A Detailed Guide On How to Keep Your Car Door Locks from Freezing This Winter

Key Takeaway

  • To prevent your car locks from freezing, you must park your car in the garage and regularly lubricate the locks using WD-40 spray, weatherproofing spray, or petroleum jelly.
  • You may defrost your car locks by spraying compressed air or twisting a heated key in the lock.
  • Ensure that the rubber gasket of the car door is in a sound state with no wear and tears to maintain insulation.

Winter can be a difficult time of the year to keep your car in working order. If you live in an area that experiences cold winters, you know the frustration of car door locks freezing shut. As temperatures drop, it can become nearly impossible to open your car doors. 

This is because water molecules in the air tend to stick to cold surfaces, and when temperatures drop below freezing, these water molecules can form ice and cause your car lock to become frozen. In addition, any moisture that has been left inside the lock (due to condensation or humidity) can also freeze, making it harder to turn the key in the lock. Fortunately, you can take a few simple steps to help prevent your locks from freezing this winter. 

In my last article, I talked about preventing door locks from freezing; in this blog post, I’ll focus on car locks. We shall look at a few easy ways to keep your car door locks from freezing so you can avoid the hassle and inconvenience of frozen locks.

Effect Of Extremely Cold Weather On Vehicles

Effect Of Extremely Cold Weather On Vehicles

Extreme cold weather can have a negative effect on the locks of your vehicle as it can cause your car door locks to freeze. This is especially true for older cars that lack the insulation found in newer models. 

In some cases, the metal components in the lock may even freeze and break due to the intense cold temperatures. Even if you are able to open the lock, the ice may cause damage to the internal components of the lock and make it difficult to close. If taken care of, this issue can get better over time. 

When temperatures dip below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius), it’s a sure sign that you need to take measures to prevent your locks from freezing. 

How To Prevent Car Doors From Freezing Shut

When temperatures drop below freezing, one task that often gets overlooked is preventing your car locks from freezing. As a result, it is not uncommon to have your car locks frozen, leaving you locked outside the car. While this may be a frustrating experience, thankfully, you can totally avoid this inconvenience.

In this section of the article, we’ll discuss some tricks and tips to help you prevent freezing car locks during the cold winter months. 

Park Your Car In A Garage To Prevent Freezing

Park Your Car In A Garage To Prevent Freezing

One of the best ways to prevent your car door locks from freezing is to park your car in a garage. Garages provide protection from cold temperatures and help keep your car at a more consistent temperature. This can reduce the risk of freezing and help keep your locks working.

If you don’t have access to a garage, parking near a wall or other protected area can also help. Make sure to cover the windows of your vehicle to keep the cold air out and the warm air in.

Another option is to use a car cover. Car covers are designed to keep the car protected from rain and snow, but they also help keep the car insulated from cold weather conditions.

It’s also important to ensure that your vehicle is properly ventilated when parked in a garage. This will allow any moisture to escape instead of accumulating and potentially causing damage.

Replace Torn Or Missing Rubber Gaskets On The Car Door

Replace Torn Or Missing Rubber Gaskets On The Car Door

If your car has a rubber gasket that is either torn or missing, it could be leaving your car vulnerable to freezing. Replacing the gasket will help protect your car locks from freezing.

To replace the rubber gasket on your car door, you’ll need first to remove the old one. Use a flathead screwdriver to pry off the old gasket. Once the old gasket is removed, measure the space where the new gasket needs to be inserted. You can purchase a new gasket at most automotive stores.

Next, insert the new gasket into the space and press it firmly until it fits snugly in the area. You may need to use some adhesive or sealant to ensure that the gasket is sealed properly and doesn’t move or come loose.

Coat The Car Rubber Gasket With A Protective Liquid To Prevent Freezing

Coat The Car Rubber Gasket With A Protective Liquid To Prevent Freezing

When it comes to freezing temperatures, one of the most vulnerable parts of your car door lock is the rubber gasket. This is because it’s prone to tearing and missing due to wear and tear over time. As a result, it can let in water and moisture, which can freeze and cause the door locks to freeze up.

To prevent this from happening, you should coat the rubber gasket with a protective liquid to prevent it from freezing. You can use a variety of products, such as petroleum jelly, silicone spray, or WD-40. Simply spray it onto the rubber gasket and leave it to dry. This will create a barrier between the rubber gasket and the cold air, thus preventing the door lock from freezing.

Rub The Key And Lock With Rubbing Alcohol

One of the simplest ways to keep your car door locks from freezing is to rub them with rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol can help melt away any ice that may have built up in the lock and keyhole. 

Use a cotton swab or paper towel to apply the alcohol to the key and inside the lock. You should start to notice the lock starting to thaw almost immediately. Once all the ice is gone, be sure to wipe away any excess alcohol residue with a clean cloth. This will prevent any more moisture from getting into the lock and freezing again.

Spray The Frozen Car Lock With De-Icer

Spray The Frozen Car Lock With De-Icer

To help thaw out a frozen car lock, you may also use a de-icer. This type of spray is designed to quickly melt away ice and frost on car locks and other surfaces. Prestone De-Icer is a great option for the task.

To use a de-icer, start by spraying a generous amount of de-icer into the keyhole of the frozen lock. Be sure to hold the spray nozzle close to the lock so that the liquid reaches all of the tight spaces. Give the de-icer a few minutes to work its magic before attempting to turn the key in the lock.

After a few minutes, try inserting your key into the lock and turning it. If it still doesn’t turn, you may need to repeat the process several times before it works. Be patient when applying de-icer to a frozen lock, as it may take some time for the solution to work. 

Heat The Car Key To Defrost The Ice

Heat The Car Key To Defrost The Ice

Heating up the car key is an effective way to defrost the ice in the lock if you are looking for how to unlock a frozen car door. If your car key is frozen and you can’t get it to open the lock, try using a lighter or match to heat up the key gently. Hold the flame about an inch away from the key for several seconds, and then try to insert it into the lock. The warmth of the flame should be enough to melt away any ice build-up on the key.

If that doesn’t work, use a blow dryer on the highest setting to heat up the key. Make sure to keep the blow dryer at least an inch away from the key to prevent overheating. You may need to hold the blow dryer at the same spot for several minutes before attempting to open the lock with the heated key. 

Be careful when heating up the car key; too much heat can damage the car lock and make it difficult to open. If you’re worried about damaging the lock, you can use a heated towel or cloth to warm up the key before trying to open the lock. 

Lubricate The Car Lock With Petroleum Jelly

Lubricate The Car Lock With Petroleum Jelly

Another way to prevent your car door locks from freezing this winter is to lubricate them with vaseline. Petroleum jelly is an effective lubricant for car locks because it’s thick and sticky, which helps it stay in place. 

To use petroleum jelly, apply a small amount directly to the lock mechanism, making sure that it reaches all the moving parts. This will help protect against moisture and ensure that your car door locks don’t freeze over. If you find that the lock is still freezing, you may need to use a more powerful lubricant.

Use A Graphite based Lock Lubricant For Severe Problems

Use A Graphite based Lock Lubricant For Severe Problems

It is important to lubricate the lock in order to prevent future freezing. A good lubricant to use is a graphite-based lubricant, available at most hardware stores or automotive stores. Graphite-based lubricants like WD-40 spray are non-corrosive and won’t damage the metal parts of the lock or key.

WD40 spray is an excellent way to keep your car door locks from freezing during the winter months. WD40 spray creates a protective layer over the lock, preventing moisture from getting in and freezing the mechanism. 

To lubricate your lock, start by spraying the entire area with WD-40 spray. Then, use a Q-tip or other soft cloth to apply the graphite-based lubricant to the inside of the lock and keyhole. Then, let it sit for a few minutes before wiping away any excess liquid with a dry cloth or paper towel. 

Once you’ve applied the lubricant, insert and remove the key from the lock several times. This will help spread the lubricant, ensure it penetrates the interior of the lock and help keep your car door lock from freezing in the cold weather.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q1. What causes car locks to freeze?

Answer – Car locks can freeze in extremely cold weather, especially if there is moisture present. Ice forms when moisture from the air condenses on the metal surface of the lock. This causes the metal to become cold, and the lock can then freeze if the temperature is low enough.

Q2. How to unfreeze the car lock using a heated key?

Answer – To unfreeze the car lock, heat the key with a lighter until it’s quite hot, then insert the key into the keyway and twist it a few times. The moisture from heating the key under hot water could corrode your lock, so avoid doing so.

Q3. What can I do if my car lock is already frozen? How to unfreeze a car lock?

Answer – If your car lock is already frozen, you can try unfreezing the lock by twisting a heated key, or a key dipped in rubbing alcohol into the lock. You can also defrost the lock by spraying de-icer into the lock. Spraying compressed air into the lock is also an effective solution, as compressed air will create a stream of cool air to force the ice out of the keyhole and help unstick the locking mechanism. 


When your car lock freezes in cold weather, it is inconvenient and uncomfortable. But since everyone has experienced this at least once, particularly in regions with cold climates, it is advisable to get ready in the fall before winter begins.

In my article on how to stop car locks from freezing, I provided some helpful advice and strategies. I hope this information was useful to you. Post your thoughts in the comment section below if you tried any of the techniques described in the post to stop locks from freezing.

If you have any more queries about preventing frozen locks, feel free to share them with me. I shall be happy to help.

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Hey! I am Mark. Though I am not a locksmith by profession, but locks have always fascinated me since my teens. And it all started when I got locked out of my house and I had to pick the lock. Since then it has become my hobby to learn more about different kinds of locks, understand their working and methods to pick them up. In due course of time, I have also become better aware of how installing the right lock goes a long way in ensuring iron clad security. I aim to share my passion (about locks) through this blog. If you are also passionate about picking locks or are just looking to beef up the security, hop on the ride.