Your Ultimate Guide To Conquering A Frozen Motorcycle Ignition

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Many people rely on their motorcycles for transportation. It may mean that you have to ride in the winter. This can cause a lot of problems for your motorcycle.

A frozen ignition switch on their motorcycle is one of the most common problems riders encounter in cold mornings. Not only is it annoying, but it tends to happen during times when you’re in a hurry. Most people don’t expect this to happen and are often left not knowing how to unfreeze it.

How do you defreeze an ignition lock on a motorcycle? A homemade solution made from water and rubbing alcohol can be used to fix a frozen ignition switch on a motorcycle. You can also use a hair dryer to de-icer the switch or use a lighter. Hot water is not recommended as it can quickly freeze and worsen the problem.

Winter riding can be fun if it is done right, but that doesn’t mean you won’t run into issues such as this. There are several steps you can take to ensure that this won’t happen to you, especially at the least convenient of times.

How to Unfreeze a Motorcycle Ignition

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve either found yourself with a frozen motorcycle ignition switch or you’ve encountered it before and want to keep it from happening again. I’ve owned over a dozen motorcycles and have frequently ran into this problem myself because I’ve lived in a few places with some harsh winters. Here’s what I’ve found to work great to combat a frozen motorcycle ignition.

I would suggest spraying a solution of water and rubbing alcohol directly onto the ignition. This is a safe and legitimate way to de-ice this device because it’s non-toxic and non-flammable.

In a spray can, combine 70% rubbing Alcohol with water. Mix 1 part water with 3 parts rubbing Alcohol. Combine it well and spray it directly on the ignition of your motorcycle.

Spray the solution on your key, and then insert it into the ignition. Make sure it moves around to get the solution in all the gears. To ensure that the solution is absorbed into the internals, repeat this process several times. You won’t need to worry about getting the solution inside the ignition because the alcohol will eventually evaporate the water.

If this first option isn’t possible, Try using a deicer spray. These are available at most auto parts stores. Spray the solution directly on your ignition and then spray your key with it. Make sure to insert the key into the ignition so that it can be sprayed on the inside. Continue wiggling the key to ensure that it is fully turned on.

These first two options may not be possible if you’re limited on resources and can’t necessarily use your motorcycle to get said resources. The third option is to use a hair dryer, or something similar. Although this option is extremely effective, it does require that you get an extension cable and blow hot air for several minutes on the ignition.

Ensure that you inspect the wiring coming from the ignition switch during this process. You don’t want those wires to get too hot because that may cause other problems. Make sure you are moving the hair dryer around all angles to ensure you’re getting all the ice inside.

If a hair dryer isn’t available, your last solution can be using a lighter. Because you don’t want to do it wrong, this can lead to more damage. But this is a good option to have if you’re stranded somewhere away from home with limited resources. There are many places that sell lighters.

Don’t let the flame of the lighter touch the motorcycle’s ignition. It should be close enough that you can see the heat affecting the inside of your ignition. Be extra careful with the wires, as an open flame could cause irreparable damage.

Also, you can heat the key using a lighter to quickly insert it into the ignition. There’s no need to get it burning red hot, just hot enough for it to move around inside. You should be careful if you have plastic on your key, or if you have a key fob for fancy motorcycles.

Note: if you’ve previously used any flammable substances such as a lube in attempt to get your ignition switch unfrozen, you should NOT use a lighter!

Never use hot water to remove a frozen motorcycle’s ignition. It may melt the ice within quickly, but it will also rapidly form new ice that can make your situation worse.

How to Prevent Ignition Freezing

Once you’ve experienced dealing with a frozen ignition on a motorcycle, you’ll probably never want to have to deal with it again. There are several steps you can take in order to prevent the ignition switch from freezing.

The first suggestion is obvious, but it’s crucial if you’re going to be riding in the winter. If possible, store your motorcycle in an enclosed space such as a shed or garage. If this isn’t possible, place a cover over your motorcycle to prevent water and snow from getting on it; this will also prevent moisture from building up in places it shouldn’t.

Each motorcycle’s ignition switch is unique. Some protrude out of the instrument panel, while others are in the center. Cover any protruding ignition switches with something. This can be made at home, or purchased online. This will reduce the chance of it freezing.

You can also try a lock deicer and/or lubricant. These products can be purchased at any hardware store. This is a lock-specific solution that works well for ignitions. Even if it isn’t frozen, you can spray it in to your ignition switch and it will keep it lubricated.

Why do ignitions freeze?

There have been many improvements in ignition switches. Newer motorcycles are less susceptible to frozen ignitions while it’s more common among older motorcycles.

Many ignition switches come with a small mechanism that locks the key hole and opens only when the key is inserted. The mechanism stops moisture and water from entering. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work 100% of the time and eventually water can find it’s way in there.

There’s a possibility of rust when water gets insideWater can also be used to dilute any lubricant inside. As you all know, water freezes when it gets too cold. This makes it impossible to turn the ignition.

Keys can also retain moisture. It could be either from rain or being in a moist pocket. Be sure to dry your key before you place it in the ignition switch of your motorcycle. Even the smallest amount can cause problems later.

What is Frozen if Motorcycle Ignition is Frozen?

If you’ve found yourself with a frozen motorcycle ignition, chances are there may be other complications with your motorcycle with the freezing temperatures.

If it’s cold enough for your ignition switch to freeze, you may struggle to get the motorcycle started because the battery will have difficulty starting the motorcycle. Freezing temperatures greatly decreases a battery’s ability to power up a machine like a motorcycleso don’t be surprised if you need a jump start, too.

These freezing temperatures may cause the oil inside your motorcycle to have problems lubricating. Low temperatures decreases oil’s viscosity, so starting the engine up in the first place may be a little difficult.

Check your tire pressure. Flat tires can result in tire deflation, which can make it dangerous to ride on slippery roads. After you have started your motorcycle, make sure to fill up the tank at your local gas station. You can read my article to learn more about the effects of cold weather on motorcycles.

Similar Questions

How can you keep your motorcycle warm during winter? You can keep your motorcycle warm in winter by using motorcycle engine block heaters. Garage overhead heaters, electric blankets. Heated motorcycle covers. A cover air flow heater. An electric heater blowing directly onto the engine block. For more information, click here.

What is the cost of a new ignition switch for a motorcycle? There are different types of motorcycles and the cost of an new ignition switch for a motorcycle. On average, a new ignition switch costs between $20 – $50. The price of newer motorcycle ignition switches is higher, while older ones will be less expensive.

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