Summer 2021 is bringing the heat. A California heatwave has already scorched a good portion of the state, and more hot weather may be on the way. As Californians try to cope with record temperatures, our auto techs want to help.
The heat inside a vehicle on a hot summer day is so intense it can damage items. A recent news story featured a sun visor that melted while in a hot car in Fresno. Not only that, but various items also when left in your car can actually damage your vehicle. We have created a list of things you should not leave in your car during a heatwave.
And for bonus tips on preparing your car for the heat, stick around until the end of the article.
Stuff You Should Not Leave in a Hot Car
- Electronics – You may sometimes leave your phone, laptop or camera in your car, but during a heatwave, that’s not a good idea. High heat can affect the sensitive parts in most consumer electronics. Leaving them in the car could reduce their lifespans or worse. An overheated lithium-ion battery in a cellphone can ignite or explode if it becomes too hot.
- Lighters – High temperatures can cause the chemicals in lighters to expand and explode. If those chemicals ignite, you could have a car fire on your hands.
- Medications – Did you know that high temperatures can actually change the properties of medicine? This could result in that medication not working when needed.
- Water Bottles and Soda Cans – Do not leave sealed drink items in your car. When exposed to extreme heat, these drinks can explode leaving a mess in your vehicle. In the case of water bottle, you could actually melt or burn your interior. When sunlight passes through a water bottle, the water can act as a lens, focusing the light and creating hotspots.
Bonus Tips: Preparing Your Car for a California Heatwave
If you want your car to beat the heat, here are a few tips you should remember.
- Always be sure your air-conditioner is working properly. Nothing is worse than being stuck in traffic in a hot car.
- Fully charge your electronic/hybrid vehicles overnight. Heatwaves overtax the power grid, and officials may ban charging vehicles to relieve the pressure. Since there is less demand on the grid at night, this is the best time to charge.
- Consult your friendly neighborhood auto repair shop to make sure your vehicle is not in danger of breaking down.
For more tips, check out our Summer Vehicle Maintenance Guide. Remember, California heatwaves can be dangerous. Do not take risks with you or your family’s health. Be safe and stay cool!