Living in colder weather increases your chances of your vehicle door lock getting frozen, This commonly occurs  from water freezing overnight from a rainfall or car wash. You may think about using hot water, but hot water won't reach the inside of the lock, and it could refreeze causing the same issue again. 

You still don't have to call a locksmith right away. Try these methods to unfreeze your frozen vehicle door lock.

Lubricate the Lock

To unfreeze the door lock, you need:

  • work gloves or oven mitt
  • hairdryer or lighter
  • petroleum jelly or spray lubricant
  • hand sanitizer
  • deicer  
  • credit card or comb

In the winter, keep the door lock and door frame lubricated with a spray lubricant, but avoid over spraying.  Petroleum jelly can also be used to melt ice and prevent frozen locks.

Dip the key in a small amount of petroleum jelly, turn it back and forth in the lock, then try the handle. Avoid forcing the lock, since this could cause the key to break into it. 

If the lock is still frozen, try another door, since all door locks may not be frozen. Start the engine, and turn on the heater to help melt the ice on the driver's side. 

Use a Heat Source

Grip the key end with one hand, and slowly heat the key with a lighter, but not the lock mechanism. Wear an oven mitt or heavy gloves to keep your hands safe. 

Keep the lighter flame or match flame moving back and forth over the key. If you don't have a lighter, or run a drop cord to plug in a hairdryer. Try opening the lock with the heated key.

The heat from your thumb can melt ice on vehicle door locks, and it works when you have no other heat source. Hold your thumb on the door lock for several minutes, and try the key. 

Apply a Deicer or Hand Sanitizer

It is practical to have a deicer handy in colder weather.  However, avoid leaving the deicer in the vehicle may defeat the purpose. Keep it in your pocket, purse, or coat pockets. Mist the lock with the deicer, wait several minutes, and spray the lock again.

Hand sanitizers contain alcohol, which helps melt the ice. Generously spray sanitizer on the lock, and try the key.

Unfreeze Power Locks

Don't keep pressing the button on power door locks, since the window has probably frozen to the door seal. If you keep pressing, you will likely cause more damage. To open power locks, slide a credit card or comb between the outer door seal and window to crack ice. 

Contact a company, like The Locksmith House, for more help.