The other day, a man walked into a restaurant carrying a can of paint. He had just bought the latex paint at the local home improvement store, and he was stopping for lunch. “Latex paint is water-based, and it’s so cold out. If I leave it out in my truck while I’m eating, it’ll be frozen by the time I’m done with lunch.”
Yes, latex paint is one thing you should never leave out in your vehicle during freezing weather since the cold can make it separate and clump up, turning it into a gloppy mess that won’t go smoothly on your walls.
There are a few other things you should not leave in your freezing vehicle. Medicines and drugs can change chemically if they freeze, especially those in liquid forms like insulin, eye drops, and cough syrup.
It can be tempting to leave bottled water in the cup holders. The problem comes when bottled water freezes and expands. That can fracture the plastic. When things thaw out, guess where the water goes? Ditto for soda or other beverages. Cans and bottles can freeze and burst. Then you’re in for a mess!
Don’t leave your cell phones or computers in a frozen vehicle. Many use lithium-ion batteries, and charging them at temperatures below freezing can ruin them.
And finally, if someone in your family plays a musical instrument, it’s not a good idea to leave it in freezing temperatures. The most significant danger, believe it or not, is when you try to warm an instrument up too fast; it can crack the wood in a guitar, for example. Or, if you let a wind instrument freeze that still has moisture inside it, the resulting ice can cause damage to the pads and keys.
Take the time to take these things inside. The little extra time it takes may help you avoid many big headaches later. Remember to take your vehicle into your NAPA AutoCare Center for an inspection in late fall to ensure it’s up to the demands of the coming winter.