Frozen car? Here’s tips on how to handle the ice

Ludt's Towing said patience -- and maybe some preventative spray -- can be the solution

Chances are your car is a little dirty because of winter weather, so you probably want to wash it.


BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – The sound of winter — icy windshields, windows and doors handles.

In fact, Reporter Julie Bercik was met with a completely frozen WKBN car Monday morning. She couldn’t even get in the driver-side door.

So this afternoon, WKBN searched around the Valley for tips on how to deal with frozen vehicles.

“The best thing to do is be patient,” said Frank Cretella, general manager of Ludt’s Towing. “Too many people want to grab the door handle and start yanking on it.”

And that’s a bad idea.

“Inside the doors, the mechanism is plastic,” Cretella said. “And if you yank on it too hard, too quickly, you’ll break the internal mechanism. So now you’re not only stuck out of your car, but now you got to get it to the dealership someway.”

Auto repair shops and towing companies have received a lot of calls about this problem.

Is vinegar the answer to unfreezing?

“Vinegar should not freeze,” said Jeff Franceschelli of Knuckle Buster Auto Service. “So vinegar, that’s a home remedy from days past that might help you out.”

“I don’t recommend doing any of that” Cretella said. “They make awesome, preventative sprays at the auto parts stores.”

If you do go this route, Cretella said just apply some silicon spray on the door seals.

“That will help resist moisture and that will hopefully avoid freezing,” he said.

Additionally, chances are your car is a little dirty because of winter weather, so you probably want to wash it.

Which is fine — just make sure to really dry your door frames.

“Dry them as best as you can,” Cretella said. “Don’t just kind of go through the automatic car wash. Because that blower that they use blows the water right into the seal. So it’s going to freeze over night [and] next morning you’re going to have trouble.”

Be sure to watch WKBN First News at 6 to see Julie deal with her frozen car situation and how she eventually got the door to open.

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