Frozen locks

Non-specific B-body discussion

Frozen locks

Postby theholycow » Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:45 am

This nasty winter has been freezing my driver's side door lock. I've done well by heating the key with a lighter or opening the passenger side door, but today neither of those worked (passenger side was frozen too) and I had to stand there for 10+ minutes in the blustery cold wind with a hair dryer.

Besides getting a can of lock de-icer, is there anything I can do? Something more permanent like taking apart the door and cleaning/greasing the components, maybe?
1980 Buick LeSabre Limited 4.1 V6 T5 5 speed manual, 38,000 miles, family heirloom. (Up to 78,000 miles now, can't believe my work is holding up!)
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Re: Frozen locks

Postby Grover » Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:11 pm

I have not had that problem yet, but you can try methanol. It de-ices, but it also may screw up your paint.

Taking the door apart to get at the internal workings on our cars is non-trivial. I have pictures from when I did mine and will eventually get around to writing up the article on it, but it does involved drilling out two rivets on my car, then had to weld a nut onto the back plate so that I didn't have to use a rivet again. Gotta tear off all the insulation and re-glue it, and take the door trim off, which requires a special tool. All in all, unless you need to do something like replace the window channels or door handle (which is what I did), I would not recommend it.
1989 Caprice Classic
5.7L V8, 200R4, 2.73 gears
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Re: Frozen locks

Postby theholycow » Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:24 pm

Yeah, I had the passenger door apart to install a passenger side mirror and you're right, it's definitely non-trivial.

I bought some lock de-icer/lubricant today. I guess I'll just roll with that and see how it works. I bought two, one for my backpack and one for my trunk. I haven't had any trouble unlocking the trunk.

Some day I'll install power locks and keyless entry.
1980 Buick LeSabre Limited 4.1 V6 T5 5 speed manual, 38,000 miles, family heirloom. (Up to 78,000 miles now, can't believe my work is holding up!)
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