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De-icing a u-lock

This topic contains 14 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  ericf 1 yr, 8 mos.

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gg

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Feb 2 2013 at 10:49am #

Do those sprays at automotive stores work? No access to heat where the lock is. No electric. Thanks.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe

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Feb 2 2013 at 10:54am #

When the locks on my old car used to seize in the cold, I could heat the key with a lighter, then insert it in the lock and that would be enough to release it. With a u-lock, you may even be able to warm the lock directly with a lighter.


gg

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Feb 2 2013 at 11:00am #

I tried with a lighter, but it was too windy. Also, the U-lock is coated. Strangely the key turns fine, so it is the mechanism inside that is frozen. Heating it would be hard. I guess I could pour hot water on it to get the key out. Oh, the reason the key is stuck is because it won’t turn all the way because the lock isn’t fully closed. Kind of a mess. I have a torch I could bring with me, but I don’t know if I want to have all that going on? Maybe though. Thanks.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe

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Feb 2 2013 at 11:02am #

Yowza. That really sounds like a pickle. Sounds a lot worse than I expected. Hm. Blow torch is always fun…


Marko82

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Feb 2 2013 at 11:11am #

WD40? It displaces water which is probably what the automotive stuff does. You cold also try one of those hand warmer packs but I’m not sure it would get warm enough.


gg

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Feb 2 2013 at 11:27am #

Yeah, I might try WD-40. Maybe de-ice and then WD? Something has to work. I guess worse case hot water and keep the lock inside to dry out. Kind of a pain, but I think what happened was that rain and then super cold temps came. Ah well.

Thanks for the replies.


jonawebb

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Feb 2 2013 at 11:28am #

It’s probably rusted in there, too. I’d use a lot of WD40, really soak it. You’re not going to hurt anything.


Pierce

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Feb 2 2013 at 11:51am #

I used to (maybe even I still do?) carry around the spay lock deicer stuff on my bike for just that reason. I learned the lighter trick from a custodian at school the first time that happened to me.

Also probably worth putting some bike lube in there when you get a chance to help things turn more smoothly in the future


chemicaldave

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Feb 2 2013 at 12:01pm #

Might this work?


edmonds59

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Feb 2 2013 at 3:43pm #

About a month ago I had to drag 200 ft. of extension cord and an angle grinder down to the Macy’s garage when my mini ulock seized up for no apparent reason, so, good luck. Otherwise known as “stealing your own bike”. I do not have good history with ulocks. :/


Benzo

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Feb 2 2013 at 5:40pm #

Did you try peeing on it?


gg

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Feb 2 2013 at 11:44pm #

Wow, I sprayed it with de-ice AND then WD-40. Soaked it and it still wouldn’t open. I am taking a torch tomorrow. If that doesn’t work, I am calling Kryptonite. That thing was expensive.


Pierce

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Feb 3 2013 at 11:48am #

How old was the lock?

Not sure if this is applicable, but it’s probably worth regularly oiling the mechanics of the lock to help preventing it from seizing up in situations like this.


gg

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Feb 3 2013 at 11:09pm #

I got the key out today. That was good. I will try and open it tomorrow. Probably take it inside to dry out. Thanks for all the tips. Oh, the lock was purchased this year.


ericf

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Feb 4 2013 at 10:32am #

gg
Anything alcohol based should melt ice, fuel line antifreeze works well, it is mostly ethanol. Rubbing alcohol works to a lesser extent, but maybe a good dousing will get things moving.

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