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Discussion Starter #1
My 2017 Pacifica TL is my first ever minivan so I'm not too familiar with how common it is for sliding doors to be stuck frozen shut in the winter months, but it seems like a significant issue that shouldn't happen as often as it does. I'm in the Pittsburgh area and I don't own a garage so my van is exposed to the elements. It seems like any amount of wintery precipitation causes the power sliding doors to freeze over and refuse to operate. My only options are to run the car to warm it up and to carefully work a scraper along all the seams of the door until finally the ice yields. One time the situation was so bad I had to get my heat gun and heat the seals for a couple minutes.

Does this line up with your experience? Is this typical of all minivans or is the Pacifica extra bad at this? Are there better solutions? I've thought about making tarps with two weighted sides to hang over the doors to keep them from getting snow and ice.
 

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Won't the Prestone windshield spray de-icer work on the doors and locks?
That'll work fine in Northern California, in Pittsburgh, maybe a 5 gallon bottle will do it! :D

Actually, the problem is the sensitivity of the sensor that stops the door if it is blocked in either direction. All minivans have this issue.
 

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I spray the rubber seals with silicone at the beginning of Winter. I think that helps keep water from between the door and seal (which would freeze and cause the problem).
 

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That'll work fine in Northern California, in Pittsburgh, maybe a 5 gallon bottle will do it! :D

Actually, the problem is the sensitivity of the sensor that stops the door if it is blocked in either direction. All minivans have this issue.
Sorry. My part of Northern CA (Sacramento area) we get our windshield frozen (if left outside) maybe 15-20 times a year. Nothing more. We don't have earth quakes, hurricanes, twisters, or snow here; gosh I hate it here. Nah, really I love it here!
 

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I spray the rubber seals with silicone at the beginning of Winter. I think that helps keep water from between the door and seal (which would freeze and cause the problem).
I second the silicone suggestion. Spray works but you might find a light spread of silicone grease will last longer. I've had cars outside for years and this seems to do the trick for me. We just had 11 inches of wet snow that froze and this worked.

My bigger problem was ice buildup on the rear bumper. The hatch couldn't get past the ice and Park Sense was faked into thinking something was behind me. When I backed up, the brakes engaged! Had to disable it until the ice melted.
 

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I second the silicone suggestion. Spray works but you might find a light spread of silicone grease will last longer. I've had cars outside for years and this seems to do the trick for me. We just had 11 inches of wet snow that froze and this worked.

My bigger problem was ice buildup on the rear bumper. The hatch couldn't get past the ice and Park Sense was faked into thinking something was behind me. When I backed up, the brakes engaged! Had to disable it until the ice melted.
I'll have to try the silicone grease, sounds good.

I keep a kids Super Soaker water gun with washer fluid to clean the TV satellite dish free of snow. Maybe that'll work on the back bumper.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I spray the rubber seals with silicone at the beginning of Winter. I think that helps keep water from between the door and seal (which would freeze and cause the problem).
Thanks for the tip. I already picked up a can today. Here's hoping that saves some aggravation.

I'm still curious if anyone with a longer history of owning vans thinks this is a problem across the board with van sliding doors, or if the Pacifica might suffer from poor design on this issue? It just seems like van makers would have figured out a better answer by now... something like heated seals that warm up when the rear defroster is activated.
 

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Thanks for the tip. I already picked up a can today. Here's hoping that saves some aggravation.

I'm still curious if anyone with a longer history of owning vans thinks this is a problem across the board with van sliding doors, or if the Pacifica might suffer from poor design on this issue? It just seems like van makers would have figured out a better answer by now... something like heated seals that warm up when the rear defroster is activated.
I've had either a car or minivan outside since 1989. Whether it was the Olds Cutlass, Chevy Cavalier, 89 Voyager or the 05 T&C, when the conditions were right any or all of the doors would freeze shut. It is not unique to vans. The Pacifica is the first vehicle that has power sliding doors so we will see how that goes.

Prior to spraying or greasing the doors there were times I thought I might break the handle when pulling on a door handle. Often one of the doors would open and I would crawl in and start the car and the rest of the doors would soon open easily when pushed from the inside.

So there. Such is life here in Chicago. Now all you Californians, Texans and Floridians can gloat over your weather once again!
 

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Now all you Californians, Texans and Floridians can gloat over your weather once again!
I am here gloating in California. Thank you for this opportunity! LOL. As stated before, my part of California is NOT subject to earthquakes, fires, hurricane's, or tornados. I ain't claiming that we are God's favorites, but...
 

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I am here gloating in California. Thank you for this opportunity! LOL. As stated before, my part of California is NOT subject to earthquakes, fires, hurricane's, or tornados. I ain't claiming that we are God's favorites, but...
(Sorry, can't resist this.) I'd have a hard time gloating if I lived in the seat of California's state government! >:)
 

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In the Pacific Northwest, the larger issue for sliding doors in wintertime is the sheet ice that will wrap your van overnight in a clear, rock-hard sheet of ice. This is due to the melt and refreeze cycles we often have. Keeping the seals from freezing is a concern, but when you can't even get to the door in the first place, it's a bigger issue. My wife has resorted to hot water to melt the ice enough to open the door, but I prefer not to do that as I know it's just going to freeze again and might not even work enough to budge the door (plus common sense tells me not to put boiling water on frozen glass). I have a wait and see strategy, knowing that the mechanics are different on the driver/passenger doors I can get those open if I pull hard, then disable the slider motors once inside so we don't burn those out, then open the sliders from inside.
 
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