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Old 01-30-08, 01:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry Frozen lock mechanism - not the keyhole

(not sure if posting twice - i lost post once already)

Brief version:
89 coupe, driveway all night, Chicago area weather: -2 F (-18F windchill)

key can move in lock toward locked position but cannot turn towards unlocked postion
if other door can be unlocked, I can get into car. Frozen door will not unlock using electric switch or pulling lock manually.

Tried hair drier to warm up driver's door. Where to even aim it? The keyhole isn't frozen.

It's seriously difficult to crawl in from passenger side! Car is too cozy as it is. Thank GOD this happened at home and not out in some frozen parking lot at night.
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Old 01-30-08, 01:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Try gently jiggling the key up and down while applying light pressure to the left (to unlock)...

With all the moisture and cold here lately, my driver's lock has started to do something very similar to yours....however, on a dry day or warm day, she locks and unlocks like normal...
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Old 01-30-08, 02:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've had the exact same problem as you... The freezing rain/sleet/snow we got last night has a tendency to get into all the cracks and crevices in the door and freezes up the internals (esp when the temp drops as fast as it did!). This morning the doors miraculously unlocked w/ my remote but both doors were frozen shut!

All I do is either use my spare key (don't want to break my original key) and use a bit of force or just go in the passenger door until the temperatures rise above freezing. If possible, I try to park w/ my driver's door facing the sun so it can do a little internal heating on its own.
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Old 01-30-08, 02:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Isnt it recommended to dip a key in oil and lube up the lock internals to keep it from freezing?
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Old 01-30-08, 03:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old school:

Take a match and hold the key over the flame then insert it into the lock. The hot key should melt whatever is making the lock stick.
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Old 01-30-08, 05:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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^ I heard about that. Wonder if it really works lol.
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Old 01-31-08, 06:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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dont you have that anti-lock-spray over there...? a plastic bag with warm water usually does the trick... be sure to lube that sucker up after you get it loose! this happened to me a few days ago also. temp was about -20 C so the legend is forgiven
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Old 01-31-08, 11:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shai_Hulud View Post
dont you have that anti-lock-spray over there...? a plastic bag with warm water usually does the trick... be sure to lube that sucker up after you get it loose! this happened to me a few days ago also. temp was about -20 C so the legend is forgiven
Oh yeah forgot about that stuff... About $2-3 will get you a little bottle of key hole deicer with a nozzle that sprays the stuff inside the keyhole. That should do the trick as long as its not inside the frozen car!
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Old 01-31-08, 07:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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i thought the whole mechanism on my drivers door was frozen also, but it turned out that simply deicing the key mechanism did the trick..
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Old 01-31-08, 11:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Oh yeah forgot about that stuff... About $2-3 will get you a little bottle of key hole deicer with a nozzle that sprays the stuff inside the keyhole. That should do the trick as long as its not inside the frozen car!
I'm glad it doen't get THAT cold where I'm at because that's exactly what would happen to me.
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Old 02-01-08, 08:13 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for your replies!

Thank you everyone for replying. The Acura dealer wants to take the whole door apart, of course. Otherwise they suggest I spray WD40 into the keyhole. I don't have a clear idea of the door interior, so I'm wondering if that will leave WD40 somewhere in there to create a smear on my window everytime I lower it. Lock de-icer cracks me up because I know I would keep it in the car! The trunk is a better place to keep it. If some people have had luck with it, I'll try it.

My coworker suggested putting it in the garage over the weekend (trade places with the car that uses the garage right now) and see if that will dry out whatever moisture is trapped in the mechanism.

Basically, I managed to get the door unlocked when I got home that day (I drove a different car to work). I decided to leave it unlocked on days below freezing. I can't risk this happening somewhere away from home. As always, I put away anything that looks worth stealing.

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Old 02-01-08, 09:31 AM   #12 (permalink)
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If you want to avoid the problem entirely I'd suggest a keyless entry system.

I work at Midway and last year the planes flying overhead always used to set off my alarm system so I always used to lock the doors w/ the keys. Eventually, I had had enough of dealing w/ frozen locks so I turned the sensativity way down on my alarm's shock sensor and haven't had to mess w/ a frozen lock all year (I think keeping the key out of the hole does a lot to keep moisture out). We've definitely had our fair share of winter weather this year to test it out (don't know about you guys but we got a good 8-10" down on the south side last night!)

Frozen doors, on the other hand ...
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