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Jana Tidwell
Public Relations Manager, PA
O: (302) 299-4426
C: (302) 353-6563

Kathleen Zinszer
Sr. Public Aff. Specialist, CT/DE/NJ/PA
O: (302) 299-4168
C: (610) 291-7312

AAA: Tips for De-Icing Your Vehicle

AAA Roadside Assistance Calls Up For Frozen Locks - fortunately the cold never bothered them

PHILADELPHIA, PA (January 30, 2019) - AAA Roadside Assistance calls are going up in the Philly five county area and Mid-Atlantic region - not because drivers can't start their vehicles, but because they can't open their vehicle doors.

"Drivers calling AAA Roadside Assistance are saying they are frozen out of their vehicle," said Jana L. Tidwell, Public and Government Affairs Manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic. "They are saying, 'here I stand and here I stay,' fortunately our Roadside Assistance team says they are up for the job, and 'the cold never bothered us anyway.'"

"It can be frustrating to find yourself frozen out of your vehicle, but with a few precautionary measures and using some best practices for thawing out the vehicle after a freeze, drivers should be able to take that frustration and let it go," said Tidwell.

Frozen Vehicle Doors – How to Prevent Freezing – Tips to De-Ice Properly

Freezing rain and ice may challenge drivers even before they attempt to leave home. AAA recommends drivers take action before icing conditions begin:

  • Protect vehicle: if possible park car inside garage or under a cover like a carport.
  • Dry and lubricate surfaces: wipe down and dry weather strips and surfaces around doors and windows. Apply a lubricant (WD40, cooking spray and even Vaseline work well) to the weather stripping to prevent freezing.
  • Windshield wipers: pull wipers away from your windshield to prevent them from freezing to the windshield.
  • Use the right windshield washer solvent: make sure windshield washer solvent is the correct type for winter. Summer rated solvents will freeze and can cause cracking and serious damage to the washer reservoir. 

AAA offer tips after icing conditions affect vehicles:

  • Ice coated windshield/windows: NEVER pour hot water on windshield or windows, this can cause the glass to break. Use vehicle defrosters to melt ice for easier removal. Don’t use windshield wipers to remove ice – this will damage the blades.
  • Frozen windows: do not continue to push the power window buttons if the window is frozen, it can damage the mechanics inside the door and can also cause the window to break.
  • Frozen locks: never use water to thaw frozen locks, instead use commercial deicing products or heat the key and lock with a hair dryer. A lighter can also be used to heat the key.
  • Frozen windshield wipers: If windshield wipers are frozen to the windshield, use the heater and defroster to melt the ice before turning the windshield wipers on. When you arrive at your destination remember to pull the windshield wipers away from the windshield to prevent refreezing.


Follow us on Twitter: @AAAPhillyNews

Mailing Address:
7777 Brewster Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19159

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Pennsylvania.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For more information, visit

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