What Not to Leave in a Hot Car this Summer

During the hot summer months, the inside of a parked car can quickly reach triple digits. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, within 10 minutes of parking, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise 20 degrees F. At Ralph Thayer Automotive, we wish to advise you about what not to leave in your hot car this summer.


Chances are you’ll be enjoying the great outdoors in the sun this summer. Though sunscreen is necessary, and the car seems like a good place to store it—don’t. High heat can change the composition of the sunscreen, rendering it ineffective.


Medicines exposed to high heat for extended periods of time lose their potency and can become ineffectual. This applies to over-the-counter and prescription medications.

Disposable Lighter and Pen

Many people don’t realize that a lighter can overheat and explode, potentially damaging the interior of your car. Pens can also get too hot and squirt ink.

Carbonated Beverages

Items like soda, sparkling water and beer will explode if they get too hot. Avoid a liquid mess by not leaving such items in your car for more than a few minutes at a time.

Aerosol Cans

Any pressurized container, such as spray paint or hairspray, will explode if temperatures surpass 120 degrees, creating a potentially dangerous and damaging situation.


Of course, you want to keep the kids busy on road trips, but keep in mind that crayons left in a hot car will melt into one giant blob.


Electronic items like cellphones and cameras can become damaged in high heat. Lenses and plastic parts can melt or warp, and batteries can explode and leak battery acid.


While it’s handy to have your glasses in your car for your next drive, it may not be the best place for them. High heat can cause the plastic to melt and metal parts to warp.


Lipstick melts easily in a hot car, becoming a mushy mess. Hot temperatures also tend to change lipstick color, and if it happens to ooze onto the interior of your car, you’re likely to have a permanent stain.

At Ralph Thayer Automotive, we wish you an enjoyable summer. If you have any questions about what not to leave in your hot car this summer or want to schedule a maintenance checkup, stop in or give us a call.