▶️ Car door frozen shut? Tips to get it open.


One unfortunate circumstance from the freezing rain Central Oregon has been hit with the last few days is a lot of people may have gone out to their car or truck and found the doors were frozen shut. If you don’t have the benefit of remote start to warm up the car, you may have found opening the door impossible.

Central Oregon Daily News Chief Meteorologist Dorrell Wenninger was one of those. He wasn’t able to open either door on his pickup Thursday night. 

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Fortunately, he was able to Google a couple of solutions — both of which worked.

  • Two-parts vinegar, one-part water, Put it in a spray bottle and spray it down the seam and across the top. Within about 30 seconds, it should loosen enough to open the door.
  • One-part rubbing alcohol and two-parts water. Put it in a spray bottle and spray it down the seam and across the top. Wait a little bit and then try the door.

J.D. Power says DO NOT pour hot water. That could crack a frozen window or windshield. But you can try pouring warm water around the door frame.

Other tips from J.D. Power:

Try leaning into the door and pushing it several times to break up the ice.

Use an ice scraper to try breaking up ice around the doorframe (assuming it’s not locked in the car), but it won’t work if the ice has formed between the door and the doorframe.

Use a hair dryer to melt the ice, assuming you have an extension cord that can reach out to the car. Keep it about six inches away and sweep it back and forth for a couple of minutes.


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