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9 Things You’ll Regret Leaving in Your Car This Winter

Forgot about those cans of soda? You may want to check the trunk...

It's getting cold outside!
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It’s getting cold outside!

There’s nothing worse than hopping into your car on a cold day, only to find out those cans of soda you picked up yesterday exploded all over your trunk. Not a pretty sight at all, and it’s going to take many chilly hours to clean up that mess. The most annoying part is, the whole sticky situation could have been easily avoided! Soda is an easy one, but there are some other things you shouldn’t leave in your car in winter that you probably didn’t know were a hazard. While you’ve got that trunk open, make sure these things you should always have in your car are in there, too.

Cell phones, tablets, or laptops

Cell phones, tablets, or laptops

Cold weather can take quite a toll on your electronic batteries. Apple actually suggests that having your electronics outside below 32 degrees Fahrenheit isn’t good for them, and the performance of your electronics will suffer. Although some phones can withstand the cold (even up to -4 degrees), your battery can still drain faster than normal in colder temperatures—sometimes even going completely dead with no warning. Yes, your electronics will work fine when bringing them back to warmer temperatures, or vice versa, cooling down your phone when it overheats, but it’s still not great for their overall performance and battery life. Keeping your phone too cold is just one of the ways you could be shortening the life of your phone.



We all know to check for cracked eggs when buying a carton, and it can also happen when eggs are left out in frozen temperatures. However, if you do end up leaving eggs out and they are perfectly intact, yet frozen, they are still salvageable. After bringing those eggs to room temperature, it’s recommended to only hard-boil eggs that have been sitting in a frozen climate. That’s because colder temperatures cause the yolk to freeze, which means it won’t blend as well compared to a properly refrigerated (and runny!) egg. These are the strangest things mechanics have found in cars.

Baby formula
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Baby formula

Baby formula can actually separate in freezing temperatures, which could ultimately make it inedible. If this happens, you may want to just get rid of that baby formula to be safe. Winter and our cars don’t always go hand in hand.

coca cola
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Carbonated beverages

Soda isn’t the only beverage to explode in freezing temperatures. Other popular carbonated beverages, like beer or seltzer water, also don’t stand a chance. The freezing temperature for soda is actually 30 degrees, and for beer that has 5 percent alcohol, the freezing point is 27 degrees. If the temperature is lower than that, there is a risk of explosion in your vehicle. Bring it inside, and don’t store it in the garage instead! Here are the things you are doing in your car that you shouldn’t.

cans of food in pantry storage solution
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Canned foods

Not only can canned foods expand and explode like a carbonated beverage, but they can also actually break the seal and spoil the foods inside the can. If your canned food did freeze in the car, it’s recommended to thaw it in the refrigerator. If the food looks or smells bad when you open it, throw it out, especially if it seems rusted! And if the food does seem a bit funky, avoid tasting it at all costs. There are some driving changes you’ll also want to make to stay safe in the winter. Make sure you prepare for the worst by learning the safe driving tips for 10 scary driving situations.

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Musical instruments

The last thing your string, brass, or woodwind instruments need is to be sitting out in the extreme cold. Freezing temperatures can completely tear up your instruments, warping the wood, the strings, or even the valves. If you did leave it out overnight, make sure to gradually warm it up. Going from zero to 60 when warming your instrument can cause damage immediately, so be careful when trying to warm it back up. There are just a few other things you need to do to get your car winter-ready.

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Some drugs, like insulin, can actually lose their effectiveness if they freeze. Make sure to remove any drugs from the pharmacy from your car, or risk wasting expensive medicine thanks to the cold. Did you know you shouldn’t be warming up your car in the winter?

dog car back seat
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In general, leaving your fluffy friend in the car is probably never a good idea. And it’s especially true in colder temperatures. By locking the car (even if you’re quickly running in somewhere) you’re increasing the chance of your pet freezing to death. Why not take a winter road trip? These are the safety tips you need to know.

Ice scrapers & snow brushes

Ice scrapers and snow brushes

What’s the point of scraping off ice if your ice scraper is already completely frozen? It may seem ludicrous to have to bring in this car tool every night, but you’ll be thankful later when trying to scrape the ice off your car the next morning. It’s always best to be prepared, so make sure you know exactly what to do if your car breaks down in winter.


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Originally Published on The Family Handyman