We are only nine days into December and I'm already done with winter. Until last week, temps were around freezing or so. We'd had snow, but not a terrible amount. Then it changed. We got some significant snow on Tuesday and Wednesday but it wasn't that cold. That meant lots of moisture on the cars and roads.
By Thursday morning the temperature had fallen to just above zero. I decided to take the boys out to the mall so they could run (or at least walk) around. We got all bundled up and went out to the porch. I had the boys wait there while I turned on the car and cleared off the snow. I did my scrapping duty but there was a problem. The side doors to the van were frozen shut. So we stayed home.
When the FP Gal got home I told her what happened and she told me that I should have gotten them in through the front door and then buckled them up. On Friday I decided to do just that. It was a pain, especially because LL had no clue what I was doing and fought the whole time. Poor guy didn't understand the plan. To make matters worse, after we got moving, one of the side doors must have been just open enough to bother the sensors. We had the 'bong, bong, bong' thing going the whole trip.
Got to the mall and it was already busy. I parked the car and went to the back to get the stroller. Frozen shut. I spent a minute or so trying to figure out how to move it all the way through the car past the boys. Or should I get them out first so I didn't bash them with it? Then what, have them stand near the car in the parking lot? No. Try it without the stroller? When it was already busy? Not a chance. I got back in and told them that the plan was changing and I'd get them happy meals on the way home.
That afternoon when the FP Gal got home, I went to work on opening them up. I read that a mix of warm (not hot!) water and anti-freeze can be poured on the door to open them. We didn't have extra anti-freeze but I reckoned that if I poured and then quickly wiped away any water, I would be ok. This worked well with the door on LL's side. It opened right up.
Not so with the other one. It opened but then it wouldn't shut again. I worked on it, chipping away any ice I could see. Rubbing alcohol on the seals. The FP Gal ran a hair dryer out to me and I melted away any ice that I could see. Still didn't work. We bungeed the door shut and took a break.
Later I called Kia. They said to spray some de-icer on the latches. I made the short drive to the nearest auto place but they were sold out of de-icer. Then I tried another one but the bungee wouldn't hold. Which meant that I was going down Portland avenue about 30 mph with the side door wide open. Not good.
Fortunately, the FP Gal's father helped me out. I stopped at his place and we took his car out and got some stuff. We sprayed generously, including the actual door handle and that seems to have done the trick.
Until Sunday morning, at which point both of the doors were stuck again. We needed to go out, so we herded the kids in through the front and went to Ikea. Again one of the doors was bonging and it was very tense.
We may just have to face this on and off this winter. I told the FP Gal that I would volunteer to drive the car someplace warm (like Arizona) and bring it back in April. She demurred, but I think I can convince her. So far, this winter has been awful.
This morning, the passenger side sliding door opened and closed without problem. So maybe there is hope.