Drivers warned of massive repair costs when unlocking cars using common trick this winter

Opening car door

Drivers are being urged to avoid using hot water when clearing their cars

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 04/12/2023

- 10:00

'You should avoid using petroleum-based products, specifically'

Drivers are being warned of major issues they could face when trying to open their car door as temperatures plummet around the country.

Over the last week, the Met Office has issued a number of yellow weather warnings for snow and ice affecting England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

These warnings have come at a time when temperatures are already dropping, with many drivers being forced to deal with their car being covered in condensation, frost, ice and potentially even snow.

A unique warning for some drivers will be if their car handles freeze over, as people could be left with huge repair bills.

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Motorists will be reluctant to stand outside with an ice scraper and a hair dryer to clear their car handles with temperatures already nearing freezing.

However, an expert has called on motorists to use silicone lubricant, which can be picked up for less than £9 from major brands.

Graham Conway, managing director at Select Car Leasing, suggested using the “hack product” before a night of cold weather.

He said: “All you need to do is apply a small but adequate amount of this product onto the rubber seal lining your doors using a paper towel or rag.

“The lubricant prevents moisture from clinging to the rubber seals, which may stop your car door from freezing shut overnight.

“You can apply this same technique to your car boot if it keeps freezing shut too.

“Make sure to use silicone-specific lubricant specifically as other lubricants could damage the rubber seal over time. You should avoid using petroleum-based products, specifically.”

He also called on motorists to try opening their car door or boot using the two-hand method which will prevent them from pulling their door handle off.

Drivers should take a firm grip on the car door handle with the dominant hand while also gripping the bottom of the door.

They can then pull both together in one movement, and with the oil applied the night before, drivers should be able to get access to their car.

Graham Conway added: “Some people suggest pouring hot water over your car door handle to loosen it up but I would advise against this because repeated use of this hack, along with exposure to extreme temperature changes over time might affect your car paint, or the door handle itself. It’s best to use products fit for purpose.”

Tesla owners have seen this problem relatively frequently in recent years given that the door handles sit flush inside the car door.

Motorists push one side of the handle in and pull the other side to open the door to the luxury electric cars.

This caused issues in the winter when layers of frost and ice would leave drivers struggling to open their car doors without the use of the app.


The Tesla Model X

The door handles on Tesla vehicles are flush to the door


However, the Elon Musk-led brand issued an over-the-air software update allowing the driver to unlatch the door of the Model 3 and Model Y using the app.

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