The Essential Guide: Things to Avoid Leaving in Your Car During Freezing Weather

As temperatures drop and winter sets in, it’s crucial to pay extra attention to the items we leave in our cars. Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on various objects, causing damage, inefficiencies, or even safety hazards. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the specifics of what not to leave in your car during freezing weather and why it’s important to heed these precautions.

1 – Electronics and Batteries:

   Freezing temperatures can be detrimental to electronic devices and batteries. Lithium-ion batteries, commonly found in smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets, can suffer permanent damage or even explode when exposed to extreme cold. Similarly, LCD screens may malfunction or crack in freezing temperatures, rendering devices unusable. To avoid such issues, it’s best to bring electronics indoors or keep them close to your body to retain some warmth.

2 – Medications:

   Certain medications and medical supplies are sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Insulin, for instance, loses its effectiveness when exposed to freezing temperatures, posing a significant risk to individuals with diabetes. Additionally, medications such as liquid antibiotics, eye drops, and certain vaccines may freeze, altering their chemical composition and rendering them ineffective or harmful. It’s advisable to store medications in a temperature-controlled environment, especially when traveling during winter.

3 – Carbonated Beverages:

   Carbonated beverages, including soda cans and bottles, are prone to exploding in freezing temperatures. As liquids expand when frozen, the pressure inside sealed containers increases, leading to potential explosions. The mess created by burst soda cans can be not only inconvenient but also hazardous if the liquid seeps into electrical components or freezes on surfaces, causing slippery conditions.

4 – Canned Foods:

   While canned foods are generally resistant to temperature variations, extreme cold can affect the quality and safety of certain products. Canned goods with high water content, such as soups and vegetables, may expand and burst when frozen, compromising their integrity and exposing them to contamination. Additionally, freezing temperatures can cause metal cans to rust or corrode more quickly, potentially affecting the food inside. It’s advisable to transport canned foods in insulated bags or containers during winter.

5 – Plastic Water Bottles:

   Leaving plastic water bottles in a car during freezing weather can lead to several issues. Firstly, water expands when frozen, causing plastic bottles to deform, crack, or burst. This not only wastes water but also creates a mess inside the vehicle. Moreover, there are concerns about chemicals leaching from plastic bottles into the water, especially when exposed to temperature extremes. To avoid these problems, opt for reusable stainless steel or glass bottles, which are more durable and safer in cold conditions.

6 – Fire Extinguishers:

   While it’s essential to have a fire extinguisher in your vehicle for emergencies, it’s crucial to store it properly, especially in freezing weather. Fire extinguishers contain compressed gas, which can be affected by temperature fluctuations. In freezing conditions, the pressure inside the extinguisher can drop significantly, rendering it ineffective when needed. It’s recommended to store fire extinguishers in a moderate temperature environment and periodically check their pressure levels to ensure readiness.

7 – Musical Instruments:

   Musical instruments, particularly those made of wood, are susceptible to damage in extreme temperatures. Cold weather can cause wood to contract and crack, affecting the instrument’s tone, playability, and structural integrity. Brass and metal instruments may also be affected by freezing temperatures, leading to tuning issues or damage to delicate components. If you must transport musical instruments during winter, use insulated cases and avoid leaving them in the car for extended periods.

8 – Pets and Living Creatures:

   Leaving pets or other living creatures in a car during freezing weather can have dire consequences. Just as cars can become dangerously hot in summer, they can quickly become cold enough to endanger the lives of animals in winter. Pets left in freezing cars may suffer from hypothermia, frostbite, or even death. It’s essential to bring pets indoors or provide them with adequate shelter and warmth when traveling in cold weather.


As winter brings freezing temperatures, it’s crucial to be mindful of the items we leave in our cars. From electronic devices and medications to canned foods and pets, certain items can suffer damage or pose safety risks when exposed to extreme cold. By following the guidelines outlined in this article and exercising caution, we can protect our belongings and ensure a safer winter driving experience. Remember, when in doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and avoid leaving sensitive items in your car during freezing weather.

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