You shouldn't leave these items in your car during freezing weather

Posted at 11:23 AM, Jan 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 13:50:29-05

(WXYZ) — Record cold temperatures have arrived in metro Detroit and while residents brace for the polar vortex, here is a list of things you shouldn't leave in your car:

Low gas tank, engine oil, wiper fluid

Keep these fluids at half-filled to prevent possible fuel line freezing. Invest in winter blend wiper fluid -- it has a higher concentration of alcohol than water, making it less likely to freeze. Fast fact: Antifreeze freezes at -84 degrees.

Cell phone

In subzero temperatures, smartphones could start acting up: shorter battery life, screen display issues and even glass shattering. Since most smartphone batteries are lithium-ion, charging could slow down significantly during extremely cold temperatures. Apple encourages users to avoid operating iPhones and iPads at temperatures 32 degrees and lower.

Some food and drink


Remember this from science class: water expands when it freezes. So bottled and canned liquids under freezing pressure can explode. Water freezes at 32 degrees, milk freezes at 31 degrees, soda freezes at 30 degrees and beer freezes at 14 degrees. Cleaning outside the car is already a hassle, avoid a mess inside.

Eggs in their shell, Cheese, Potatoes

The liquid inside the egg can harden, expand and crack the shell, leaving behind an eggy mess. Though cheese has a long fridge life, frozen cheese can turn mealy when thawed out, eliminating the desired texture. Lastly, frozen raw potatoes can turn out mushy and watery when thawed.

Canned food

A can of pears, corn or beans can have a similar effect as a can of beer or soda. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an expanded container can lead to spoilage. Residents are urged to avoid eating canned food with broken seals.


Frigid temps can have leave some medications ineffective or even dangerous. "Insulin and some anti-coagulants are particularly subject to damage from extreme temperatures," says the Diabetes Care Community. "Some pharmacies and/or drug manufacturers will replace exposed drugs free of charge. If not, some health benefit plans will cover the cost. If you have a plan in place, check with the insurer."