Can you leave your guitar in a cold car?
The answer is no. Do not leave your guitar in a cold car. Cold temperatures can cause significant humidity changes. This may cause the neck to warp or even crack. Leaving your guitar in a cold car will ruin it.
In this blog post, I’ll cover some of the possible issues that arise from leaving guitars in cold conditions and what to do about it.
So without further ado, let’s just get straight into it, shall we?
Can You Leave Your Guitar In A Cold Car?
As stated above, you should not leave your guitar in a cold car. If you do, it could ruin the instrument and that would be extremely disappointing (and expensive).
If you want to leave your guitar in your car, the first thing to consider is the humidity.
As I mentioned, cold temperatures cause significant humidity changes and this can wreak havoc on your guitar.
You don’t want that do you?
What you want to do is prevent the humidity from dropping too low. For this, you can use a hygrometer to measure relative humidity.
If it’s below 50%, you should bring your guitar into a room with more stable conditions or keep an electric humidifier in there as well.
Or you could simply use a guitar case humidifier. These are special devices that produce water vapor, which increases the humidity in your guitar’s case.
How Does Temperature Affect Your Guitar?
When the weather is cold, condensation can form.
This will be your guitar’s biggest adversary. That’s because moisture will come into touch with the metal components of your guitar.
Wiping the excess moisture away reduces the chances of it wreaking havoc on your guitar.
Furthermore, dampness may get into some of the nooks and crannies in your guitar’s dense wood.
Condensation would have a detrimental impact on your electric guitar’s electronics if you have one.
The strings of an acoustic guitar are more prone to rusting due to the colder weather.
For this reason, you should dry your strings after each time you play. You can do so by using a microfiber cloth or an old t-shirt for this purpose.
Also, the temperature in the car doesn’t remain consistent when you store a guitar there.
As a result, wood in the instrument will be subjected to frequent contractions and expansions.
Wood contracts and expands with temperature, so this wrapping may shrink the guitar.
Glues that have been used to keep the pieces of wood in your guitar together will fail as a result of this effect. The wood will then split as a consequence.
These Areas On Your Guitar Will Be Most Affected
The neck is where the most significant damage to your guitar will occur.
That’s because the majority of your guitar’s joints are concentrated around its neck.
People frequently acquire an excessively forward bow as a result of storing their guitars in cold cars for lengthy periods of time.
However, be aware that not just the neck of your guitar will be harmed after storing it in a cold car for an extended period of time.
Due to the prolonged exposure to colder weather conditions, all areas of your guitar, including the bridge, are susceptible to deterioration.
Keeping your guitar in a cold vehicle for an extended period of time will also have an impact on its tuning.
This is due to the fact that the temperature change in your car will influence the guitar’s tensions.
When it comes to your guitar’s soundboard, the tension is generally more of a concern.
This is because this part can expand and contract significantly when subjected to temperature changes.
What temperature is too cold for guitars?
So a question that people often ask is, “what temperature is too cold for guitars?”
The ideal temperature range for your guitar is 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit (21-24 degrees Celsius). At all times, temperatures above or beneath these should be avoided.
The main thing to remember is to protect your guitar against humidity because it causes rust and can break down the glue holding wood pieces together.
When the weather is cold, keep your guitar in a room with stable humidity or bring an electric humidifier into its case.
For this purpose, you can also use a guitar case humidifier. These are special devices that produce water vapor to increase humidity levels inside of the instrument’s carrying case.
If it’s below 50%, bring your guitar inside the house, because it needs to be stored in a place where humidity is consistent.
If you experience damage as a result of storing guitars in cold conditions for long periods of time, the warranty will not cover this.
Be sure that any equipment or accessories are kept out of harm’s way too!
Another point worth mentioning is that there are different kinds of damage, and some will be more difficult to repair than others.
What are the best places to store your guitar safely?
When it comes to storing your guitar safely, you have several options.
For example, it should be stored in its case when not being used or played.
A hardshell case can protect against potential damage caused by temperature changes and humidity to a far greater extent than soft cases.
At the same time though, these are quite expensive compared to other cases.
So, if you’re just looking for a more affordable option that will still protect your guitar, opt for a soft case instead of a hardshell.
Also, keep in mind that guitars should be stored with the headstock pointing upwards and away from any sources of heat or extreme cold so as to prevent possible damage caused by these elements.
If you play the guitar and use it regularly, be sure to bring it into your house.
This will ensure that your guitar is kept in a stable environment while still being easily accessible for playing purposes.
Also, if you have more than one guitar, consider keeping them all inside so as to avoid potentially harming any of them due to the elements.
Guitars can be quite expensive and require a fair amount of upkeep to ensure that they continue operating at an optimal level for years after purchase.
To avoid unnecessary damage, it’s important to take your guitar into account when thinking about how you will store it safely during winter months or other potentially harmful periods of time.
Never stack your guitars
As briefly mentioned above, if you have more than one guitar, never stack them on top of one another.
This can actually cause damage to both the neck and soundboard, which is why it’s important to keep guitars stored separately when not in use.
Also, ensure that they are stored vertically with the headstock pointing upwards away from any sources of heat or extreme cold so as to avoid possible damage caused by these elements.
There are many ways in which you can store your guitar safely so as to ensure that it is not damaged during the colder months of winter and other potentially harmful periods of time.
Regardless, always take into consideration how you plan on storing them because this will largely determine what kind of case or carrying device you need to invest in for this purpose.