Automotive Tips to Avoid Frozen Locks and Doors
Extreme temperatures can adversely affect automobiles in many ways. Tire pressure can drop significantly, batteries are likely to be weakened, engine belts can lose a certain amount of flexibility and hoses can be put under a lot of stress.
Before a big chill...
- Make sure your gas tank is filled up at least halfway to avoid fuel line freeze-up issues.
- Check your tires to ensure they're properly inflated.
- Spray WD-40 or another general purpose lubricant into keyholes to help prevent frozen locks.
- Fight the urge to wash your automobile--lingering water will freeze in your car's locking mechanism and may even make it difficult to open doors.
- Pack your vehicle with an emergency kit that includes things such as non-perishable food items, blankets and extra clothing, a first-aid kit, abrasive material such as sand, salt or cat litter, windshield washer deicer fluid and a snow brush/ice scraper. For a complete list of recommended items, please click here.
If you encounter frozen locks...
- Spray WD-40 or another deicing fluid from a warm can directly into the lock.
- Cup your hands together and blow warm air directly into the key holes.
- DO NOT force a key or other instrument into a frozen lock.
- NEVER pour hot water on or into a frozen lock.
See and be seen!
Clear visibility is important in all driving conditions but it's especially crucial when rain, fog, freezing rain, sleet and snow are a possibility.
- Windshield wiper blades that streak should be immediately replaced.
- Your automobile's washer reservoir bottle should be kept full of anti-freezing washer solvent.
- To help prevent damage to your wiper blades and motor, make sure windshield wipers are free of ice and snow and turned off before starting your car's engine.
The warm-up process
- When allowing your vehicle's engine to warm up, never do so in an enclosed area and never leave a vehicle unattended with the engine running.