When the temperatures are going to drop way below freezing, check your car and don’t leave these items inside your car if you’re parking outdoors. Even for just a little while and especially if you’re parking overnight.
- Cellphones and smartphones – They’re generally pretty sturdy, but extreme cold can take a toll on batteries, circuit boards and screens.
- Laptops and tablets – Same thing as #1. Extreme cold can sap the life expectancy from a battery. Take these items inside.
- Musical Instruments – Extreme cold can wreak havoc on guitars, brass, woodwinds – just about any musical instrument.
- Bottled or canned soda – These will start to freeze, expand and potentially explode in your car. It’s not a mess you want to clean up.
- Eggs – When these freeze and crack, it’s not quite the same as a can of soda letting go, but close.
- Any food in a can or glass jar – Not even that can of beans can withstand freezing. The same for that jar of pickles or salad dressing.
- Beer and wine – There’s not enough alcohol in these to keep them from freezing. The liquid will expand and potentially leak/explode all over. Remember that beer can you left in the freezer when you were in college?
- Pets – Even if you’re used to bringing your pet along while you run errands, leave them home during cold weather. Even a warm car can cool quickly in sub-zero weather.
- Medicine – Extreme cold can affect some medicines effectiveness – even pills or capsules. Liquid medicines in bottles to be taken orally and injectables, like insulin, will freeze. That will change their effectiveness. Bring all meds inside with you.
- Food in general – Liquid baby formula and other similar goods that are specifically meant to be stored at room temperature. Even if they appear to be safe, freezing can cause separation of ingredients, making them inedible.
- Your Keys #1 – Yes, a warm car is great to drive when you head out to work or class in the morning. Mechanics say that letting a car idle in your driveway is bad for the car in terms of wear and tear. Bundle up, get in the car, let it run for 30 seconds and get on your way. The car will be warm quickly.
- Your Keys #2 – NEVER leave a car idling at a gas station, convenience store or other location – even if you think you’re just going to “run n and out.” It’s a recipe for car theft…or even kidnapping.
And you know not to leave children or the elderly in cars, right?
Be careful out there. Stay warm.