5 Things to Never Leave in Your Car During a Deep Freeze

Unless you’re privileged enough to live in Hawai’i – if that’s the case, lucky you! – we bet the temperature in your neck of the woods is absolutely bone-chilling at the moment. This winter season has been a particularly brutal one, with record-breaking cold snaps traveling as far south as Florida—yep, that Florida!

Since we’re on what seems like “week 100” of this terrible winter, you’ve likely done what you needed to do in order to protect the items in your home, but there’s still one thing that you may be neglecting—the items in your car.

If you’re anything like us, you sometimes leave your work essentials overnight in your car so you don’t have to re-pack in the morning. It’s not a terrible plan on paper, but it can quickly turn into a precarious one when performed in freezing temperatures.

Here are 5 common items that can be destroyed by a cold car…

  1. Your most beloved devices

    Breaking news: your devices should NEVER be exposed to temperatures below 32 and above 95-degrees Fahrenheit.

    According to Apple, the lithium-ion batteries that are used in most modern phones, tablets, and laptops can be permanently damaged by the chill, especially if they get exposed to subzero conditions. Unless you have money to burn, you’re best off keeping the electronics in a heated environment!

  2. Your canned groceries

    One of the virtues of canned goods is a long shelf life, but that doesn’t mean these items were meant to take the cold.

    As it turns out, aluminum cans only keep their toughness when stored over 50-degrees Fahrenheit; if they become introduced to frostier temperatures, the contents can swell and the metal seams can burst, which can make for a messy and potentially unhealthy situation!

  3. Your favorite fizzy beverage

    Anyone who has accidentally left a cola in a freezer for too long knows that cold and carbonation do not mix. If you don’t know why, then maybe you should try out this science experiment for yourself…

    Spoiler alert: the cola will EXPLODE!

  4. Your medications

    According to the University of Washington School of Pharmacy, most medications should be stored between 58 and 86 degrees; anything above or below can alter effectiveness. This means that bottle of Advil currently being stored in your glove compartment might no longer help your headache. Good to know!

  5. Your wooden items

    Are you in the middle of a winter move? If so, don’t leave your wooden items—this includes furniture, instruments, and furnishings—in a cold car for too long.

    Your vehicle’s dry environment, paired with the frosty temperature outside, can dry out the wood and, in the worst cases, inflict permanent damage on its finish.

If you don’t have at least one of these items in your car right now, we’re impressed! For those of you who do, throw on a coat and retrieve them, but not before watching the video below to learn more. Your car—and your wallet! —will thank you.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this list. Have cold temperatures ever ruined your belongings? If so, what were they? How do you keep your car organized in the wintertime?