It's always easier to leave a few things in your vehicle, so you'll have them on hand. But in cold weather, while it's a good idea to carry items such as a phone charger, blanket, and shovel, there are some things you shouldn't store in your vehicle.
• Medicines and drugs. Cold temperatures can affect the chemical makeup of some medicines. Avoid leaving them in a vehicle, predominantly liquid forms like insulin, eye drops, and cough syrup.
• Latex paint. They are water-based, and when they freeze, they get lumpy and lousy. Your paint job will not be what you had in mind.
• Cellphones and computers. Most of these have lithium-ion batteries. If they get colder than freezing (0 degrees C, 32 degrees F), you'll more than likely ruin the batteries if you try to charge them.
• Bottled water, soda, wine, or beer. All of these can freeze and split the container they're in.
Yes, soda, wine, and beer will take a lower temperature to freeze than water. However, these can quickly freeze if the mercury plunges low enough. The problem isn't when they're frozen; it's when they unfreeze, drip out of their containers, and leave you with a colossal mess.
• Musical instruments. Guitars are made of wood. When a guitar freezes and you bring it quickly into a warm room, you may hear cracking sounds that tell you that the guitar will be not-so-gently weeping from the damage that can occur. The same goes for wind instruments and others. Don't ever subject musical instruments to quick temperature extremes.
Take a little time and effort not to leave these things out in a frigid vehicle. You'll likely spend far more time and money tending to the resulting consequences than if you'd just brought them inside in the first place.
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