According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, we spend 17,600 minutes in our vehicles each year. That’s a big number, but it makes sense – we’re always driving. We commute to the office, get groceries, and take the kids to and from practice. With all that rushing around, it’s no wonder we leave things in our vehicle. But as temperatures drop, there are certain items you’ll want to make sure you take inside.

1. Your Phone – We’ve all done it – left our phone in our vehicle overnight. Companies like Apple and Samsung warn that their devices shouldn’t be stored in anything below minus 4 degrees. To use them, it should be above freezing. This is because lithium-ion batteries don’t work well in the cold, and they can quickly drain or suddenly go dead. The LCD screen can also malfunction in extreme temperatures. Always check that your phone’s on you before stepping inside.

2. Medication – Prescription and over-the-counter pills come with detailed inserts that let us know how to best store them. But we’re only human, and sometimes we forget. As a friendly reminder, the ideal temperature for most medications is between 68 and 77 degrees. Medications left all day in a cold vehicle have the potential to lose their potency. So, as important as it is to remember to take your medication every day, it’s equally important to keep it out of the cold.

3. Canned Food – Many people think canned food can withstand anything. Though it’s true that these food items are hardy, they’re not spoil-proof. Just like beer and soda, canned goods have a tendency to expand in the freezing cold. When they expand, so do their seals, leaving the food vulnerable to spoilage. If you know temperatures are going to dip below 50 degrees, it’s best to bring those canned peas and carrots in for the night.

4. Instruments – It’s tempting to leave your bass guitar and amp in the trunk when it’s cold out. Those things tend to weigh a lot, and making an extra trip into the garage doesn’t sound like fun. But leaving them in your vehicle could ruin them. When temperatures hit the freezing mark, wooden instruments can shrink or expand, which leads to cracking. Amps are more resilient, but you can never be too safe when it comes to keeping your music equipment in good condition.

We hope our reminders will make these cold days a little easier. And if you’ve not yet winterized your vehicle, give us a call and we’ll get you set up. During this service, we’ll inspect your battery, look at your tires, and check your coolant system. They’re small steps, but they can help your vehicle face whatever winter throws at it.

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