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Old 11-30-2012, 04:32 AM   #1
DHK
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Any Tips for Frozen Doors?

Past two days my driver side door has been frozen shut. I havent had time to do anything about it but now it will be the weekend and Id love to not have to climb in from the passenger side.

Current plans are to get something like WD-40 and spray it into the closed door area. See if that cracks it, then ill WD-40 the **** out of both door latches and the trunk latch to keep out moisture...

Anything wrong with this plan?

It can get quite cold here in Estonia, sometimes as cold as -30.
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:43 AM   #2
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windshield washer fluid has anti refrigerant in it. you could try and use some of that...
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:50 AM   #3
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windshield washer fluid has anti refrigerant in it. you could try and use some of that...
Haha maybe I can warm up some washer fluid in the microwave. I don't want to use water because if it doesn't work it will make the problem worse.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:59 AM   #4
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DO NOT even think about pouring warmed up washer fluid over the door. The moment it hits the very cold glass, the glass will crack, especially if it's -30 F outside, that's some 60 degrees below freezing if I understand you right.

I lived in Iron Mtn in the U.P. so I understand the cold you're experiencing. Climb in through the passenger door for now. Next time, before you leave the car, have on hand/carry with you dry towels and wipe off all the moisture real good around the rubber door seal on the body of the car, and on the door before shutting the door.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:11 AM   #5
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Hold the unlock button until your windows roll down.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:21 AM   #6
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More info please.

Do you have snow, rain, ice?

What temps are we talking about?

You may just have a bad drivers side door lock actuator or GM5 relay that is having problems in extreme cold weather.

If you are not having problems with the passenger side under the same conditions, WD40 or other lube may not even be the solution to the root cause, again, you may have a bad drivers door lock actuator that is in need of replacement?

Even if you think moisture may be the culprit, your drivers door lock actuator or GM5 relay may be the culprit.

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Old 11-30-2012, 06:41 AM   #7
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Hold the unlock button until your windows roll down.
This is a joke right? In any case, DO NOT follow this advice. If the glazing panel is frozen into place and you keep on commanding the car to roll down the window, the window regulator inside the door is made of a spindly cable and plastic parts which will break. As it is, BMW window regulators are not the model of toughness.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:18 AM   #8
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Its not that cold yet, perhaps -5 C today, its been only -2 or -3 past few days. Im not going to shatter the glass or anything. I just need to free it up so I can get it open to spray something to keep the moisture away.

Probably the best option would be to go see a movie and park it in the underground parking but underground parking is expensive.
The door locks and unlocks fine, the passenger side and trunk work fine. Two days ago I came here int he morning and it was above freezing.
I left work that evening and it had dropped to -3 and the driver side door would not open. So I am assuming it is frozen.
The passenger door was caked in ice as well but with some convincing it did open, which is why I am assuming it is frozen.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:20 AM   #9
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And, after you get it open, apply gummi pflege on the rubber seals...on door and in door opening. Use silicone spray in rubber tracks for window.

I wouldn't use a warmed liquid and I also would suggest you don't open your windows for the reasons mentioned above.

Gummi Pflege on everything rubber. If you don't have that around...silicone spray would work (not wd40...though, that might actually help to release the frozen door.

If not mentioned, when you do get into the car, keep heat on high in the hopes that it warms things up enough to unfreeze the door so you don't and shouldn't use brute force to open it...you could rip a seal apart or off.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:23 AM   #10
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And, after you get it open, apply gummi pflege on the rubber seals...on door and in door opening. Use silicone spray in rubber tracks for window.

I wouldn't use a warmed liquid and I also would suggest you don't open your windows for the reasons mentioned above.

Gummi Pflege on everything rubber. If you don't have that around...silicone spray would work (not wd40...though, that might actually help to release the frozen door.

If not mentioned, when you do get into the car, keep heat on high in the hopes that it warms things up enough to unfreeze the door so you don't and shouldn't use brute force to open it...you could rip a seal apart or off.
Its not the edge of the door that is frozen, it is the locking mechanism. It wont unlactch. This happened a few times on my old E-36 and I had to climb through the trunk. But the above is good advice anway just to take care of the rubber over winter.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:14 AM   #11
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Its not the edge of the door that is frozen, it is the locking mechanism. It wont unlactch. This happened a few times on my old E-36 and I had to climb through the trunk. But the above is good advice anway just to take care of the rubber over winter.
Try spraying a heavy coat of white lithium grease all over the parts that freeze. This will keep them moving smooth and prevent water from becoming an issue.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:19 AM   #12
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What he said above. The white lithium grease is the ticket. WD-40 is mostly a solvent, not the best solution, despite the marketing.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHK View Post
Past two days my driver side door has been frozen shut. I havent had time to do anything about it but now it will be the weekend and Id love to not have to climb in from the passenger side.

Current plans are to get something like WD-40 and spray it into the closed door area. See if that cracks it, then ill WD-40 the **** out of both door latches and the trunk latch to keep out moisture...

Anything wrong with this plan?

It can get quite cold here in Estonia, sometimes as cold as -30.
WD40 is oil based. Could get messy and expensive where clothing is concerned and it runs off anyway. What's wrong with regular de icer? Squirt it into the door cracks. A pain I know but it should do the trick. I tend to fill a 2L water bottle with hand hot water (not too hot) and pour it on. That does the trick.

Last edited by RayPooley; 11-30-2012 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:07 AM   #14
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Agree with Dmax's comments about the silicone spray. WD-40 will not wick away moisture very well and it also leaves a mess, potentially damaging your paint if you get it on there. A silicone based lubricant should work better to keep the moisture off. If it's just the latch that is stuck try to get it as warm and dry as possible. You can use ethanol to unfreeze it and carry a lot of the moisture away, then crank up your heat and maybe use a hair dryer/heat gun in the latch mechanism to fully dry it as the alcohol will dry much more readily than a water-based solution, then spray with silicone lubricant. I'm sure high purity vodka is in abundance in Estonia
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:14 AM   #15
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This happened to me once in SoCal on my E39 driver's door.it was so cold that morning there was ICEES ON ME CAR!
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:30 AM   #16
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Silicone spray.

I've had WD40 freeze in its own can.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:11 PM   #17
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maybe use a hair dryer
This is what I would try.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:23 PM   #18
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Hair dryer would be your best option here. But if its not feasible, hit the door with your butt a couple of times to get the ice cracked.
I had to do it once in my coupe when my doors froze on me parked at the street for a day. The door would unlock fine but would budge. So, butt came to use.
Just dont use your elbow or something pointy.

Careful not to scratch your paint.

Later use lithium grease on the mechanism.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:58 PM   #19
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No this is not a joke.

The Op said his door mech was frozen shut, not his window. Since many of our cars are programmed to roll the windows down simply by pressing/holding the unlock key it will not damage anything. It is certainly worth a try and has actually worked for me in the past......But I am sure you are an expert so why listen to someone from Minnesota.


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This is a joke right? In any case, DO NOT follow this advice. If the glazing panel is frozen into place and you keep on commanding the car to roll down the window, the window regulator inside the door is made of a spindly cable and plastic parts which will break. As it is, BMW window regulators are not the model of toughness.
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:43 PM   #20
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Move to somewhere that doesn't get negative degree weather.
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