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During the winter, your vehicle’s door may become frozen and no matter how hard you try, they will not budge! This could prove to be really problematic when you are late for work and you can’t even open the doors on your minivan.
You will not be able to do other things, like dropping your children off to school, going to the store, etc. and if you pull too hard you could end up actually breaking off your door handle (I’ve actually don’t this before!). This could be quite the annoyance in your life but if you are facing this problem you don’t have to worry as in this article we will cover exactly what you need to do to thaw out your minivan’s doors that are frozen.
There are two ways to unfreeze the doors on your minivan that will work the best. That is using a deicer spray or using a blow dryer.
Neither method is very fast but these are by far the best methods to use that won’t damage your minivan’s paint or doors like some other faster methods will.
These methods are simple. All you have to do is melt the ice till there is no more and you will be able to easily open the doors. For that, you need any de-icer spray that is easily available on the market. It will melt the ice effectively and will unfreeze your doors in no time.
If you don’t have a de-icer spray already or a store nearby, then you can also use a hairdryer. It is more easily available and, chances are, you might already have one at home. It will blow hot air at the ice which will cause it to melt. Again, this will be a slow process but it’s a safe way to melt the ice.
Another method that often works is simply parking your minivan in your garage or in direct sunlight. Both will work to help thaw out your doors that are frozen solid. Obviously if all of the doors are frozen then this method won’t work since you can’t move your minivan.
Once your door unfreezes, be sure to take all the necessary precautions so that they don’t get frozen again. We will discuss some of those precautions below.
How to prevent minivan doors from freezing
In every vehicle, there is a rubber strip that is installed all along the perimeter of the door frame. The car doors freeze because the water can seep into the weather stripping and then freeze. That ice keeps the doors of a minivan from swinging or sliding open.
Below I will list some methods by which you can prevent the water from entering the car door and then freezing.
Cover your car
This is the first and most logical thing to do! If you are expecting freezing rain or an ice storm, do not leave your car uncovered. If you cover the car with a car cover or a big tarp then the water will not be able to enter the door frames at all so they won’t freeze shut.
You do need to make sure that the cover you are using is thick and of good quality. If it is made from flimsy material then it could end up tearing due to the fast cold winds. Pick a heavy-duty cover that is effective against cold and then you won’t have to worry about frozen doors.
You likely have applied lubricants to door hinges, car doors, bicycle chains, etc. to keep them running smoothly. Just like that, you can also apply lubricant to the rubber strip on your minivan’s doors to keep the water away. Some of the best lubricants that you can use are WD40 and silicone spray.
Silicone spray is a water repellent and will keep all the moisture from staying in between your car doors. It also prevents the door from collecting rust. So your doors will not jam and will open more smoothly than ever before.
You do need to be careful while applying the lubricant. If you spray it directly on the seal then some spray may get on the car or the seats and you probably won’t want to do extra cleaning. So, instead, you can spray some lubricant on a rag or a paper towel and then apply it on the rubber seal.
Make sure to apply the lubricant on every door generously and evenly. It will work like a charm!
Clean the door frame
Sometimes, when you close your car door, it does not close properly and that could be an entryway for the moisture in the air or from the rain/ice. When you open your door, some debris may enter that prevents the door from closing completely. To avoid this situation, you should always clean your door frame and wipe away the dirt and debris.
Take a wet cloth and wipe all the door frames, especially along the rubber strip perimeter. When you are done, wipe the whole surface again with a dry cloth so that there is no moisture left to freeze. Make sure you wipe every inch carefully and don’t leave any water behind.
This will keep your doors completely shut and not allow any moisture to enter
If your doors are still not closing completely then maybe your rubber seal is worn out. In that case, you should get it replaced immediately. Take good care of your minivan and take it in for servicing at regular time intervals and that should help with this issue.
Will rubbing alcohol unfreeze minivan doors?
Rubbing alcohol can be useful in unfreezing car doors as well. Simply take some rubbing alcohol in a bottle and spray it on the seal/door of your minivan. It was taught to us in school that alcohol has a low freezing point. That is why, when you pour alcohol on ice, it will start melting rapidly.
Your job is not done after spraying the alcohol once though. It might work for a day or two but then when the alcohol wears off, the doors will start accumulating ice again. You will need to spray it repeatedly, of course.
You can easily keep a bottle in your car because it will never freeze. You can also use hand sanitizer because it also has some alcohol in it. This trick will come handy when you are in a hurry because of its fast results.
How to open a frozen lock?
Your car locks can also freeze like your doors can. Water can get in the space where the key goes and turn to ice. This will prevent the key from going in and turning in the lock. This will be even more problematic when you have manual doors and not automatic locks as there is no other way you can get in.
But, like car doors, there is a simple solution for unfreezing the car locks also.
All you need is some petroleum jelly and your keys. You can also use rubbing alcohol instead of petroleum jelly. You just need to coat your key with petroleum jelly and slowly work your way into the lock. The ice will start melting and you will be able to insert the keys fully into the lock.
Patience is key folks!
There is no need for force. If you apply force, then you might damage the lock mechanism. You can also use a deicer spray and spray it into the lock as well to try and thaw it faster.