A car expert has revealed a clever way to ensure your car is accessible even in extremely cold conditions.
Winter can bring with it a long list of problems that can make the season more terrifying than most for car owners and add hours of preparation time to the day.
Best known on YouTube for his DIY car maintenance and preventative maintenance tips and tricks, automotive expert Chris Fix (@ChrisFix) has posted clever ways to prepare your car for winter.
One of the annoyances of cold weather is when the driver’s door locks jam because the water in the lock freezes, making it impossible to get into your car.
“Do you ever go to your door and try to put the key in and it won’t turn or won’t go in because it’s frozen?” Chris asked.
“Or maybe you try to open your door and pull on it and it just freezes shut?”
Read more about driving in winter
Without the ability to get into your car, it’s impossible to start the car to warm up the interior, which would melt the ice that’s locking you out.
Chris has a simple, inexpensive and very effective way to prevent this, no matter how cold it is outside.
“The trick is to use a silicone-based spray,” Chris said.
“It works because silicone is hydrophobic, meaning it repels water. So water can’t freeze if it’s not there.”
Then Chris uses the silicone lubricant spray in the keyhole – just a little, not much – and wipes the access away with a paper towel.
“This displaces any water that may be in there so it doesn’t freeze,” Chris added.
And from there, he uses the key to spread the lubricant onto and into the nooks and crannies of the keyhole.
Chris then advises drivers to use the same silicone spray on the weatherstripping on the inside of the door to prevent the door from sticking.
“Weatherproofing is designed to prevent water from getting into the car, but if water gets in there, that could be enough to cause the door to stick to the frame,” he said.
“Spreading the silicone over the interior seal prevents the door from freezing to itself.”
He also mentions that the silicone spray lasts all winter long when applied to the weatherstripping, making it a quick and easy way to ensure entry into the car.
However, Chris was careful to point out that a little goes a long way and that it is important not to get any silicone on the interior trim pieces.
Some interior trim parts, such as the window switches, contain electrical components – and silicone spray can cause contact problems between the switches.
Silicone is also a concern in that it can dull the color of the interior plastic, which is why Chris suggested spraying it on a paper towel before applying.