Frozen Locks

Not everyone lives in a climate where temperatures drop below freezing, and when they encounter these conditions, they can be unprepared for the challenges they face. Having grown up in sunny California, I was surprised when one Winter morning while visiting out-of-town near the Sierras, I went out to my car and the door lock was frozen and wouldn’t budge. There are de-icer spray cans that inject alcohol into the locks to free them up, but unless you have one on hand (that isn’t locked inside your car), you’re short on luck.

At that time I didn’t carry a lighter with me as I do now, but the thought occurred to me that if I held a flame under the key and heated it up that when I inserted it into the lock the heat would transfer and loosen the parts inside the cylinder. So, I went to the office of the motel where I was staying and asked for some matches. Sure enough, the heated key did the trick. Of course, these days cars can be unlocked via remote, but for older models, that may not be an option.

For cold climate veterans, this may seem trivial, but I would love to hear your comments on other cold weather solutions that you have used.

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