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Is it safe to keep abass in the trunk in a heatwave?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sleeq, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. Sleeq


    Feb 13, 2008
    I live in Kuwait, and currently the temp. is 48 C (118 F). I had to leave my bass in the trunk because I had other things in the car.

    Drove for about 3 hours. the bass seems to have stored a lot of heat.

    What's the worst damage that can happen to a bass in that condition?
  2. jmceachern36

    jmceachern36 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2005
    Cambridge MA
    Maybe you could tell us. Is the the neck still straight? Is the finish still on the bass?
  3. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    I wouldn't do it. I have a friend that stored his Gibson electric in the trunk of his car at 85 degrees for about 8 hours...it ruined the finish.
  4. yeah, drastic sudden temperature and humidity changes kill necks. and prolonged heat kills finishes
  5. Mr.Bassie720


    Feb 5, 2005
    Washington DC,Silver Spring,MD
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    Extreme temperatures like what you describe can really hurt your bass. I think the lack of humidity probably saved it from serious damage. The plastic components can become mis-shapened. Solder joints can weaken and ultimately fail. If nothing happended this time consider yourself very fortunate. And dont let it go through that again.
  6. nocontrols


    Apr 2, 2011
    Prolonged exposure to severe temperatures, as well as immediate and drastic changes in temperature and humidity levels CAN be detrimental to a bass or guitar, this is true.

    Having said that, there has to be a way for wood instruments to survive hot environments. Otherwise, nobody in hotter climates could EVER play guitar. There are rock bands on every inhabited continent on the planet, including the damn-awful hot ones. So how do they do it? What is the secret?
  7. Ambient heat is one thing, the heat in an enclosed vehicle, be it in the trunk or the interior is something else entirely. I live on the gulf coast of Alabama and I was a guitar tech at MMI music in the mid 80's. I saw guitars with all the afore mentioned problems, plus some problems where the glue released (the headstock joint on Kramer guitars comes to mind), all caused by being left in the trunk or the interior of a car. I also remember a friend who had a gold-top hollowbody Les Paul (kind of like an ES-335) and he left the midwest in the winter with the guitar in the band's trailer, and they drove to the Florida keys to do a series of gigs down there. When he took the guitar out of the case the finish looked like a shattered automobile windshield, irregularly checkered with each section being about the size of a fingernail.

    Leaving guitars in a vehicle in summer or in winter is abuse. Don't ever do it if you can possibly help it.
  8. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    I live in Yuma, AZ, which hits temperatures only slightly cooler than Kuwait gets and matches them in the summer.

    Don't leave your axe in the heat. Everything described below can happen to your bass, and what's more the damage may not be obvious the first few times you do it. Then one day, you grab the bass and every fret buzzes and the finish starts leaving bits of itself on your arm. Or your knobs won't turn right because the pickguard is warped. Or you touch the pickguard while it's hot, and leave your fingerprint faintly but permanently in place...yup, I speak from experience.

    Just take it in where there's AC, or at least air circulation. Dry climes are pretty friendly on instruments, but heat that can cure meat or fry eggs on the sidewalk destroys finishes, melts glue, weakens metal plating, and has unpredictable effects on wood...especially if the wood wasn't kiln-dried in the first place, the sudden drying out in your trunk can warp a neck within a few days, instead of settling in over the course of years.
  9. Vakmere


    Sep 6, 2007
    Nothing. It's the car I'd be worried about.
  10. Venom of God

    Venom of God

    Oct 8, 2007
    I could be wrong here, but I believe it can also really damage the pick-ups.. something about the wax melting and they become microphonic?
  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Your biggest danger is picking it up and finding the neck has turned into a pretzel.

    The note above about pickups would apply if they're wax-potted. Standard pickups shouldn't be bothered.

    DON'T do it.
  12. My rule of thumb: I never leave my bass anywhere I would not want to be left in.
  13. Live by this.
  14. Labi


    Jun 14, 2006
    Not even in its case? ;)
  15. Bass-Adrenaline


    Jan 23, 2010
    Why wouldnt you put the stuff that wouldnt be damaged by heat in the trunk and put the bass in the main part of the care? Regardless, that was a bad move on your part. Of course extreme temos can have a very negative effect on an instrument.
  16. Don't you sleep in yours....?
  17. Mine sleeps in a sleeping bag.
  18. Rule of thumb is that you should not put your instrument anywhere you would not be comfortable yourself. oops did not read where it was already said
  19. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    no WAY. not only is it bad to leave your bass in your car in the first place, but the heat can seriously mess it up
  20. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Being in a closed car is much different than being outside. MUCH MUCH hotter. That's why you should never leave your child, dog, or bass in there.

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