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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a paraplegic wheelchair user. I have a 2012 Dodge Caravan Crew, with an Amerivan / Eldorado side entry handicap conversion. I drive myself and normally travel alone.

For better or worse, I also live in New England, where we have seasons of extreme 'global warming' of the sort that needs shovelling.... :(

In the past several days I have had the ramp door (rear passenger side) freeze shut on me several times. Since this is the only door I can use to get in and out, this locks me out of the van. :eek: I have tried pulling on the door handle (hard enough I worried about damaging it) beating on the door frame, both with my fists and then a dead blow hammer, and attempting to pry between the door pillar and the door, and nothing worked to get the door open...

Fortunately I was able to recruit an able-bodied rescuer to climb in through one of the other doors and (with difficulty) push it open from the inside...

It is pretty obvious that water is getting into the door / body joint and freezing...

Is there anything I can do to keep the door from freezing shut? (aside from waiting for spring.....)

Thanks

ex-Gooserider
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, will have to give that recipe a try, sounds good, and I wouldn't mind having a better solution to getting the winter crap off my windshield either (ever try scraping the windshield on a slightly jacked up minivan when sitting in a wheelchair - NOT FUN!)

I do have a remote starter, I think (never actually used it), but I hate to think how long it would take to melt the door open with that - one of my many gripes with the car is that the heating system is IMHO anaemic at best....

ex-Gooserider

It would create another hazard for you, but I have opened doze shut doors with hot/warm water. A friend has this happen, he has a remote starter, though.

Then there is this.
2 Ingredient Car De-Icer Spray

She rocks it with water and isopropyl in a spray bottle.
 

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Get the windshield juice marketed specifically as De-Icer. A few moments of defrost, and a few generous squirts with the orange de-icer, and a bit of patience, and I have not scraped my windshield in over a decade, and I live in NW Missouri.
 

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1966 Crown Coupe, 2016 200 S AWD, 1962 Lark Daytona V8.
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A coating of lube on the door latch and slider rollers should keep the water beading up and not adhering to the mechanism/tracks,
A layer of silicone spray on the rubber weatherstrips should also keep ice from adhering and sticking parts together.
My wife uses the Rain-X washer solvent that beads up water on the windshield. It will build up a 'waterproof' coating on the glass like the regular Rain-X product. It is a little more expensive than the basic blue fluid. For best results, start with clean glass.
 
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It would create another hazard for you, but I have opened doze shut doors with hot/warm water.
Never use hot water - especially near the windshield. Cold water is still warm enough to melt any ice. With hot water you run the risk of cracking the glass. The glass can adjust to gradual temperature changes, but with a drastic temperature changer there is a good chance of it cracking.

I cracked the windshield on the '90 Acclaim I had one summer just by spraying cold water on a hot windshield one day. I was washing the exterior. Normally I clean out the interior first. With the doors open the excessive heat is allowed to escape. That time I didn't so when that cold water hit the windshield it cracked.
 

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Spray/wipe the door gaskets with WD-40 or similar spray, to discourage moisture from collecting and freezing the gaskets.
 

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After you get it open, to prevent in the future;
First clean the seals thoroughly and the metal surface on the door they seal too. Make sure the rain gutter fixtures under the door are there and in good shape. Make sure the drains in the seals are not clogged and any water that gets in the seals can drain out.

Then do what IC suggests, use some of the protective silicone sprays or lubes for the seals.

If the seals are clean and dry, and the surface on the door is clean and dry, they won't freeze to each other. If they are dirty and sticky, the goo can feeze the door shut, the goo will attract moisture. The silicone sprays and lubes for foam/rubber seals will help repel moisture and prevent them from freezing to the door surface.
 
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