11 answers

Frozen Van Doors

Winter has finally hit Pennsylvania. We've been fortunate so far but we finally received more than a dusting of snow. That being said, an old problem has returned...my automatic sliding van doors are freezing shut. Sometimes I get lucky and it is only one side but today it was both. I assume it is all in which direction the snow falls and the wind blows. I've asked the dealer in the past how to prevent it and that would involve parking it in the garage. To unfreeze it they suggested I buy windshield de-icer in a can but it either didn't work or I did it wrong. Putting my weight into it just doesn't seem very viable either...so it was Dukes of Hazzardish when the kids had to climb through the hatch today :-) I'm sure I am not the only one with the issue so what have you done that works?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Would rubbing alcohol harm the paint, clear coat?

Featured Answers

I have the same problem and that is the only thing I don't like about my minivan. I will usually start the car 15-20 minutes before I have to leave with the heat on full blast front and back and it helps. But if I don't get the car started I will have the kids jump through the back and I just have to buckle my youngest from my seat. The older boys can buckle themselves.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Years ago we lived in a mobile home with a sliding glass door for a front door and it would freeze shut. I used my hair dryer to thaw it enough to let my husband get out to go to work. Not sure how far you would be from an outlet and Id be careful using it while standing in a puddle or you might get electrocuted. If you can get IN the van and then use it, it would be safer. Also be careful pouring even cold water on the car as it will break the windows due to the difference in temp. Can you get in the drivers door ok and then start it and warm it up with the heat on high thus thawing it from the inside? Can you cover it with a blanket to keep the moisture out of the door frame? If it didnt have moisture, maybe it wont freeze shut. And the de-icer might not work if you dont get it on the part that is actually freezing together. Is it the door frame? or the hinges or some other part that touches when the door is shut? And I bet the kids kinda liked climbing in the back hatch anyway,,lol

1 mom found this helpful

We don't get snow here in Central Texas but we can get some bad ice storms. I ususally park in the garage but on the rare occasion I have to park outside and we have ice I use cool water and pour it over the door much like you would do to your windshield. Once it starts to melt I can usually gently pry the ice off and get the door open. I don't have a van so I don't know if sliding doors need to be handled differently.

1 mom found this helpful

I live in Wisconsin--yep the Frozen Tundra. Frozen car doors are a recurring problem. I tried the hot water trick once and it did thaw the doors BUT... it also screwed with the electronics on the doors. My automatic locks didn't work and the little post (in the door jam) that switches off the inside lights froze so the lights didn't go off and my battery died. I ended up having to get the car towed to my mechanic so he could thaw it out over night and then check to make sure everything was still working.

Instead rub the rubber gaskets with cooking oil. It works. A friend told me not to use Vaseling because it is a petrolem product and can make the freezing worse.

Because I worked in retail for years and had to leave my car parked in a parking lot in all kinds of weather I often don't lock my car doors in winter.

1 mom found this helpful

In reading this, yes I believe rubbing alcohol will harm your paint finish and I would also be careful with what you put on the gaskets as it could dry or crack the gaskets and then you will have to pay to replace them.

1 mom found this helpful

I have the same problem and that is the only thing I don't like about my minivan. I will usually start the car 15-20 minutes before I have to leave with the heat on full blast front and back and it helps. But if I don't get the car started I will have the kids jump through the back and I just have to buckle my youngest from my seat. The older boys can buckle themselves.

1 mom found this helpful

Ours does the same thing.
We just get out the spaghetti pot and fill it w/ hot water till we get them unstuck (usually 2 tries).
Obviously not a good solution if you are in a hurry...but it works.
HTH!

1 mom found this helpful

I am so sorry but I had to laugh when reading this post. I am so happy to learn that some one else suffers from this issue too. LOL My van has done this for years and I thought it was just my old weird van. :) That being said, I have not found much to work on frozen doors. Letting it warm up for a few minutes before entering it works as well, as does parking in the garage. Also try parking where the sun will hit the doors first works too. I have had many days of maneuvering kids through the passenger seat to get to the back, it was really tough when they were babies and this happened. We love our van and now we have a garage. Hope you find a good solution for frozen doors. P. S. I don't think I would try the pouring warm water trick, it may be a quick fix but probably not the best. Just park in the sun :)

1 mom found this helpful

they have stuff that deices locks also if you use silicone grease on the gaskets it won't freeze

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.