Winter Car Issues

Welcome 2017! And welcome back to two common winter auto issues. Solutions inside.

The holidays have come and gone and the New Year is officially here! With the New Year, also comes winter. With winter, also comes intense low temperatures and numbers of inches of snowfall. Two common problems may impact your life this winter season… vehicle stuck in the snow and frozen car locks.

Car Stuck in the Snow

Does this situation sound familiar: while you were at work in the office all day, a crazy snow blizzard came through, and you forgot your car was parked on the street. Drat! You come out ready to start your evening and relax a bit to find your car stuck due to the plow truck that had recently come through. The snow is piled up on the side of your car, and it’s time to start digging out.

It is recommended to carry a mini-folding snow shovel in your vehicle during the winter season for situations such as this. Make sure the tail pipe is unburied from the snow at an absolute minimum to prevent car fumes building up in the car as you start to move the vehicle around in the snowy area to get out.

Try rocking the car back and forth. This is most easily done when you can flag down some other individuals willing to lend you a hand.

If you still cannot gain traction, try a few of these tricks: if you have the recommended weight in the back of your car in the form of sand or rock salt, pour some near the front and back of each tire to help melt the ice while also creating traction. If that doesn’t work and you happen to have a paper grocery bag or car floor mats, place them near the tires of the vehicle to help create traction. Note that these items will most likely be ruined during this attempt!

Frozen Car Door Locks

First, we will start with what not to do. Don’t pour hot water on the locks despite it sounding like a “good idea.” It’s not. Don’t force the key. Just don’t do it!

Now for what to do: to start, have you checked all of the car doors? Remember there is typically more than the one you enter in and out of each day. Okay you did that, check. All frozen. Find the lock that seems to be the least frozen. Check the doors that are getting the most sunlight. These are most likely the least frozen.

Try putting your thumb on the lock, as your natural body heat may be enough to help heat up the lock and defrost it.

If that doesn’t work, try heating your key. A common way to do this is with a lighter or match by running it back and forth over the metal part of the key. Be careful though! You don’t want to get burned, and you don’t want to melt the plastic part of the key. Once the key is heated up, then try inserting into the lock.

Third option is to use a commercial de-icer to resolve this frozen lock issue.

Hopefully, one of these options will help you get at least one door unlocked!

Now, we aren’t experts on these two topics, but we have had our fair share of these experiences since we are from Michigan. We hope you find these tips and tricks helpful.

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