15 Things Not to Leave in a Hot Car During the Summer

15 Things Not to Leave in a Hot Car During the Summer

by CIG June 13, 2019
driver during the summer in a hot car

We all lead busy lives and at times use our cars as a method of storage for our “on-the-go” routines. From a beach bag, to lip balm or favorite sunglasses, it’s easy to forget these items in our car or leave them in there for convenience and easy access. While outside temperatures may still be tolerable, the inside of your car can reach uncomfortable and unsafe numbers in a matter of minutes. According to The Weather Channel, when the outside temperature is 90 degrees, the interior of your car can reach 109 degrees after 10 minutes and a staggering 124 degrees after only 30 minutes. That’s one hot car.

It is definite that children and pets should never be left in cars, but what else should be taken out of a vehicle, especially as the weather gets hotter?

  • Sunscreen
    As the summer months unfold, people spend more time outside at the ocean, lake, beach, pool, golf course, park, and hiking trail. Sunscreen is a must. When sunscreen is left inside a hot car, the extreme heat can change the sunscreen’s composition and overall effectiveness, leaving your skin vulnerable to the sun’s damaging rays.
  • Medicine
    If medicines are left in high heat for extended periods, the compounds in prescription and over-the-counter medication can be altered and lose potency.
  • Sunglasses / Glasses
    Most vehicles have a special compartment for storing sunglasses within close reach for those extra sunny days.  But, leaving sunglasses or prescription glasses in a hot car can cause the plastic to soften and warp, changing the frame’s shape and fit to your face. If you leave metal-framed sunglasses in a hot car, the heat can cause the metal to reach incredibly hot temperatures making the glasses too hot to put on your face or even handle.
  • DVDs and CDs
    Though digital streaming has become a predominant way we listen to music, there are still many who listen to music on CD. If stored in in a hot car, CDs can warp and jewel cases can melt together. There go your road trip tunes!
  • Electronics
    We pay dearly for our smart phones, tablets, digital cameras and laptops. It would be a travesty if they were to become unusable due to something preventable such as heat damage. When electronics are left in hot vehicles, batteries can overheat or burst and the plastic parts can melt, leaving you with an expensive problem to clean up.
  • Make-up and Hairspray
    Many women carry an “emergency touch-up” kit in their cars. However, during the summer months, it is best to keep your makeup with you and remember to take it out of the car when not in use. Concealer, moisturizer and lipstick can quickly become a hot, gooey mess when heated to extreme temperatures. Hairspray, or any aerosol can, should not be exposed to temperatures greater than 120 degrees because the pressurized container can quickly explode.
  • Crayons
    Coloring can be a great way to occupy the kids during a family road trip, but if left in the car, they can also be a great way to give your interior an unwanted and drippy makeover.
  • Food
    Whether its groceries or leftovers from lunch, food should not be consumed after it’s been left in a hot car. According to the USDA, when the temperature is above 90 degrees, leftovers should be refrigerated within one hour. Then there are the snacks, such as chocolate, gum or candy, which can turn into a sticky blob if left in a hot car.
  • Wine, Beer and Soda
    Going to pick up a bottle of vino? Make sure to do so when you are on the way to your destination and won’t have to leave it in the car. Wine should not reach over 78 degrees, or you may risk ruining the composition and complexity. You can also risk the cork popping out. If the bottle gets too hot, it could explode. The same goes for beer and soda.
  • Disposable Lighter and Pens
    Though it’s rare to hear of an explosion, don’t leave plastic disposable lighters in a hot car. Pens can also overheat, burst and spill ink everywhere.


For more information about car safety or car insurance, head over to our auto coverage page!

young family with auto insurance for drivers under 25

Need Auto Insurance?

Find out what CIG can do to help you get the right coverage for your vehicle today.

Social Shares