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15 Things You Should Never Leave in the Car

Your vehicle should be used for transportation, not storage. Keeping these items in the car could hurt your health and security.

Border Collie puppy sitting looking over the seat waiting close upAarontphotography/Shutterstock


Dogs and cats are also at risk in hot summertime temps. Hundreds of pets die every year from overheating in vehicles, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. After an hour, car temperatures can reach 45°F higher than the climate outside, and even a shaded parking spot won’t keep the temperatures much cooler. Quit falling for these 12 myths you need to stop believing about your car.

Four colorful eco-friendly shopping bags filled mostly with groceries in the trunk of a car.glenda/Shutterstock


Save your grocery run for the end of your errands list. Perishable food should be put in the fridge within two hours in most cases. In the summer, you have an even shorter window. If it’s more than 90°F, food shouldn’t be left out for more than an hour, according to the USDA.

Collection of various cactus and succulent plants in different pots. Potted cactus house plants on white shelf against turquoise colored wall. Top view.ABO PHOTOGRAPHY/Shutterstock

Indoor plants

Consider the weather before heading to a gardening center, especially if you won’t be heading home straight after. Even relatively mild temperatures of 45°F to 50°F can kill some plants within an hour, according to Lowe’s. If the leaves are touching the windows, the chilly glass could ruin the foliage. Hot temperatures can also be deadly to plants, so keep them shaded and cool on your drive home, and bring them indoors as soon as possible. Make sure you know these other 10 things you should never do in your car.

Aerosol spray cans nozzle close up. Several spray cans with light in background. Shallow depth of field.optimarc/Shutterstock

Aerosol cans

There's a reason for the fine print on aerosol cans' warning labels: Don't store in temperatures above 120°F. As the product's temperature climbs, so does the pressure inside that lets it spray continuously. In rare cases—like a woman in Arizona and a man in England experienced last summer—the heat in a car can get so intense that the aerosol explodes, especially if you leave it in direct sunlight. The projectile can damage the car, or worse, hit somebody with a force strong enough to send them to the hospital.

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Your favorite tube won’t stand a chance in the sky-high summer temperatures. Keep lipstick from turning into an unusable, melted mess by toting it in and out, rather than leaving it in the car for touch ups in front of the sun visor mirror. Don't miss these 14 things you should always keep in your car.

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