult an emergency car locksmith to check the lock. If the lock is more than five years old, you should replace the cylinder or entire lock.
Tips to prevent frozen car locks
To prevent ice from forming, apply rubbing alcohol once a week to the key and the door lock with a paper towel. This may also work towards melting existing ice but is typically slower than the above methods. Choose rubbing alcohol containing at least 60% alcohol so that the alcohol spreads over the components of the lock and prevent moisture from freezing over it.
These are some tips you can try to prevent your car locks from freezing or when they are frozen shut. It is best to use a recommended lubricant on the doors and locks regularly. Moreover, you can ask the mechanic or service engineer to lubricate the car locks when you take your car for a routine service. Using recommended lubricants and getting your car serviced regularly can prevent the locks from freezing shut in the cold. Moreover, it enhances the life you’re your locks and door gaskets.