It's easy to feel a little panicked when you're unable to get into your car during the winter because the lock is frozen. This may be the case during exceptionally cold weather or due to freezing rain, and it can leave you standing in the driveway or parking lot and feeling helpless. When you're feeling such despair, it can be easy to make a decision that you'll later regret. For example, you may attempt to gain access to your vehicle in a manner that causes damage. Your best bet is to call an auto locksmith and be confident that he or she will open the frozen lock for you. Here are some steps that you shouldn't take in the meantime.
Aggressively Moving The Key
It might seem to make sense that if you can jam your car key partway into your door lock, you should wiggle the key around to break up any ice that may be jamming up the lock. However, this approach may lead to more complications. Remember, the mechanisms inside your door locks are tiny and fragile — especially when they're frozen. Too much movement around them could easily cause something to break, especially when hard ice is being forced deeper into the lock. Instead of a frozen lock, you could end up dealing with a broken lock.
Trying To Heat The Lock
Another ill-fated approach that you might consider is to attempt to heat the area with a lighter or with boiling water; the latter might be tempting if you're locked out in your own driveway and can return to the house to fill up a kettle. Doing so, however, is a bad idea because things that go from freezing to hot in a short amount of time may crack. Additionally, you could cause other damage to your vehicle — holding a lighter against the lock could blister the paint on the door, while pouring water on the vehicle could potentially crack your frozen windows if you're sloppy.
Trying To Break In
You might rationalize that if you're not able to get into the car because the lock is frozen, you can attempt to force open a window or the trunk and get inside that way. Again, this is a poor idea that may cause damage to your vehicle or even cause you to hurt yourself. For example, attempting to force a foreign object between the door frame and the window could scratch the paint or damage the trim that provides waterproofing around the window. Instead of going to such efforts, you're better off calling a locksmith like Migoley Stephen K for help.