Drivers warned of keeping medication and musical instruments in cars

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With the weather remaining chilly, it is easy to forget that some items don’t fare well in low temperatures. Motoring experts at CarMoney have revealed the things that drivers should never leave in their cars overnight in winter – including medication.

Medication can become ineffective in low temperatures

Many people may leave their daily medication in the car as a reminder to take them on their daily commute, but leaving prescribed medications in the car overnight during the winter may hinder their effectiveness, and even render them dangerous to take.

Hard pills and capsules should be affected the least, but the active chemicals in liquids and injectable medications can be altered by the low temperature and can degrade quickly.

Drivers should therefore always store their medication at room temperature to maintain its potency.

Fizzy drinks may burst

A frozen carbonated beverage will expand as it freezes, and put pressure on the dissolved CO2 inside, causing the can to explode or fizz more when opened manually.

Andrew Marshall, Marketing Manager at CarMoney, said: “Just as there are certain items that can be damaged by high temperatures if left in our cars, many unexpected belongings can also be negatively affected by the cold.

“Not only can this potentially cost us money due to items breaking, but it can also impact our health, such as medications and even dangerous explosions of some products.

“To combat this, we recommend always taking key items out of the car into the house where it is warmer and more secure.”

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Glasses can become warped and break

If drivers leave glasses or even sunglasses in the car during the winter months, they may find that the frames become more vulnerable to breaking.

The extremely cold temperatures can damage the lenses by causing them to expand and contract, resulting in a distorted or warped vision.

Compromised driving glasses can be dangerous when drivers need a clear vision of the road.

Motorists can combat this by keeping their glasses in a case or bringing them inside after their journey.

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Musical instruments may be prone to damage

Musical instruments should always be taken inside to avoid inadvertently damaging them in a cold snap.

Violins, guitars and cellos, plus other wooden instruments are vulnerable to shrinking and expanding in cold temperatures, which will damage or break the glue joints, making them out of tune at best or at worst, unplayable.

Spare batteries may burst and leak in the cold

Batteries will run out of energy sooner due to the cold temperature affecting the electrochemical reactions within the battery, and alkaline batteries can even burst and leak.

Laptops and mobile phones can have internal batteries compromised

Similar to the reasons why leaving batteries in the car during winter is a bad idea, laptops and other electronic devices will fare just as badly due to their internal lithium-ion batteries becoming compromised by the cold weather.

Expensive electronics should also be moved out of the car overnight due to security reasons.

Aerosols become destabilised in extreme cold temperatures

Aerosols can become dangerous with exposure to extreme cold. A low temperature can cause the pressurised cans to destabilise, resulting in cracks or even an explosion of the can. The same goes for hairspray, spray paint or WD-40.

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