Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fix A Frozen Car Lock & Latch

The first snowstorm hit here in southern Ohio last Friday. Tom & I would hardly call it a storm, not like my Lifeboat friend, Joann, who had to shovel through a northern Indiana snowdrift to get out of her driveway. We had high winds which blew in a couple inches of snow, and also blew in just enough moisture and freezing rain to give me a challenging drive to work!

I can't tell you how delighted I was to find the driver-side door frozen shut on my Explorer! Awkkk! With a few Miss Piggy style slams to it I finally got it open without having to crawl in from another door. BUT, once open, the thing wouldn't latch! My choices? Wait for spring to warm things up, or drive to work with seatbelt fastened, right hand on steering wheel, left hand holding door shut--especially around corners.

I made it to work fine, and fortunately the wind didn't blow the door open and smack it on the car parked beside me or invite passer-by thieves to help themselves to the contents. But you can bet that when I got home I asked my Mr. Fix-it what I should do next time. Turns out it's pretty easy!

Although you can run out and buy lock de-icer products, you only really need something your husband probably left in the garage, like any of these products. Look for words on the label like Lubricates, Loosens Rust, or Dries Out Moisture, etc. The ESSENTIAL TOOL is a long, skinny nozzle like the red straws coming out of these spray can nozzles, or even an oil can with the long pointy nozzle pictured above.

This is the first place you lubricate: the key hole.
Just pop that baby in there as far as it will go! (make sure the red nozzle stays attached to the spray cap)
Place a paper towel over the point of entry to absorb any overspray, and give it a shot! What an accomplishment! (If I can do this anyone can!)
Then you need to open the door and lube the door latch. Sorry for the fuzzy photo, my hands were cold.
The latch has both upper and lower latch thingies, so you need to lube both. Here I'm positioning for the lower one.
Then I spray the upper.
See the white foamy dab in the latch? Let that soak in a few moments and dab up the rest with a paper towel if necessary. That's it! Now my door latches, and I hope your's will, too! 
Tuesdays are dedicated to Single Living Skills! Send in your handy household tips, recipes, directions for plunging the toilet and all the other 'fun stuff' you get to do now. mmm hmm.


  1. I am new to your blog and love this idea of sharing single living tips. One of my first obstacles after my husband passed was to replace the garbage disposal which I documented on my blog. It was a challenge but made me feel that I could accomplish the project. I am so thankful that he taught me so many things in our nearly 30 years of marriage.

  2. Cindy, I'd love for you to send the link to your garbage disposal doc. We can learn a lot from each other. Thanks for your comment. :)

  3. what a great picture of you ferree!

  4. Hmmm....do I see a Widow's Fix-It Manual in the near future? Thanks!

  5. @ megan--- great and goofy start with "g" and each have 5 letters, I see how you got them mixed up ;)
    @ Candy--- we could each do a page!
    Love you both, thanks for visiting


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