Winter may be winding down, but it’s likely that we still have several weeks of cold weather before things warm up. We’re certain that, at this point in the winter, you’ve remembered how your car becomes a deep freezer when you’re not driving it.
While there’s little you can do to prevent a frozen steering wheel and bitterly cold seat, you do have control over what you leave in the car. After reading this article in USA Today, we decided to share their list of things not to freeze.
Seven Things to Never Leave in a Cold Car
- Loved Ones: This may be unnecessary to point out, but leaving your loved ones in an ice-cold car isn’t a good idea. It’s worth saying that children and the elderly are more susceptible to hypothermia. So no matter if you’re just running into the store for one moment, don’t leave family members behind.
- Cell Phones: Both Apple and Samsung advise against storing cell phones at temperatures below -4 degrees, and they say not to use them in temperatures lower than 32. The part of your phone that’s most vulnerable to chilly temperatures? Your lithium battery. It can stop working when it becomes chilled. While it should go back to normal at room temperature, repeated exposure to cold can lead to lasting damage.
- Beer or Soda: Since water expands when it freezes, this can be a recipe for disaster with bottled drinks. Coke freezes at 30 degrees, and 5% alcohol beer freezes at 27. As the water turns to ice and expands, this can lead to explosions.
- Canned Foods: Since these have high water content, allowing canned goods to freeze can lead to similar problems as can happen with beer or soda. When food expands inside the can, it can break the seal. If you’re caught in a jam with a frozen can, allow it to thaw in the fridge. If it doesn’t look or smell normal, dispose of it. Don’t taste it! Also, throw out cans that are rusted or burst. When you dispose of the can, take care to ensure that no one, including animals, can get to it.
- Musical Instruments: Unlike water, most things contract when they freeze. If you leave an instrument in your car and it shrinks as a result of the cold, it could lead to serious damage, especially with wooden instruments.
- Eggs: If you leave eggs behind and they freeze in their shells, dispose of any cracked eggs, and refrigerate uncracked ones before use. You will be hard-pressed to do anything with the egg other than hard boil it. Frozen and then thawed eggs have a different texture since frozen yolks become thick and syrupy.
- A Dwindling Gas Tank: Keep your tank at least half-full in chilly temps. This prevents your fuel lines from freezing. Keep an eye on your other fluids and your tires while you’re at it. The pressure change from the cold can affect these.
Keep warm and safe as we head into the last weeks of winter!