It’s 7 AM and your alarm clock sounds telling you it’s time to get up. By 7:30 you are brewing your morning cup of coffee and headed out to start your car and defrost your windows. To your dismay, the locks are frozen shut with a layer of ice from last night’s snowstorm.
Unfreeze Your Locks
Your first instinct might be to rush for the hair dryer. You’ll also need an extension cord. This will certainly work, but we have a few other ideas for you too. Even better, you may already have many of these items handy and at your convenience.
Do you have a lighter handy? Use a flame from a lighter or a match to heat up the key. Insert the key to melt the ice and repeat several times if needed. Make sure not to do this on a plastic capped key in case you melt the plastic.
You can also use a drinking straw to point and blow air directly on the frozen lock. The heat coming through the straw will melt the ice.
Prevent Frozen Locks
Something as simple as a magnet can keep your locks from freezing. Place a magnet on the outside of the lock. You can do this if you will be parked for a long period of time or habitually place it each night if you park outdoors.
Apply WD-40 or Vaseline on your key and turn it inside the lock one time a week during winter months. This will keep your locks lubricated and help melt ice and snow.
It’s not worth jamming your key in the lock and breaking it off. It won’t hurt to keep a few cans of de-icer in your garage for winter emergencies. Fortunately, de-icer is fairly inexpensive and can be found at your local auto store.