How to stop my car door locks from freezing

Friday 26th January 2024

prepare your car for Winter

With the long and cold winter months comes a drop in temperature, snow, frost and ice. Whilst driving in these weather conditions can be difficult, other problems involving your vehicle can come up - such as frozen locks.

But why does this happen and how can you stop it? Find out all you need to know in our guide.

Why do car locks freeze?

The most likely way the locks of your vehicle will freeze is if water manages to get inside of them and then turns to ice. This can also occur if there is a drop in temperature causing snow or icy rain and fog.

A build-up of dirt from inside your door frame can also be a likely cause as it can prevent the door from sealing properly. The moisture that has seeped, which combined with a drop in temperature, can turn to ice and freeze your doors and locks shut.

What happens when car locks freeze?

Though most modern cars no longer require an actual key, the main locking mechanism can still freeze over. When this happens the locking mechanism will not move, preventing the key blade from inserting properly and turning. This can be especially frustrating for motorists when in a rush, or on cold wintery mornings.

Ways to prevent car door locks from freezing

There are some things you can do to prevent your car door locks from freezing. This includes:

  • Check your seals – regularly check the rubber components of your car doors for any damages and remove any dirt or debris build-up. Using WD-40 can also help to keep not only dirt, but rust away also.
  • Consider where you park – though this seems like an obvious thing to do, many motorists overlook this. Protecting your car from the harsh winter elements by parking under shelter can prevent your car door locks from freezing.

What to do if your car door locks are frozen

If you find yourself in a situation where your car door locks are frozen, the worst thing you can do is act on impulse. Here are some things to avoid if this happens to you:

  • Avoid forcing your key into the lock as this can easily snap the key if not properly lubricated.
  • Try not to pull on the door handle if the seal is frozen, as you risk damaging the seal further.
  • Don’t use hot water, this also applies to frozen windscreens, as the thermal shock can damage your vehicle further and make matters worse.
  • Refrain from using heat on your key directly as it can damage not only the key itself but any of the technical components inside.

Prepare your vehicle this winter with a FREE 10-point Winter Safety Check from Formula One Autocentres today. Simply locate your nearest branch or fill in our online customer service form here to be contacted by our expert team today.?

Price Promise
We WON’T be beaten on price GUARANTEED! Check out our Price Promise
We WON’T be beaten on price GUARANTEED!
Check out our Price Promise

Family Owned

Formula One Autocentres are a family owned company providing value, care and service locally for over 50 years

What people are saying about us...

  • Lovely staff, dealt with me very nicely. Did a good job. Would highly recommend.

    - Cirencester - Apr 2, 2024
  • honest and reliable, ladies are always worried about visiting a garage in the fear of getting ripped off. i have been going to the Harlow branch for 3 years and i trust them

    - lianne, Harlow - Feb 19, 2024
  • The staff were very kind and helpful - my vehicle was ready in great time, however it then needed further work which had been recommended from the MOT and service. The staff very kindly explained that I would be able to spread the cost over 4 months interest free, which was a great relief. My vehicle then remained at the garage for the work to be done, however the following day when my vehicle was ready I had become unwell and could not collect it at that day, and the staff very kindly understood and were happy for me to collect it the following day when I felt slightly better. Great service all round.

    - Hastings - Feb 28, 2024
and there’s more >>

Service you can trust