Getting into frozen car door locks?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by BigChris99, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    There are some newer hardtop cars where the window has to roll down slightly when the door is opened. The new mustang comes to mind. How do you get into one of these to charge the battery or if the door is iced over real thick?

    Rod
    #41
  2. gwedo

    gwedo Adventurer

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    live up hear in canada 50 years (thats a lot of cold time) lock deicer in the purse is a good idea.if its washed thats when you get the problems of freezing up ,or rain then freeze if its real thick ,us a hair dryer on the lock .only froze up a couple times in all this time iv been hear including -53.
    #42
  3. 1greenmachine

    1greenmachine Been here awhile

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    If she's the type of person that has to keep a clean vehicle and washes it all the time she'll have issues. In her case since she has a purse have her carry a lock deicer thou i never had that great of luck., also carry a couple lighters to heat up the key and stick it in, might take a few tries. My old truck the locks froze up alot so from the first hard freeze till spring i never locked it.
    #43
  4. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    Wash it in the morning on an above-freezing day, then take it out on the highway to blow-dry it. That should minimize the chance of it freezing up.
    #44
  5. 1greenmachine

    1greenmachine Been here awhile

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    But then its all dirty again:rofl, but still doesn't get the all the water out of the locks, could spray wd40 in there to help but this is for a colege girl so ain't gonna happen. I was just thinking i can't remember the lst time i actually used my key to unlock my vehicles, maybe i better try them.
    #45
  6. kels

    kels Adventurer

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    Has the antifreeze been checked in the radiator?
    Need to have it checked and make sure it is good down to at least 20 below zero.

    How old is her battery? Cold and Hot weather is
    hard on batteries. If it is more than 36 months old,
    you might go ahead and replace it.

    How are the tires on her car?

    Also a couple of the cheap plastic floor mats
    work well to keep windshield clear.
    Put the wipers half way up and put the mats under them on the windshield.
    That way you can pull them off and have a semi clear windshield

    AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST. LEAVE A VEHICLE KEY SOMEWHERE
    SHE CAN GO AND GET IT. IF SHE LOCKS THE KEYS IN THE CAR.
    It does no good if the spare is at your house.
    If she is living in a dorm, hide a set somewhere in her room.
    That way, worse comes to worse, she can have staff let her into her room and
    then go back for her car.
    Cheaper than a 75 dollar locksmith call.
    .
    #46
  7. 568V8

    568V8 Ontario Vstrommer

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    Canadians are experienced with frozen cars.
    Carry a high-powered butane BBQ lighter to thaw the locks. Done it many times on old Volvos, even used propane torches on low. It warms, thaws and dries out the lock. Don't ever use hot water!
    Lots of WD-40 in the key hole and silicone spray on the rubber. If the lock won't open, then we use a frozen beaver to smash a window.
    #47
  8. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

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    Obtain a GOOD booster pack for her, as well. If you're unfamiliar, its basically a motorcycle battery with short jumper cable leads. The booster lives in the house on its charger, if she gets into the car to find the battery dead, a fully charged booster will get the engine started.

    If you're worried about her mechanical aptitude - i.e. hooking it up backwards - have her bring the car to a shop that installs snowplows. They'll be able to install a high amp connector on the battery, this connector lives somewhere near the grill and is accessed by pulling the cap off and plugging a mating connecter attached to the booster cables. The connectors are keyed, its impossible to plug them in wrong.
    #48
  9. mudgepondexpress

    mudgepondexpress Long timer

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    I drove a V8 powered Ford Courier from 1981 to 1995. A pickup with no heat, and not designed for cold weather (locks froze, doors stuck, heater doesn't have enough airflow to keep front window clear). I carried a self igniting propane torch to heat the locks and run around the door so it would open.

    Yes, armor all/silicone the door seals, use a water displacing lubricant for the locks and door handles (WD40), and a good booster battery is nice to carry. If you have a sunroof keep it unlatched when parked...it makes a handy entrance when things get really bad.

    Get a strong plastic scraper and sharpen it on a piece of glass with some wet/dry paper. Most of them are warped and cut 2 grooves, flatten it out and it will cut your scraping time down. When it is cold and moist, lower the drivers window 1/2 inch or so to help vent the hot/moist air...this will keep the front window clear. Don't run the heater on recirulating, it builds up the moisture and then you fight ice on the inside.

    Good tires are a must...even with front wheel drive!

    Get you windshield fluid at a place that changes stock depending on the temperature. They make stuff for CA and the like that is only good down to 30 degrees or so.

    She will be fine...have faith.

    Kenny
    #49
  10. hajime

    hajime Been here awhile

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    :freaky
    #50
  11. Jailor8

    Jailor8 Long timer

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    Great except for one thing......

    Never put oil in a lock tumbler!! In cold weather it gums up and it attracks dirt. Always powdered graphite or at least a dry lube in locks, Silicone spray is ok as it drys out after application.

    And if the door is iced over totally, push in with both hands all around the edge this breaks the ice, flexs the seal and usually will let you in if after its unlocked and you still cant get in because the door is froze shut.

    Jailor8 who twists keys in locks all day long everyday for 23 and counting years, I get to maintain them too.
    #51
  12. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Never had a frozen lock. Had plenty of doors that froze shut though. Coat the door seals with a thin film of Vaseline and you won't have any problems.
    #52
  13. urbanXJ

    urbanXJ Long timer

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    this is not a joke, but once in CO on a fieldtrip there was an ice storm and the doors of the cars were frozen shut.

    The cars were parked far form the cabin, so we couldn't use a garden hose.

    So, we pissed on the door seams. After about 5 or 6 guys the ice was melted.

    So, maybe pee on the lock?
    #53
  14. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I live in the Sierras where heavy snowfall (more then a foot) is rare, but we do get rain followed by a hard freeze a few times a year. Don't believe that stuff about hot liquid not harming windows. They will crack. (even worse than A/C will crack a hot window with a chip in it). Hot water right on the lock would do the trick. Spraying washer fluid probably won't work. I notice it freezes immediately when I spray the washers on the windshield, causing a big blue sheet on the window...worthless.

    I really like the idea of covering the lock with a magnet. I'm going to use that one for sure. I have had times where I couldn't even get the key in. I think a magnetic bumper sticker would work nicely on a recessed lock.

    The other thing I do it place a large beach towel over the windshield. No frost bitten fingers for me! Make sure the bottom edge of the towel covers the windshield wipers, though. If they get frozen to the window, the wiper motor may have enough power to break them right off the stalks. (ask me how I know :lol3).

    The silocone spray is also a good idea. Not because the door won't open, but because when it does, all the seals will be ripped from the door (ask me how I know :lol3:lol3).
    #54
  15. Zuber

    Zuber Zoob

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    Buy a birthday present for yourself and get her Triple-A.
    #55
  16. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Tell the young lady to "park & turn off" the windshield wipers before switching off the ignition. Otherwise may damage the mechanism when you turn the ignition on and they are frozen on the windshield.

    I hate scraping windshields and defrosting cars, used to do that for a living, always fun cleaning the yard after snow/ice storms, we used to have up to 100 cars in the yard, always lots of them frozen shut. Spray bottle with Methyl Hydrate that was our cheap way.Refill from the 45 gallons drum.:D And always more than a few that wouldn't start, hook them up and bring inside til they thawed out.:eek1

    Still hate scraping windshields....now I use this to free my recessed wipers and electric windows.Yeah....3/4" or so of ice on my windshield right now, that's why I have the product out.:wink:

    [​IMG]

    Hum....whatever is in the pocket flask may also work.:1drink
    #56
  17. BigChris99

    BigChris99 Been here awhile

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    Thank you all for the help and advise. My daughter will be home tomorrow evening here to southern California for the holidays. Can not wait. I will point her towards this thread while she is here. Thank you.
    #57
  18. erda

    erda Been here awhile

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    Another trick is to use compressed air on the locks and mechanisms after you've washed the car. Other wise as others have suggested, lock deicer, or a product called Lock-Eze if it is available.
    #58
  19. D.T.

    D.T. Difficult but useful

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    Frozen Beaver...:lol3

    or this....

    [​IMG]
    #59
  20. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    ^^^^:roflSpring loaded center punch, much easier to C/C.:lol3
    #60