: door freezing problem - need help!

02-17-06, 11:35 AM
any time i get rain or alot of melt on my car, followed up by a sub-25F cold spell, my doors freeze shut and the door locking mech freezes open.

i end up having to really give the door-handle a heave-ho just to open up the door (sometimes feels like i might tear the door handle off) and then when i go to slam the door shut, the latching mech is frozen open and it wont latch!

i'm looking for tips on how to minimize the infiltration of water around the perimeter of the door. the gaskets/seals look OK, but i'm no expert in evaluating the quality of door gaskets/seals.

maybe i can spray the gaskets/seals w/ something like armor-all to give them a more water-resistant seal? i also spray the latching mech w/ wd40 which seems to loosen it up enough that it'll latch closed, but it's not permanent - after the next wet/freeze cycle this invariably happens again and i need to re-spray the latching mech w/ wd40.

i'm thinking if i can get a better seal around the door perimeter, the lube demands on the latching mech wont be so critical.

thoughts? suggestions? tips? hook a brutha up!

ps. it's a 2001 catera sport.

02-17-06, 07:14 PM
:hmm: Yeah... wd40 might help. As for Armor-all on the gaskets, I would probably try something stronger, like 303. If that doesn't do you any good, try a lot of grease... :suspense:

02-19-06, 04:49 PM
Spray the latches with "super-lube".

Before you yank out on the door and rip the handle out, push the door inboard first.
If you push in on the door first, it will compress the weatherstrips and break the grip of the ice. That will make it easy to pull the door open.
If you keep yanking on the handle, one day it will come off.

02-22-06, 02:02 AM
I think the earlier posters' suggestions are good. I'm just not sure they will work. I hope they do.

But I agree with your use of the term "infiltration". That is spot on.

I assume you are forced by circumstances to park your Catera out in the weather, where it has been for a while through this winter. OK

First suggestion is to get the car into an inside, heated situation (e.g., a heated garage) long enough so it can dry out . . . . . . so the ice (if any) can melt and so any water will have time to evaporate. Maybe you have a friend with a garage or can rent a covered parking place at the weekend rate, or whatever it takes to dry the car thoroughly.

With everything dry, buy a small tarp for a few bucks and a number of small magnets. Pay attention to weather forecasts . . . pay attention! Pay attention for the next month, anyway.

When rain is forecast to be followed by freezing conditions, use the tarp to protect your driver's side door. If precip is forecast and the temperature is ALREADY well below freezing: no sweat as long as your car is dried out BEFORE it is exposed to the frozen precip.

If you have snow or ice on the car and a thaw is forecast, get the snow (or ice) OFF the car before it melts and makes things wet.

If all that fails and things get wet around the door for some reason, do not hesitate: use an old towel to dry everything up as best you can.

To check your door seals run the old "dollar bill" checkout. You don't actually have to spend the dollar. Just place the bill at various places around the door, and then close the door, trapping the bill (we hope). Tug gently on the dollar bill to test and see how good you are sealing in that particular spot. For sake of comparison, you can try the same test on the other doors of the car, which get less use. Hopefully your driver's door will not test out much worse than the other doors. If it does, well, at least you know where you stand and you know the driver's door seal may need attention.

And above all, take heart: spring is less than a month away!