Winter is coming and the temperatures are negative too, if you don't have the chance to let your car sleep in it, you will certainly need in the morning to thaw the windows of the latter ... However, there is another less common problem but much more annoying, to end up with the lock of his car freezing, in this case, you cannot even access your car if your centralized unit is not working or your car is not equipped with it.

In this article, we will try to help you with this kind of problem, first try to understand why this happens to you when you have certainly never been confronted with this intensity of freezing, then, what are the different solutions to thaw your lock.

frozen car lock, what to do?

Why is my car lock freezing?

We therefore begin our article by quickly seeing why is your car lock frozen? It is quite common for the windows of beings to be frozen in the morning on very cold nights, however, not being able to fit the key in the lock or not being able to turn the key in the cylinder is rarer.

Know that even if it is quite rare, it happens every year to several tens of thousands of motorists and you are not the first in this case. Fortunately, nothing serious on the horizon, it was just a too cold and humid night that caused this problem. Most of the time it is because of the temperature difference between the passenger compartment and the exterior that the windows freeze and not the locks. So the night must have been particularly humid and at the same time very cold.

Before you try to thaw, which can very well be done just while waiting for the sun to come up or for the temperatures to warm up, try to check if all the locks are frozen or if you cannot go through another door that is not affected by the phenomenon.

How to unlock a frozen car lock?

We now move on to the practical part of this tutorial and the one that will certainly bring you here, what to do to thaw out a frozen car door lock?

Bad ideas for unfreezing a door lock

As we told you, you are not the first to face this phenomenon and many techniques have been tried with varying degrees of success. Some are really to be avoided even if they may seem coherent at first glance, the following are:

  • Use hot water: And yes, hot water might be a good idea, some use it for their windshield, although the temperature difference can damage your windows, but when it comes to a lock it's more complex than that. Indeed, the locks are are fitted with watertight seals to prevent water from entering them. You will therefore have difficulty entering the barrel with your water which risk of cooling down and increasing the amount of frost
  • Force on the barrel and the key: The hard way is rarely the right way, especially when it comes to mechanics, if it gets stuck it's for a reason, you now know it's frozen water. If you force it, the only thing you may be able to do is damage the barrel and render it completely unusable. Especially since changing a lock is expensive and may require you to change all of your locks for reasons of compatibility with the key.

The best solutions to unlock frozen car lock

how to unfreeze a car door lock?

Fortunately, there are simple and effective techniques to regain the use of your frozen lock, we have selected all those that seem effective, it's up to you to choose what you prefer depending on what you have on hand:

  • Heat the key using a lighter: Simple and effective, the metal part of the heated key will be able to melt the gel in the lock, you may need to go over it several times depending on the thickness of the gel and the outside temperature
  • Use de-icer: The most logical technique, just like for a windshield you can use de-icer on a frozen cell
  • Apply hand sanitizer: Thanks to COVID we all have it on us, the alcohol contained in the liquid can promote the melting of the gel, apply some on the key before trying to insert it into the lock
  • Use a hair dryer: This implies that you have one on hand and a power source nearby but it is (logically) very efficient.
  • Spray penetrating oil: The good old WD-40 which is known to be the most useful product in mechanics can also be used in the case of a lock seized by the gel, insert the tip directly into the lock and spray the product, after a few seconds try to open your door

If you have other worries because of the cold and your car fails to start when it's cold, please feel free to check our article to solve this problem.