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Show ALL Forums  > Off Topic  > Car door lock freezing      Home login  
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 mysteriosa
Joined: 5/19/2006
Msg: 1
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Car door lock freezingPage 1 of 2    (1, 2)
My car door lock keeps freezing in this cold weather. All the locks froze on one occasion and the only way in was via the boot. Fortunately, it's a hatchback so I managed that time, but it was a struggle. Tonight the driver's door lock froze so I had to get in via the passenger door. Does anyone know a way of preventing this happening? Is there anything I can put into the lock that won't wreck it for the future? Various people have suggested anti-freeze but I don't know if it will harm the lock in the long run. This is one of the few occasions when I wish I'd bought one of those gadgets you see in the booklets that drop out of newspapers!
 Super Ryan
Joined: 9/15/2007
Msg: 2
Car door lock freezing
Posted: 1/31/2010 7:15:19 PM
The lock de-icers are crap, and WD-40 only lasts a few days.
Use a spray grease (not oil). It comes in the same type of comtainer as WD-40 (with the tube) but will last years.
Simply buy a can, spray some in the lock, put your key in and pull out a few times, respray and put the key in and out again. This should last for years, but I would recommend every fall re-spray the locks.
WD-40 is made out of vegetable oil and breaks down pretty fast. Other oils will not stick to the lock. Grease is what will give you the lubricant you need and will stick to the parts.
And in case you doubt me, I live in one of the coldest city on the planet.
 EvilLolli
Joined: 12/7/2008
Msg: 3
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Car door lock freezing
Posted: 1/31/2010 8:43:32 PM
How old is the car? Have you contacted the manufacturer of the car?

I only ask because the freezing of the locking mechanism can be a factory defect. A few years ago my mom bought a brand new car. The locks seemed frozen shut, until she got on the high way and they popped open. Long story short, the manufacturer of the car(GM) replaced all of the locks on the car after sending engineers to look-it was a design flaw that allowed condesation to build up on ALL the locking mechanisms(key and door). And before that I would never have thought a door lock complicated enough to have that big a "fail". And no, it didn't make the recall lists.

Otherwise a good lubricant to keep things oiled and water condesation down is a good idea. Or talk to your local dealer/mechanic. Or they do make lock lube/de-icer that you can put on a key ring..........
 EvilLolli
Joined: 12/7/2008
Msg: 4
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Car door lock freezing
Posted: 1/31/2010 9:02:55 PM
Sahara, I think it helped that she had to drive into the dealer with the seat belts holding the doors shut, but the key wouldn't work when the mechanic tried the key. Oh and you don't tick off a short red head! She'd had the car all of 3 months-factory delivered! Might be why they replaced it all for free. LOL

The lighter might work on some keys, but if they have that keyless chip-thing, it could be too "delicate" to work if there is an extreme change in temp. Kind of like some brands of car....
 WesternWildRose
Joined: 9/15/2008
Msg: 5
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Car door lock freezing
Posted: 1/31/2010 10:11:50 PM
My driver's side door always freezes and it doesn't have to be that cold for it to happen either...be it the new car or the old mommyvan...same thing.

The car is parked on a bit of a slant...and the brunt of the rain and weather in general hits that side of the car and the lock... had this problem ever since I moved here 16 years ago.....all the freaking time.

WD-40 makes a mess.. I know cos my dad just came over and blasted the locks and it is gross on the white paint..

I put some duct tape over the passenger door lock...and every morning I unlock the doors from that side of the van...it works..and the duct tape seems to insulate the lock well for now.
 SuperFunGuy
Joined: 8/3/2006
Msg: 6
Car door lock freezing
Posted: 2/1/2010 12:02:40 AM
One idea that might help those who have this problem. If your vehicle is parked outdoors and exposed to the cold/freezing weather.

Try tarping your vehicle. At least if the doors or handles are covered, hopefully you won't have to deal with frozen doors in the morning. Especially doors being frozen, if you pull to hard on the door handle when the door won't open, you can easily ruin the weather strippers around the door itself. Had this problem once. Tarped ever since. No problems.
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 7
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Car door lock freezing
Posted: 2/1/2010 5:54:24 AM
I found that by merely moving 1000 miles south, many of the problems with winter were greatly reduced.
 TooShadows
Joined: 9/26/2008
Msg: 8
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Car door lock freezing
Posted: 2/1/2010 3:55:54 PM
This is a problem that can persist because the moisture in the lock just melts and re-freezes. If possible,park it somewhere warm like a heated garage or parking garage for a while so that the moisture dries up. If this isn't possible try hooking up an electric heater inside your vehicle overnight or preferably for a weekend. Just crack the window a bit to let moisture out.
 mysteriosa
Joined: 5/19/2006
Msg: 9
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Car door lock freezing
Posted: 2/1/2010 5:03:22 PM
Wow, thanks for the suggestions! I wasn't expecting such a brilliant response.

I think I may well try to get some of the grease stuff as I think there is something damp in there that is freezing and refreezing after being thawed out. My car is not young, a Honda Civic, so it doesn't have remote starting - pity.

I don't know where to get one of the key gadgets but no doubt I'll see them everywhere when I no longer need them.

I managed this morning by heating up a wheat-filled fluffy penguin thing designed to be warmed in a microwave. I then held it against the lock and hoped it wouldn't damage the paintwork. It worked, took about 5 minutes. I did get some odd looks from passing drivers.

Moving 1,000 miles south seems the best option. Just need to find a handsome man who lives 1,000 miles further south than me ...

Seriously, thanks for all your help. :)
 singleagain66
Joined: 12/29/2007
Msg: 10
Car door lock freezing
Posted: 2/1/2010 5:16:08 PM
Well that did happen to me one time when I was in NYC one very very cold and windy night and I had a remote to open my door. Well I got the door open but as you know some cars has alarms that has to be turned off with the key in the door. So this is what I did I went in the store I was at and got some really nice hot water and pour on the door and it worked. So in your case if your home poor some hot water on the door to get it open then go get it checked out. But the best solution is put the car in the garage if you have one since you didn't say you did or not and if it still sticks then hey you got problems.
 mysteriosa
Joined: 5/19/2006
Msg: 11
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Car door lock freezing
Posted: 2/3/2010 4:28:47 PM
Thanks for the suggestion but I don't think I'll be replacing any window mouldings myself. I'd never get it all back together again. I know my limits. I've got some spray-in lithium grease which I'm trying. The lock is definitely much smoother, so now I just wait and see how it copes with a freezing night.
 Twill348
Joined: 12/20/2008
Msg: 12
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Car door lock freezing
Posted: 2/3/2010 5:46:38 PM
I have had good luck with Tri-Flow, a teflon lube.
 platypus_man
Joined: 8/29/2007
Msg: 13
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Car door lock freezing
Posted: 2/4/2010 2:32:18 AM
Easy hot key is simply a key without a chip in it that fits into the keyhole. Get a butane 'torch' lighter (not a cheap bic), heat the key with the tip of the flame which is the hottest point (best to hold the key with pliers throughout the whole operation here!), insert key into lock, leave in for about 30 seconds to a minute. Depending on how iced the mechanism is, it may take several attempts to melt the ice inside to where you can easily turn the lock, because that means all the parts are now open to lubrication that will follow. If your lock's still stiff, you may have difficulty lubricating ALL the parts inside. Then yes, as the previous post mentioned, squirt Tri-flow (old brand name is, yes, Tri-flon, some still on the shelves) into the mechanism until it literally pours out, you can try to seal the key way with your fingers to force the stuff into the key mechanism. I've done this with many vehicles over the years, and never had a repeat frozen lock ( I usually keep my cars about 8 years). Yes, you can just use the heated key to get the car open, but if you do not do the follow up maintenance procedure, you're in for another frozen lock eventually.
 mysteriosa
Joined: 5/19/2006
Msg: 14
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Car door lock freezing
Posted: 2/4/2010 11:02:41 AM
Thanks for the suggestions. The lighter trick seems a good idea too, but main problem there was I couldn't get a key into the lock at all. I'll let you know if the lithium grease does the trick. Now I just need a really cold night ... :(
 MrLove45
Joined: 1/31/2010
Msg: 15
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Car door lock freezing
Posted: 2/6/2010 8:55:24 AM
I sure hope you dont have a Toyota
 mysteriosa
Joined: 5/19/2006
Msg: 16
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Car door lock freezing
Posted: 2/11/2010 8:08:58 PM
Well, the lock seems to have survived a freezing night or two. I've had no problems unocking it since I poured in the lithium grease. I've realised that melting snow tends to pour down the window of the car and straight into the gap between the window and door (and presumably into the locking mechanism). The poster who mentioned a leak somewhere really knows his stuff. Thanks for all suggestions, they've been brilliant. Just thought I'd let you know what seems to be working now, especially as it's likely to be very topical both here and in the US!
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