Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Car door frozen shut

Car door frozen shut — how to open

How to unfreeze a frozen shut car door

If you’ve had rain and then a cold snap, chances are silicone spray

frameless car door window

Frameless car door window

your car door is frozen shut. If you have a frameless car door window and you use brute force to open the door, you can damage the glass and destroy the weather stripping. If you have a framed car door window and try to pry it open, you can bend the door frame and damage the weather stripping. I’ll give you some tips on how to thaw a frozen car door, as well as things you should not try.

Don’t do these things to unfreeze a frozen car door

• Don’t pour hot water on frozen glass. The drastic heat difference can cause the glass to shatter
• Don’t use a heat gun. See above.
• Don’t pry it open
• Don’t use any petroleum-based lubricant like WD-40. It will damage the rubber weather stripping.

Best way to deal with a car door frozen shut issue

Grab a pump spray bottle of window cleaner. Add isopropyl alcohol to the window cleaner. If you don’t have window cleaner or a spray bottle, mix water and isopropyl alcohol. 8-oz alcohol to 16-oz water. A water-alcohol mix has a lower freezing point than water alone and it can melt ice.

On your spray bottle, turn the nozzle to shoot a stream rather than a mist. If you dont’ have a spray bottle, use a turkey baster. Spray the water/alcohol mix around the door frame or frameless window. Start at the top of the window/door frame and squirt the solution around the glass/door frame. Continue adding the mixture until the door/window start to give a little. Continue adding the solution until the door is open.

Prevent a car door from freezing

You can prevent this from happening again! To prevent your car door window or door from freezing shut, coat the weather stripping with silicone. Here’s how to apply it.

Buy a name-brand spray can of silicone. The cheap stuff has less than 10% silicone. They’re mostly solvent. The name brands like Liquid Wrench, PB Blaster, and WD-40 have a higher concentration of silicone.

silicone spray

Liquid Wrench Silicone Spray, PB Blaster Silicon Spray, WD-40 Silicone Spray

Spray a liberal amount of silicone spray on a clean rag. Wait a few minutes for the solvent to evaporate. The solvent can make the foam rubber weather stripping swell up, so don’t spray the silicone directly onto the weather stripping.

Once the solvent has evaporated, wipe the silicone directly onto all the weather stripping, making sure you get a liberal amount on the uppermost portions of the weather stripping. Next, wipe silicone around the door frame where it mates with the weather stripping. The silicone will dramatically reduce the chances of your door ever freezing shut again. Repeat this every Fall.

©, 2021 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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