9 Things You’ll Regret Leaving in Your Car This Winter

Forget about those cans of soda? You may want to check the trunk...

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Car buried in snow
Photo: Shutterstock

When the mercury plummets…

There’s nothing worse than hopping into your car on a cold day only to find out those cans of soda you picked up yesterday exploded all over your trunk. Not a pretty sight at all, and it’s going to take hours to try and clean up the now-sticky mess.

Just like the soda, here are more things you’ll regret leaving in your car this winter.

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Cell phones, tablets, or laptops

Cell phones, tablets, or laptops

Your battery-powered electronics can take quite a toll in the extreme cold. Apple actually suggests that having your electronics outside below 0 degrees Celsius isn’t good for them, and the performance of your electronics will suffer. Although some phones can withstand the cold (even up to -20 degrees C), your battery can still drain faster than normal in colder temperatures—sometimes even going completely dead with no warning. Yes, your electronics will work fine when bringing them back indoors, but it’s still not great for their overall performance and battery life.

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We all know that cracked eggs are a big no-no when buying a carton, but it can happen on its own when eggs are left out in the cold. However, if you do end up leaving eggs out and they are perfectly intact—yet frozen—they are still salvageable. After bringing those eggs to room temperature, you can hard-cook them. Why is only hard-cooking recommended? After being frozen, a yolk will never blend as well as a properly-refrigerated egg.

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Baby formula
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Baby formula

Baby formula can actually separate in freezing temperatures, which could ultimately make it inedible. If there’s any doubt as to whether or not the formula has frozen, it’s probably best to get rid of it.

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coca cola
New Africa/Shutterstock

Carbonated beverages

Soda isn’t the only beverage to explode in freezing temperatures. Other popular carbonated beverages, like beer or seltzer water, also don’t stand a chance. The freezing temperature for soda is actually -1 degree C, and for beer that has five per cent alcohol, the freezing point is -2 degrees C. Anything lower, and you run the risk of a sticky (and smelly) explosion in your vehicle.

On the other hand, you should always keep these items in your car’s glove compartment.

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cans of food in pantry storage solution
Family Handyman

Canned foods

Believe it or not, canned foods may expand and explode like a carbonated beverage. Less obvious than an explosion, a frozen can may also result in a broken seal, which may spoil the contents inside. If your canned food did freeze in the car, it’s recommended to thaw it in the refrigerator. If the food looks or smells bad when you open it, throw it out—especially if the can appears rusted.

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Musical instruments

The last thing your string, brass, or woodwind instruments need is to be sitting in extremely cold temperatures. Freezing temperatures can completely destroy your instruments, including the wood, the strings, or even the valves. If you did leave them out in the car overnight, make sure to warm them up gradually. Going from zero to 20-degrees in a matter of seconds can cause irreparable damage.

Follow these tips to get your car ready for winter.

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Some drugs, like insulin, can actually lose their effectiveness if they freeze. Make sure to remove any drugs from the pharmacy from your car or risk wasting expensive medicine thanks to the cold.

Avoid the common mistake parents make with car seats in winter.

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dog car back seat
Nina Buday/Shutterstock


In general, leaving your fluffy friend in the car is never a good idea—and that holds especially true in colder temperatures. By locking the car (even if you’re quickly running in somewhere) you’re putting your pet’s well being at risk.

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How to remove snow from your car quickly
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Ice scrapers and snow brushes

What’s the point of scraping off ice if your ice scraper is already completely frozen? It may seem ludicrous to have to bring in this car tool every night, but you’ll be thankful later when trying to scrape the ice off your car the next morning.

Next, find out the most efficient way to remove snow from your car.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman

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