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What You Need to Know About Leaving Your Laptop in the Car

Leaving your laptop in the car can cause some problems if the temperature swings to one extreme or the other. Here are some reasons why you should avoid it.  

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Your laptop is important to you. It may be how you do all of your work, how you entertain yourself, how you communicate – or all of the above. Leaving your laptop in the car on a hot day can be problematic, though, which you may not have been aware of. The heat in the car can cause damage to your computer if you are not careful.

Why is it dangerous to leave your laptop in the car?

  • The inside of your car can get very hot. The heat in a car in the summer can get hot enough to melt plastic, which means it can melt delicate components in your laptop. You could ruin your hard drive, your display, connector cables and more just by leaving it in the hot car.
  • Someone could steal your laptop. Another big risk of leaving your laptop in the car is that someone could see that it is there and steal it. Cars have been broken into by crooks for far less.
  • The cold can slow things down temporarily. If you need to use your laptop right away, you may be frustrated to find that it is slow to fire up for you after being left in sub-zero temperatures for a while.

Tips to Protect Your Laptop in the Car

1. Turn your laptop off completely.

Every little bit of heat is going to add to the danger to the laptop in a hot car. Even in sleep mode, your laptop will keep producing heat, so turn it off completely if you have to leave it in the car on a hot day. Otherwise, you could burn out your hard disks and/or your motherboard accidentally.

2. Cover it up.

Use a light-colored object like a towel to cover up your laptop. Not only will the covering prevent prying eyes from identifying your valuable property in the car, but it will also help deflect harsh sunlight from the laptop. It might not do much, but it will help some. Just make sure you don’t cover it in a dark covering because dark colors attract and hold heat.

3. Keep it out of direct sunlight.

Probably the most important thing you can do is keep your laptop out of direct sunlight in the car. That means don’t put it out on the dashboard or in a car seat. Although the ambient temperature in a car on a hot day can get quite hot, that is nothing compared to the heat that will hit your laptop if it is baked by direct sunlight for hours.

Direct sunlight for an extended period of time on your laptop – especially in warmer climates – can be enough to soften or melt the exterior plastic casing. If the casing is metal, the heat will turn the laptop into a tiny oven and bake all the components on the interior of the device.

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