First off, don’t panic. Other people have dealt with a frozen car door and they all probably felt the anxiety you’re feeling, too. So let’s get that door open, shall we?
Don’t Yank the Door Handle
Door handles are fragile. The entire door is covered in ice. Your priority is breaking the ice all the way around the door. Pulling on the handle is about as effective at doing that as blowing at a mosquito instead of swatting it. You could easily break the handle off the door, and that would make your problem worse.
Try Another Door
Perhaps another door will open, allowing you to drive away and let the car thaw in a warmer area. Even the rear hatch of a sedan could work so long as you can fold the rear bench down. It might feel silly, but if it gets you on your way and out of the cold, we’d call that a victory.
Push On the Weakest Door
If no doors will open, then try pushing against the door where the ice is thinnest instead of pulling on it. What you’re doing here is breaking the tension of the ice that’s holding it together. A few good hip bumps or shoulder taps might be enough to crack the ice.
Melt the Ice
Here’s where we get more advanced. Run a hair dryer outside. Heat your key with a cigarette lighter and insert it into the lock. Gently pour warm—not hot—water (hot water on cold glass could shatter it). Get a deicing spray from an auto parts store, and wash your car soon after to remove those chemicals. If the ice melts, dry it quick, or it will freeze in the cold.
Think About Getting Physical
As a final resort, get to work with an ice pick, but be careful not to scratch the finish of your vehicle. You can use other instruments, but you’re taking a risk here with causing damage. Proceed with caution.
Those are our recommendations. Give our service center a call if you’re stuck and we’ll walk you through it as best we can. Stay calm; you can do this.