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Do’s & Don’ts for Handling Frozen Car Locks

Mornings can be brutal during this time of year, with temperatures dipping below freezing and the weather changing from rain to snow overnight. After a storm, you may wake up and find an unpleasant surprise when you get to your car: your door and lock frozen over, unable to open even when you press a fob. Even if your car has an automatic starter, this problem can still affect your ability to get into the car and be on your way to work or school in the morning. If your lock has frozen over, follow these do’s and don’ts to get back into the car and on the road:

Don’t Use Hot Water to De-Ice Your Lock

Hot water is easily accessible, making it a desirable method to warm up your lock to get the door to open. However, it only works in the short-term: while you may be able to get into your car and drive to your destination, the frigid air hitting the water will cause it to freeze around and inside the lock, making the problem grow from an inconvenience to a major issue. Applying too much heat can cause the mechanism to warp inside, causing damage to your lock that may affect its functionality until you can get it repaired.

Some Household Items May Work

Do you have a bottle of hand sanitizer or a tub of Vaseline in the house? They can be used to help you get into the car. Hand sanitizer contains certain ingredients that can melt ice quickly, without refreezing and damaging the mechanism. Apply a thin coat of sanitizer to the key and insert it lightly into the lock without turn they key or forcing it in. This can cause damage to both the lock and the key and even lead to the key breaking in the lock itself, which only makes the problem worse. Once the key is inside the lock, leave it inside for about 30 seconds. The alcohol will be able to melt the ice inside without refreezing. This process can be repeated with Vaseline if you do not have hand sanitizer available.

Contact a Locksmith

If you are skeptical about using household appliances and do not want to make the problem worse, contact a local automotive locksmith for help. A locksmith will have the tools readily available to safely unfreeze your lock and open your door without causing any damage to either mechanism and can be dispatched to your location to help you regain access to the car.

Car Locksmith & Lockout Services in Bedford, Lexington, Burlington & Acton, MA

If you are in need of a car locksmith after being frozen out of your car, contact Keys 4 Cars today. We will be able to send a technician to your location to get you back into the car safely, regardless of the make and model of your vehicle. Keys 4 Cars can be reached by calling  1 (800) 341-3734 or by filling out our online contact form.

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