It seems as if many things can go wrong with cars during the bitterly cold winter months seen around London. One common problem is frozen doors and car locks. This most often happens after freezing rain or sleet when a car is left outside. However, a frozen car lock may also occur when it is simply very frigid outside. The reason for this is that locks can acquire some condensation inside them. When the temperature drops, the condensation will freeze, rendering the lock unusable. These tips will help any frustrated car owner fix frozen car locks quickly.
De-Ice the Lock
The best option is to purchase de-icer before the temperatures drop and to keep it on hand throughout the winter. Simply spraying commercial de-icer on a lock can quickly melt frozen condensation. In a pinch, hand sanitiser can be used because its main ingredient is alcohol, a primary ingredient in commercial de-icers. The hand sanitiser can be rubbed onto the car key, which may then melt the frozen condensation around the tumblers within the lock.
Warm the Key
If the previous tip does not work or there is no de-icer or hand sanitiser on hand, car owners can try warming their keys. The fastest way to do this is with a lighter or a match. Making sure to protect one’s hands with gloves and not to direct the flame at any plastic on the key, the individual can hold the key over the flame for several seconds. This added warmth may be all that is needed to open the frozen lock.
Heat the Lock
If all else fails and there is an electrical outlet nearby, prolonged heating of the lock with a hairdryer will melt the frozen condensation. In addition, a hairdryer is the best option to open a lock that is completely covered with ice after an ice storm or freezing rain. Individuals may need to find an extension cord or a battery-powered hairdryer if there is no electrical outlet nearby. A hairdryer may also be useful for warming a key to melt ice within the lock. However, hot water should never be poured over a lock to melt the ice because this can cause an increased buildup of condensation within the lock.
A frozen car lock is a hassle for any car owner. However, using these simple tips can quickly fix the situation with a minimum of frustration. AutoLocks Ltd. can provide professional help to drivers who have frozen or broken car locks in London and the South East.