5 Things You Should Never Leave in a Hot Car
Summer is hot in almost every part of America, and a car with the windows up, the doors shut, and the power off can turn into an oven as the sun’s heat gets in through the windows and keeps bouncing around inside. Because of this, even a mildly hot day can have disastrous consequences if you leave the wrong things inside your car for an extended period. Here are some of the most important things to avoid abandoning in a vehicle:
Kids, dogs, cats, and just about everything else that’s still alive will suffer in the oppressive heat of a closed vehicle left in the summer heat. Children and pets may suffer from heat stroke after an hour or two of 100+ degree Fahrenheit temperatures, and even adults who can’t open a window or get out for whatever reason are at risk. Pets are even worse off since at least humans can sweat and aren’t covered in fur, and even plants can wilt from too much eat and sunlight.
If you bought something you got out of a freezer, then it obviously needs to stay frozen until you’re ready to thaw or cook it. While it isn’t true that thawing and refreezing food will contaminate it, it will cause the item to lose its texture and it may make a mess depending on the package and its contents. As such, if you plan on buying anything frozen or refrigerated while you’re out running errands, make sure the grocery store is your last stop.
Anything That Can Melt
Some foods and other products don’t need to be refrigerated but will still turn into a mess if they get too hot. Chocolate is a good example of this, although it’s hardly alone: beauty care products like lipstick and foundation along with art supplies like crayons can all turn into colorful puddles of goo if you leave them out in a car on a hot day.
Anything Stored Under Pressure
This includes obvious items like soft drinks and aerosols, but it also includes lighters, beer, and even some pens. While it’s unlikely that such items will actually explode even on a hot day, the extra pressure brought on by a high temperature may create a weakness in the container, especially if the container is plastic, and it may burst at some later point when you don’t expect it. As such, you should never store a pressurized item in a car, or at least not out in the open.
A lot of medications depend on very delicate and complex compounds and molecules, which can change their nature if they become too hot or too cold. If you store medicine in your car, it may slowly lose its effectiveness. Even sunscreen isn’t immune.
Just like how you wouldn’t store anything important in an oven you’ve turned on, you shouldn’t store anything important in your car unless you know it’s heat-resistant. Whether it’s alive or whether it’s easy to melt, keeping the wrong thing in your vehicle is just asking for trouble.
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*Based on 2016 EPA mileage/highway estimates and driving range ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your MPGe/MPG and driving range will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery age/condition, and other factors. For additional information about EPA ratings, visit http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/label/learn-more-PHEV-label.shtml
*MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.