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Storing Guitar in Hot Car

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RASHOSS, Mar 11, 2014.



    Jan 21, 2011
    Oak View, CA
    Hello All,

    I'm sure this topic has been discussed at length, however, I couldn't find anything by doing a quick search.

    I just received Justyn's 2010 Fender American Jazz Deluxe. My gosh, it's beautifu, just as I expected, and as Justyn described (thank you Justyn).

    I've always wondered, with regards to my Stingray (and now my Fender), the potential problems with storing my guitar in the car on hot days (or cold days, although those are less frequent). Sometimes it's unavoidable and has to be done. Is there anything that can be done, to help protect the guitar (crack windows?)?

  2. CJAZ


    Dec 19, 2013
    I bought my first guitar in 1983. My older cousin took me to GC and after the purchase he put his hand on my shoulder and said the following:

    "This is your axe. It is like your woman. Do not leave it alone in the car for any extended period of time and expect it to be there when you get back".

    Any questions?
  3. webelo


    Jun 7, 2011
    Douglas, MA
    Sure... you can leave it in the car. Just leave the car on and the A/C running.
  4. HockeyDawg


    Oct 12, 2012
    I jacked up the neck and the finish on my old G&L by leaving it in a car. Just don't do it.
  5. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    As long as you would be comfortable in the prevailing heat, cold, dryness, humidity or other environmental and safety conditions, so will your instruments. So, no, mostly a very bad idea.
  6. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Why is it unavoidable? If you are just running into the store then it should be fine. If its gonna be in a 120 degree car for 8 hours while you are at work then thats a different story.
  7. Fixed :bag:


    Jan 21, 2011
    Oak View, CA
    Haha, I love you...all! I get the point! Sheesh! :( :p
  9. Oh NO! ...bad stuff!
  10. I bought a SX Jazz for the times when I have to leave a bass in the trunk all day. We get extremes of weather in New England and so far the SX has stood up to both hot and cold. If it splits in half or the finish cracks I would be disappointed but I could just buy another one. I wouldn't take the chance on any of my more expensive basses.

    Rick B.
  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    NOTHING good happens if you leave a stringed instrument in a hot car. DO NOT do it. Glue comes loose, wood can warp or twist...excess heat and stringed instruments do not go together.

    During the week, if I have to transport a bass in my car and the weather is either quite hot or cold, it goes into my office with me.
  12. itchyfingers


    Sep 17, 2013
    Just bring it in to work with you, man. I sometimes have to haul my gear in the morning for an after work rehearsal. Even a bass in a hard case is going to expand from the heat, and go out of tune quickly, and that's just the short term effects!

    The worst that can happen is rumors start up at work that you play in a band...
  13. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    So how do you guys really feel?
    I ruined a 12 string Guild by leaving it in a trunk for just afew hours.
  14. MoreBeer


    Jan 5, 2014
    FWIW...I have an older MIM Jazz that I keep in a case in my backyard shed and its been out there for maybe 5 years. When I go out to the shed to smoke a cigar and have a few beers, I plug it into a laptop I take outside with me.

    Its gets over 100 in summer and down to maybe 20 in the winter. I do have heat in the shed I turn on in the winter and AC for the summer but only when I'm using the shed.

    The bass has not been affected, if it has, its minor. And yes, I'm surprised myself. I certainly wouldn't leave anything good out there although the mex has withstood the test of temp and humidity extremes over the years. I also have a fairly decent stereo system in the shed and that's okay too.
  15. Back to Bassics

    Back to Bassics

    Feb 16, 2014
    If you did that to a dog in the country I am from, you would go to prison.

    I actually believe the penalty should be harsher if you do it to a bass.

    Of course, where I live now they eat dogs.

    I haven't seen or heard of anyone eating a bass here yet, so it's not too bad.

    EDIT: Whooops! Sorry. Just noticed you're talking about a Fender. I'd leave it locked in the boot all day. It'll be fine.
  16. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    The consensus from the multitude of threads asking this question seems to be that extreme swings in humidity are the most damaging. It's best to avoid it if you can, though most basses have already spent weeks and months on shipping containers crossing oceans and trucks crossing the country while being knocked around and exposed to extremes in temperature and humidity anyway.
  17. Ponsonby Britt

    Ponsonby Britt You don't rock a Thunderbird, it rocks you. Supporting Member

    Oct 8, 2013
    I did it once, but it was "unplanned" after a gig. Fortunately, it was in its case and no harm done.

    Don't ever leave your bass in a hot (or cold) car.
  18. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I think one thing to bear in mind is that these instruments get shipped across the country and, indeed, around the world on boats, trains, and trucks in shipping containers that are not climate-controlled in the least. I'm sure that by the time it arrived at your door, it's already seen all kinds of heat and cold and survived. If it's in its case, which will slow any environmental change seeping to the instrument, I would think it would be fine for any but the most extreme circumstances. Especially if it's a solid-body rather than an acoustic instrument. The thing to beware of is rapid change in temperature or humidity.
  19. RNV


    Apr 13, 2010
    Loxahatchee, Fl
    fEARful (I endorse them, not visa versa)
    I live in South Florida and I leave my bass in my SUV for days at a time sometimes. My warehouse is non air conditioned and all our gear lives there. The only issues I have had is when I take it out of the case and play in right away. The frets are hot. My Ibby SR500 has been treated this way for 5 years and it never goes out of tune, even after several days. However, I will not leave it in either the warehouse or the vehicle during our winter month(s) because of the 40*+ temp changes in the matter of hours. I can't afford High end basses, but I imagine I'd treat them the same way.
  20. I left my bass in my car on a hot day once... When I came back the TKL hardcase was warped. When I took the bass out, I discovered that my DIY lacquer finish was bubbled and even peeling off in some spots. Granted, that probably wouldn't have happened with commercially-applied poly but still...