Make Sure You’re Not Leaving These Things In Your Car During Cold Weather
One of my garage door metal brackets actually snapped in half over the New Years' weekend, due to the cold temps. Not only that, my son's Volkswagen Jetta was so cold we couldn't get it started for three days either. UGH! We drive in freezing temperatures. Yet; sometimes, we totally forget that there are lots of things that we really shouldn't be left in our vehicles during this time of the year. Some of the items on this list, however, might surprise you.
I guess I thought you could put medications in the freezer and it would still be good...sort of like batteries. (No I don't do this, I just figured you could). Aren't we supposed to put batteries in the freezer? Anyway...I was wrong. Don't leave your medications in the car in freezing temperatures. According to USA TODAY, certain medications can lose their effectiveness if they are frozen. Who knew? The doctor never sent me instructions that said, "Don't freeze this item." I've seen, "Refrigerate after opening?" Apparently chilling and freezing are two different things.
The working Musician in Minnesota isn't going to like this one. Quite often, I have a gig right after work, so I pack all my gear in the car early in the morning; work all day; then go to the gig; with equipment, all packed up and ready to go. I'm glad I didn't do that this weekend. I actually brought my equipment in from the garage a day ahead of time, so it would all be thawed out for the gig over New Year. The wood could crack on your guitars, plus it's going to mess with the tuning. Keyboards? Watch out. Condensation after returning your keyboard to normal temps could cause your board to short out. That's an expensive fix. I've never had this happen yet. My advice? Pack your gear in a warm car, and remove it from the vehicle as soon as you get to the gig, and remember that the gig isn't over until all of your packed stuff is back home and safely put away where it belongs. If your musical instruments will fit in the back seat rather than a cold trunk, it might be a great idea to keep them up front, where the heat is. The trunk should be the last option, as it's easy to forget after a long gig, when you get home.
YOUR CELL PHONE
During the holidays, I could NOT keep my phone charged for the life of me. So when I went to Holiday gatherings, I'd take it outside to my cold car, plug it in and let it charge. Apparently, that's a really bad idea. It can cause the screen to crack, screw up the battery and cause your phone to shut off...maybe for good. Advice: Get an extra charger. Yeah...they can be costly too, but not as much as buying another phone!
I order my pet's food online, and they deliver it to my house. Luckily I've been home and brought it in and so far, it's not been ruined. BUT...canned foods can freeze and expand, and cause the food to spoil. You might not even notice it...So be careful. ADVICE: Ship to a location where you know you'll be able to bring the items inside until it's warm enough to ship to your home.
KEEP GAS IN YOUR TANK & AIR IN YOUR TIRES
I try to spend as little time at the gas station as I can. Fill your tank and keep it at least 1/2 full. If you don't, you may be looking at dealing with frozen fuel lines, and it's a really good idea to have other fluid levels checked, especially your antifreeze. Don't forget that cold air can affect the air pressure in your tires. ADVICE: If you don't have an air pump at home, make sure that before you go home at night, you're air pressure is ready to go for your morning commute.
I think you get the idea. How often do we drink a bottle of pop or water on the way to work, forget that you left it in the cup holder, and come back to find it's frozen and all over your car? Yeah....not cool. ADVICE: Clean your car out every time you get out of it. You'll have a cleaner vehicle, and never have to worry about frozen sticky pop or water all over your vehicle.
WHAT IS YOUR STORY?
Have you forgotten about the freezing temps, and left something in your vehicle that you shouldn't have? Share your story with me, and we'll share it with everyone else. Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.