How to Unlock A Frozen Door? 4 Easy DIY Tricks

Motorists know that the winter season can result in various issues, such as frozen windshields and doors. You must have as many alternatives as possible when attempting to open a frozen car door.

unlock a frozen door

Even if it’s not as risky as other issues, having your car door lock freeze on you is undoubtedly one of the most aggravating situations. Learning more about the various approaches is crucial.

Did you know that even modern Teslas experience the frozen door handle of doom?

Easy DIY tricks to unlock a frozen door

Frozen doors can result from the internal lock assembly, the inner door frame, or the car locking mechanism cylinder freezing. Here are some easy, tried-and-true solutions to unlock a frozen door that you can try:

unlock a frozen door
  1. Hot key technique – heat the key to melt the ice off if it has built up around the keyway and is preventing it from disconnecting
  2. Door push technique – push the gate many times with your body weight by leaning against it close to the seam of the gap
  3. De-icer technique – commercial de-icing solutions melt ice and stop moisture from causing additional ice buildup
  4. Remote-start technique – turn on the engine using the key fob, then wait for the heat inside the car to thaw the door

Read more: How to Unlock Car When Keys are Inside: 10 DIY Methods

1. Hot Key Technique

Unlocking the door should always be done before opening a frozen door. If your automobile is older and contains an actual key, you will have to heat the key to melt the ice off if it has built up around the keyway and is preventing it from disconnecting.

Use a flame to warm the key’s metal portion. Then gently insert the key into the keyhole while allowing the ice to melt as it does so.

Before the lock is completely defrosted, it may be necessary to heat the key multiple times.

2. Door Push Technique

Push the gate many times with your body weight by leaning against it close to the seam of the gap. This tiny bit of consistent pressure might be sufficient to crack the ice in the doorframe and release the door because the ice is fragile.

This method is easy to use and frequently helpful, but when pressing on the car, take care not to damage it.

3. De-icer Technique

Commercial de-icing solutions such as Melt it! Windshield De-Icer can melt ice and stop moisture from causing additional ice buildup. Such spray-on product is available at any auto shop or hardware store.

Consider employing wiper fluid, diluted white vinegar, or isopropyl alcohol in its stead if you don’t have a de-icer available.

4. Remote-Start Technique

You’re lucky if you drive a more recent vehicle with a key fob and remote engine start capability. One of the easiest and quickest methods for unlocking frozen car doors is remote engine activation.

Turn on the engine using the key fob, then wait for the heat inside the car to thaw the door. Although this method may take several moments, it is as simple as pressing a button.

How to Prevent Your Car Door From Freezing

The ideal approach is to avoid the formation of ice and a frozen car door in the first place. Here is the list of the things you must do to prevent freezing doors.

1. Attach a magnet to the lock

Applying a magnet over the keyhole easily stops your lock from freezing.

As big as it is big enough to cover the keyhole fully, most magnets will function. When you park your car, all you have to do is place the magnet over the lock. 

2. Put some WD-40 on

Your car door lock may be kept oiled and frost-free with WD-40.

Spray a small amount into the lock, which should stop the accumulation of ice and frost for a few days. Spray a bit into the trunk lock of your car while you’re at it.

When de-icing car door locks, avoid these mistakes

Never panic. It is the most important thing you must put in mind.

Your first reaction might be to break through the ice or splash hot water on the lock. These are forbidden and could seriously harm your car. 

Pouring water into the lock might lead to thermal shock, which would short out contemporary electronics like detectors and lock chambers, or it could lead to water getting within the door frame and freezing again.

It can be difficult to chisel away at door lock ice, and doing so could cause your automobile to crack and damage the paint.


Can you stop the lock on a car door from freezing?

You should apply oil to the region to stop it from freezing. As a result, moisture won’t build up.

If you need to oil your keyway directly, it could be preferable to discover a dependable way to unlock a frozen car door because oil accumulates dirt and filth that can jam the lock over time.

What causes frozen car door locks?

Wet keys, cracked keyhole covers, old gaskets, ripped weatherstripping, and crevices in automobile doors are all potential entry points for moisture. All that is required for the moisture to freeze after the gathering is cold enough weather.

Repairing any damaged weatherproof protection is crucial for avoiding a frozen car door lock.

How can I tell if the door to my car is frozen?

If a car door lock is caught in the locked position, check for evidence of frost everywhere to see if it is a problem.

It is a positive indication that the lock would be frozen if it operated properly before the climate changed. Choose one technique to try and check how to open a frozen car door.

Will my lock freezing harm my car in any way?

Corrosion is the long-term concern for prolonged damage from frozen automobile door locks. The metal might rust and clog the automobile door lock if the melting ice is not removed.

You risk damaging the door when opening a frozen automobile door if you don’t correctly check the temperature to open it.


Your current resources depend on how to unlock a frozen vehicle door lock. You might be working with constrained funds in these conditions. Use the equipment at your disposal to defrost the car door lock so you aren’t left trapped in the bitter cold.

If neither fixes the issue, you might require more complicated automobile door lock repairs. A car door may not always refuse to open when it is cold outside or inside.

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