We all have forgotten about some item we have placed in our vehicles at one point or another. While this can be attributed to stress at work, a sudden change of plans, or just from being tired from the tasks of the day, this results in your forgetting something.
We are all guilty of neglecting certain things but this forgetfulness can lead to disastrous consequences. So, don't be surprised after seeing a mess in your cabin after leaving a can of soda in there the whole afternoon. Bummer, right? Why not help yourself avoid such inconvenience by taking note of the things you shouldn't leave inside your car – especially now that it's summer.
Plastic bottled water
A plastic bottle is one of the easiest things you can leave in your vehicle especially if your line of thought is ill do it later or ill save it for late. However, did you know that what quenches your thirst can also be potentially bad for your health and your car?
Leave your bottled water in the car for too long under the sun, and a chemical reaction happens involving the plastic bottle itself and the high temperature inside your cabin. When exposed to heat, the polyethylene terephthalate—which is also used in clothing fibers, by the way—from the plastic bottle transfers to the water, making the water harmful to be drunk. Aside from this, the plastic can act as a magnifying lens if hit at the right angle causing burns to occur in your vehicle. If left alone this could do some serious damage to your interior and in extreme cases cause a fire. With that said, it’s always best to remove all water bottles from your vehicle especially if your parking space isn’t covered.
Sunglasses or anything with plastic and metal on them
Speaking of plastic, observe taking stuff with plastic material/wrap off of your dashboard. Metal frames could get too hot to be touched, while plastic ones have the potential to melt on top of your dashboard – leaving you with a ruined dashboard. Examples of things that are commonly found on dashboards are plastic parking cards, glasses and shades, and pens
Guys, tell your girlfriends to secure their cosmetics inside their purses or bags and not to leave them inside your or her car. This is again due to the heat that is attracted and trapped inside your car by the glass windows. Under the sun, your cabin turns into a scorching large oven that could reach up to almost twice the temperature outside. This can potentially melt the plastic containers of the beauty products or even melt them.
Know someone who keeps a stash of ibuprofen tablets in his car? Warn that person for the hazards of taking those meds after getting heated up in the parking lot. Ask him/her to get a pouch bag instead and keep it hand-carried; never leave it inside the car.
Why? The chemical reaction caused by the high temperature trapped inside your car's cabin could alter the effects of a pill. We're not going to get too scientific out here, as there are different types of pills out there that could show different chemical reactions under a certain temperature. But if bottled water stuck in a car under the sun is dangerous, what more is a medication that's made up of various chemicals?
Sunscreens and sunblock
While this may seem strange that an item that was designed to protect you from the heat and the sun could be detrimental to you and your vehicle, you have to remember that it is still made up of chemical compositions. These compositions or formulas can easily be affected by heat or by the plastic used in the containers. With that said, due to the heat and possible chemical reactions that could happen, the container could end up exploding in a white mess.
Laptop and other electronic gadgets
While people tend to do this, it goes without saying that electronics and heat often don’t mix well together. This isn’t because of their plastic components, rather it’s because of the circuitry of the electronics that will melt under the heat. The plastics or rubber seals may fail, the soldering iron used may liquify and fail as well, the thermal paste will also run dry if left alone in a car.
Also leaving your expensive gadget in your car could make it prone to theft especially if it is not kept in a discrete location within the vehicle. Trust us, we've experienced this, a laptop left inside a car under the sun turned into an ugly laptop. The frame that keeps the keyboard in place (on some laptops) melted and was bent upward, and over time, keys began to detach from the keyboard. Keep it a little more stuck there, and you’ll find a bricked laptop. Be responsible with your gadget, and take it with you as soon as you get out of the car.
Beware of flammable stuff like lighters
This item on the list is the most dangerous and destructive thing to leave in your car. Although it often does not result in burning your whole car, it tends to ruin your car's upholstery when it bursts out due to the heat. Instances may involve cracks on your car windows that are products of the blast.
To avoid any further inconveniences, keep your lighters out of the cabin every time you're parking your car. The same goes for rubbing alcohol, as well as batteries you're used to storing inside your car. It's better to be cautious than to gamble for safety.
Pets or animals
While we'd love to believe that no one would leave their pets inside the car on purpose, we still would like to remind everyone to, please, don't leave the furry ones inside a parked car. Like your children, pets have a life too and their skin reacts to heat the same way human skin does. Please, have a heart and never leave your pets inside a parked car; it's murder.
Oh, and car keys.
An item that you should never forget in your vehicle is the very thing that gets it started. Not only will the high temperatures cook the keys and possibly damage the electronics, it effectively prevents you from using or even entering your vehicle. While modern key fobs do have a safety mechanism within them that prevents the doors from locking if you left the fob inside the vehicle, for older vehicles without this feature, it means either a call to a vehicle locksmith or the delivery of the spare keys to your location.