6 Quickest Ways to Unfreeze Car Doors During Icy New York Winters
I was not prepared for what happened to me this morning in my driveway. I went out to the car to load it up for work, arms full plus coffee in hand never expecting that when I hit the lock button and grabbed the handle I was going to be immediately sent for what I like to call the "big fly".
I had expected the door to open, but when it didn't I was suddenly catapulted back into the door face first then, of course, I spent the next ten seconds trying not to drop my coffee. Apparently, all the dampness over the last few days plus the warm weather we have had in the Hudson Valley had seeped into the doors of my car. Then, I guess when the temperatures dropped, the car doors froze.
Normally when your door is frozen, it looks like the picture above. Not the case this morning in my driveway. Instead, the car was ice-free, leading me to be caught off guard. I guess the lack of sun which might have warmed the door and the fact that it did kind of rain a bit last night in Ulster County led to my car doors being frozen.
I then spent the next 30 to 45 seconds yanking on the door of my car trying to get it to break free. Turns out, that's not what you do (I will get to that in a moment). It was so stuck it required me to actually put my coffee down on the hood of the car. I looked like a cartoon character trying to open a sealed vault. At one point, I think I had my foot up on the back door for leverage.
How to Unstick a Car Door
Thanks to folks like careofcars.com and jdpower.com, I will be more prepared when this happens again. Care of Cars actually created a list called "Unfreezing Car Doors for Dummies". I so felt like a dummy this morning, I really could have used one or two of their ideas like:
1 - Push before Pulling - Never occurred to me but apparently, you push against the door before trying the handle.
2 - Hand Sanitizer - Apparently not just to ward off COVID, it will also melt the ice in your car door.
JD Power had some of the same suggestions but also added:
3 - Hot Air - Which could have been me breathing on it or better yet, using a hair drier which would most likely work faster.
4 - Ice Scraper - I am not sure this would have worked this morning, mostly because I couldn't see the ice.
5 - Remote Start - I don't have a remote starter and I am not sure putting one in a 2011 Honda Element is the way to go.
6 - Warm Water - both Care of Cars and JD Power suggested pouring warm water on the door. I guess if I had really thought about it, spilling my coffee on the car probably would have worked perfectly.