Tips to Avoid Frozen Locks and Doors

Traffic Safety

Winter conditions that combine moisture, cold temperatures and wind create the perfect environment to cause the doors, locks and windows on your vehicle to freeze shut. AAA has some tips to help prevent locks and doors from freezing and tips on what to do if freezing occurs.

Before a big chill...

  • Make sure your gas tank is filled up at least half way 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 key holes 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.
  • If you do not park in a garage, cover your vehicle with a tarp or something that covers doors, windows and locks, so they are less likely to be covered by ice.
  • 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. If you have access to a hair dyer, heat the key.
  • 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.