Subaru Ascent Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This is not a design problem, but rather a funny cold weather quirk I though I'd share with the forum, with an easy solve: push!

My wife, two kids (11 & 13) and I recently drove about 120 miles over 4 slow hours in sub-freezing temperatures (22 to 26 degrees Fahrenheit) with compact snow on the road the entire way. When we finally stopped all four passenger doors were frozen shut due to road grime having congealed along the door jambs. We spent about 20 minutes stuck in the car believing the issue was an electrical quirk, and were a little panicky! The door lock/unlock buttons all seemed to operate perfectly from the fob and from the unlock buttons, but I was puzzled that when I pulled the inside door handle and I felt no pull, no purchase or feedback; I couldn't feel the door linkage engage. I rolled down the window and tried the outer handle and felt the same "limp fish" feeling. No click, no pull, no linkage engagement. We tested the back hatch push button, discovered that it opened normally, and considered exiting the car by crawling over the suitcases and out the back. We tried making an On Star call, but didn't connect. We Googled "Subaru Ascent doors won't open," and did not find that anyone had ever posted about this issue. My son eventually crawled out his passenger window, yanked firmly on the door outer door handle, and "pop!" the frozen door unstuck! With a pull on the internal door latch plus a firm shoulder nudge we are each able to free ourselves from the car with a crackle as the ice broke free. Exiting the car we noticed that the icy, grimy road conditions had indeed formed a seal of brown, frozen goo that coated inside the wheel wells, the lower part of the doors and sealed us temporarily inside the car. We laughed that our predicament solved itself so easily, and had some lunch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
318 Posts
Had this happen to me once about 25 years ago in an old Honda crx, except you couldn't push the doors too hard because the windows were frameless. I ended up lying on my back in the cargo area and gently pushing the rear hatch open with my feet!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
886 Posts
This is not a design problem, but rather a funny cold weather quirk I though I'd share with the forum, with an easy solve: push!

My wife, two kids (11 & 13) and I recently drove about 120 miles over 4 slow hours in sub-freezing temperatures (22 to 26 degrees Fahrenheit) with compact snow on the road the entire way. When we finally stopped all four passenger doors were frozen shut due to road grime having congealed along the door jambs. We spent about 20 minutes stuck in the car believing the issue was an electrical quirk, and were a little panicky! The door lock/unlock buttons all seemed to operate perfectly from the fob and from the unlock buttons, but I was puzzled that when I pulled the inside door handle and I felt no pull, no purchase or feedback; I couldn't feel the door linkage engage. I rolled down the window and tried the outer handle and felt the same "limp fish" feeling. No click, no pull, no linkage engagement. We tested the back hatch push button, discovered that it opened normally, and considered exiting the car by crawling over the suitcases and out the back. We tried making an On Star call, but didn't connect. We Googled "Subaru Ascent doors won't open," and did not find that anyone had ever posted about this issue. My son eventually crawled out his passenger window, yanked firmly on the door outer door handle, and "pop!" the frozen door unstuck! With a pull on the internal door latch plus a firm shoulder nudge we are each able to free ourselves from the car with a crackle as the ice broke free. Exiting the car we noticed that the icy, grimy road conditions had indeed formed a seal of brown, frozen goo that coated inside the wheel wells, the lower part of the doors and sealed us temporarily inside the car. We laughed that our predicament solved itself so easily, and had some lunch.
I might consider keeping a mini butane torch in the car (like the ones they use for cooking). I could also use it for my frozen wheel well area
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,081 Posts
I might consider keeping a mini butane torch in the car (like the ones they use for cooking). I could also use it for my frozen wheel well area
While setting your car on fire will certainly melt any ice, it will also cause other more serious problems. Use with caution 😉
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
There are 12V hair driers that plug into a lighter socket or clip to the battery. I had one years ago. Not a heck of a lot of heat and you'd be there a loooonnnngggg time melting ice out of the wheel wells with it...and don't run the battery down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
886 Posts
While setting your car on fire will certainly melt any ice, it will also cause other more serious problems. Use with caution 😉
The heat only needs to bring the temp up a couple of degrees to release the doors, not clear all snow and ice. Distance, moderation and movement are our friends in this endeavor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
956 Posts
This is not a design problem, but rather a funny cold weather quirk I though I'd share with the forum, with an easy solve: push!

Exiting the car we noticed that the icy, grimy road conditions had indeed formed a seal of brown, frozen goo that coated inside the wheel wells, the lower part of the doors and sealed us temporarily inside the car. We laughed that our predicament solved itself so easily, and had some lunch.
Same thing can happen with the Forester, and to a lesser extent, ANY vehicle. Being from Indiana, I've certainly had it happen in winter with all of our vehicles.

However, with the Forester and the Ascent, due to the larger, lower seal, there is the ability for a LOT of muck to accumulate in that spot behind where the gasket keeps the door sill clean. That's the normal solution, just push the darned thing open. Wife had that happen to here driving up from southern Oklahoma about four years ago in her Forester, after 3 hours of driving on the slush that was covering I-35, she was stuck in the car. When I got home from work that night, there was a solid two inches of ice coating the whole back end that had splashed up and frozen on it.

Or, in other words, welcome to regular winter driving. :)
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top