It’s cold outside. If there’s also moisture or condensation around your car doors, chances are they will freeze shut when your car is parked for an extended period. This makes it really hard to get into your car, and can be frustrating when you are in a hurry.

If your doors are frozen shut, don’t try to force them open with a mighty pull or you may damage the rubber gasket. If you can gently pull them open, fine, but don’t use all your force trying to get them open. Try another door, maybe not all the doors are frozen shut.

If you happen to have one of the newer cars with a remote ignition switch, turn your car on and as it warms up the doors will thaw. You can turn your heating controls all the way up at night so that in the morning when you start your car remotely, the heater gets going faster. You will need to remember to allow extra time for this to thaw stuck doors.

For the rest of us without a remote ignition switch, other options for opening frozen doors include using a hairdryer to heat the door. You can also pour warm (not too hot) water around the door to thaw the ice. You need to find a way to heat the door’s gasket enough to melt the ice.

There are some things we can do ahead of time to prevent the problem from happening again. Coating the rubber gasket with silicone, WD-40, Pam (or a similar cooking spray) or petroleum jelly will keep water from sticking to the rubber and freezing the door shut. Use a paper towel to wipe any of these coatings all over the rubber gasket along the doors. You can buy coatings for your rubber gaskets from a Utah auto repair stores.

Make sure to coat the rubber gasket well, and don’t miss any spots. Also be careful not to over-spray and damage the other surfaces in your car. Using a paper towel or rag can help you distribute the coating evenly without getting it all over other things.

Some of these products will need to be re-applied throughout the winter months. If you use silicone spray or petroleum jelly you may only have to apply it once during the winter. WD-40 will need to be applied several times during the winter – perhaps about once a month.

Parking in a garage or covering your car at night can also help prevent frozen doors. You could have a Utah auto repair facility install a remote ignition on your car. Utah auto repair facilities can help you with all your winter driving challenges.