FortLocks Blog

How to Open a Frozen Car Door Lock

In extreme cold weather, it only takes a small amount of moisture to freeze up your car locks. The good news is, there are a few things you can try to fix the problem. If you’re struggling with a frozen car door lock, melt away the ice with these simple tips.

De-icing solutions

If you happen to have it handy, de-icing spray is specifically designed for tackling this type of situation. Your own can of de-icer may be locked frustratingly out of reach in your car, but if possible it’s worth asking a neighbour or colleague if they have some you can borrow. Simply spray the de-icer straight onto the frozen lock and the ice will quickly melt.

OK, so you’re stuck outside without access to conventional de-icing spray. Don’t worry, there are some commonly carried substances that could be just the job:

Hand Sanitiser

If you have any hand sanitiser in your bag, this is the perfect DIY de-icer due to its high alcohol content. Just cover your car key in hand sanitiser and insert it gently into the lock. Leave it there for 30 seconds to let the alcohol do its job, and the ice should melt away.

DIY De-icers

If you happen to be close to a chemist and hand sanitiser isn’t available, pop in for a bottle of isopropyl alcohol. This stuff is normally used as an antiseptic, but mixed with water, it makes the perfect DIY de-icer. Got any Vaseline? Coating your key in this should help disperse the ice in your lock.

Heat-based Solutions

It makes sense to tackle ice with heat, but if you choose to do so, always make sure you are wearing gloves to protect your hands. Don’t be tempted to pour boiling water on your lock. This could damage the lock mechanism, and to add insult to injury, the water will re-freeze when it cools back down.

Warm Up your Key

Try heating your car key on a radiator, with a lighter or a hair dryer before inserting it into the lock. Take extra care not to melt the plastic casing of the key or cause any damage. Instead of heating the key, you could try blasting the lock directly with the hottest setting of your hairdryer (if the cable extends far enough)!

Preventative Measures

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and it always pays to be prepared. If cold weather is forecast, get ready by protecting your car in advance. Keep it in a garage if you can, or under a cover, to prevent it from freezing. Top up your antifreeze, and keep a supply of de-icing spray somewhere that’s easy to access. To prevent your car door locks from freezing up in the first place, treat them with WD-40, or stick a magnet over the lock to cover it up.

Call in the Experts

Sometimes, a car door lock isn’t the only problem at this time of year. If you need residential lock repairs, it might be time to look into professional locksmith services. Call us on 0800 052 0922 or 07976 359 552 at any time of the day or night.


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