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Hot Car Safety Tips to Keep You, Your Family and Car Safe


Domestic Auto Repair Ann Arbor

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 our favorite sunglasses, it’s easy to forget these items in our car or leave them there for convenience and easy access. While outside temperatures may still be tolerable, the inside of your car can reach an uncomfortable and unsafe temperature 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.

What should be taken out of your vehicle, especially as the weather gets hotter?

1.    Hand Sanitizer

Sanitizer should be kept out of the sunlight like in your door or the center console.     Direct sunlight can degrade some of the ingredients in hand sanitizers making them less effective.

2.    Sunscreen

As the summer months unfold, people spend more time outside at the ocean, lake, beach, pool, golf course, park, or hiking trails. Sunscreen is a must. When sunscreen is left inside your hot car, the extreme temperatures can change the sunscreen’s composition and effectiveness, leaving your skin vulnerable to the sun’s damaging rays.

3.    Medicine

If your medicine is left in high heat for extended periods, the compounds in prescription and over-the-counter medication can be altered and lose potency.

4.    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 your glasses too hot to put on your face or hold in your hand.

5.    DVDs and CDs

Though mp3 personal music players have become the predominant way we listen to music, there are still many people who listen to music on CDs. If you store these in a hot car, CDs can warp and jewel cases can melt together. There go your road trip tunes.

6.    Electronics

We pay dearly for our smart phones, tablets, digital cameras and laptops. It would be a travesty if they become unusable due to 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.

7.    Make-up and Hairspray

Many women carry an “emergency touch-up” kit in their cars.  During the summer months, it’s 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 exposed to extreme temperatures. Hairspray, or any aerosol can, shouldn’t be exposed to temperatures greater than 120 degrees because the pressurized containers could explode.

8.    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 makeover.

9.    Food

Whether its groceries or leftovers from lunch, food shouldn’t be consumed after it’s been left your hot car. According to the USDA, when the temperature is above 90 degrees, leftovers should be refrigerated within one hour. Snacks such as chocolate, gum or candy, can even turn into a sticky blob if left in your hot car.

10.    Wine, Beer and Soda

Going to a party after work? Wait until you’re on the way to the festivities to pick up a bottle of vino. 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.

11.    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. 

Schedule Your Pre-Trip Inspection at ArborMotion.

Before you set out on your summer excursion, visit ArborMotion for your free pre-trip inspection. If you’re planning a trip or just want to get a good feel for your vehicle's overall condition because you have not been driving as much as you normally do these last few months, we are offering a complimentary Trip Check. Learn more here.

ArborMotion Are Experts in Domestic, Asian and European Auto Repair in Ann Arbor.

We’d love to be your go-to repair shop to help ensure you have a great trip. Bring your vehicle to ArborMotion and we’ll have it running in tip-top shape in no time. No question is too big or small. Call ArborMotion at 734-761-1088 to schedule your appointment today!

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