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20 Things You Should Never Leave in Your Car During Winter

Extreme temperatures can wreak havoc on items left in your car. Keeping certain items in your vehicle doesn't only pose the potential of damage to the item itself, but can also damage your car or compromise your own security. Here are 20 things you should never leave in your car during the winter months.


People forget sometimes, and that's ok

Would you store it in the freezer? Then maybe do not toss it in the trunk overnight either. With the number of things we lug around daily, it's probably a good idea to double-check the backseat before you head in for the night.

dog in car clean pet fur hairAfrica Studio/Shutterstock


You know you shouldn't leave your pets in the car in the summer, but the same is true for when it's frigid cold. The interior temperature of your vehicle can cool to the outside temperature quickly, leaving pets at risk. You should never leave your pet in the car, but here are 15 things you should leave in the car for your pet.

Colorful aluminum cans with water drops.Shutterstock / SergZSV.ZP


Since liquids expand when they freeze, you could be in for a big mess if you leave beverages in your vehicle for extended periods of time when temperature dip below freezing. Don't forget to take bottled water, juice, soda and beer inside after your trip to the grocery store. Find out 10 essential winter road trip tips for families.

eufot wd 40Ali Blumenthal for Reader's Digest

Aerosol cans

Aerosol cans, such as those that contain hairspray or spray paint, shouldn't be kept in extremely cold conditions because the cans are pressurized and are sensitive to both heat and cold. Cold can make the cans crack or even explode. Now that we're getting into what you should not keep in your car, take a look at some things you should keep in there.

cell phone on seat of carGDmitry/Shutterstock

Cell phones

Many cell phone manufacturers advise against storing their products at temperatures below 0 degrees F. Lithium-ion batteries in many cell phones are most vulnerable to extreme cold. Here's why.

paperDean Drobot/Shutterstock

Important documents

If you have important documents, such as tax forms, bank statements, or mail you need to shred, make it a priority and don't leave it in your car. Leaving items that contain important personal information leaves you vulnerable to identity theft.



Eggs shouldn't be exposed to extreme cold as they can freeze in their shells and then crack. If this happens, they should be tossed. Here are 8 tips to keep your car safe in winter.

Malochka Mikalai/Shutterstock


It should be obvious, but never leave cash in your vehicle. Leaving cold, hard cash within view is an invitation to would-be thieves. Here are 18 things car thieves won't tell you.

Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Musical instruments

Extreme cold can cause musical instruments to go out of tune. The cold air can also cause some instruments, such as those made of wood, to shrink and even crack, according to The Real School of Music.



Researchers at Harvard University and Northeastern University found that thieves steal between 300,000 and 600,000 firearms in the United States each year. Cars are an especially bad place to keep valuables as doors can easily be jimmied open and windows can be broken. Whenever possible, keep guns locked up someplace other than your vehicle.

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Originally Published on The Family Handyman