WITH temperatures plummeting, many motorists are waking up to find their car covered in ice or snow.
As the winter weather sets in, drivers may find they can't access their vehicle due to the car door being frozen shut – but don't worry there are a number of safe ways to fix the problem.
What should I do if my car door is frozen shut?
As temperatures drop, the risk of your car locks freezing over increases – and when it happens, it can create a lot of problems.
The good news is there are several ways to open frozen car door locks.
Here's a look at some useful tips and tricks experts have provided when it comes to accessing a frozen door.
- Check if another door will open
- Do NOT pull the door
- Push into the door to see if that breaks any ice loose
- Use a de-icer – you can buy special cans with a straw for this purpose
- Do NOT use hot water
- If you have an extension that will reach, you can use a hairdryer to heat up the lock
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What should I use to clear ice or snow from my car?
Finding your vehicle covered in snow or ice can be an annoyance – especially if you're in a rush.
Therefore it's important to know how to correctly and safely de-ice your car.
According to the RAC, drivers should allow around ten minutes to clear your windscreen thoroughly using a scraper and de-icer if necessary.
Before attempting to clear any snow, first make sure your wipers aren't on.
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If wipers are frozen to the glass, the wiper motor could be damaged or the rubber could tear off if they start wiping.
The RAC suggest squirting de-icer ''on the outside of the screen if it’s frozen over in the morning, using a proper scraper to wipe away any excess water or ice crystals.''
If you don't have any de-icer, experts say you can use a basic solution of water with an added teaspoon of salt to pour over any affected areas.
When it comes to clearing off snow, the AA recommend using a soft brush is good for clearing the front grille.
What should I not use to clear ice or snow from my car?
As well as knowing the correct way to de-ice your vehicle, it's also really important to know what NOT to do.
You should never pour a kettle of boiling hot water over the windows in an attempt to melt any ice.
The thermal shock from doing so can crack your windows – leading to a very expensive bill.
Also never use a bank card, CD case or something similar to scrape away ice and snow – as well as potentially snapping your card, this method could also scratch your windows.
When it comes to the inside of your windows you should never wipe them – even if you're tempted to do so.
This is because you run the risk of leaving marks on your windscreen, which could affect your vision in the long run.
Finally, remember to never begin driving until your windscreen, rear screen, side windows and door mirrors are free of ice, snow or any condensation.
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It is illegal to drive with poor visibility as stated in the Highway Code.
Failure to properly clear the windscreen of snow or ice could result in the driver receiving a fixed penalty notice under the CU20 penalty code.
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