Leaving guitar in a cold car

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by ssites, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. ssites

    ssites Member

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    I bring my guitar with me to work a few times a week since I hit practice straight after. Do you think if I leave it in my car if it is in it's case it will be bad for the wood and warp the neck? It's just a pain dragging up to the office all the time.
     
  2. tnvol

    tnvol Supporting Member

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    I would never do that but for some people who want to promote finish checking, it seems to be a popular method.
     
  3. treeofpain

    treeofpain Supporting Member

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    Not generally a good idea. The actual potential for damage depends on the type of guitar (acoustic or electric - solid or hollow), as well as the type of finish (nitro or poly).

    The general rule of thumb is to treat the guitar like a person. If you would not be comfortable in a particular environment, chances are that your guitar won't be comfortable there either.
     
  4. monty

    monty Member

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    Alot depends on where you are and how the weather is, but I wouldnt do it for fear of it getting ripped off.
     
  5. ssites

    ssites Member

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    Yeah I guess I already knew the answer lol. Just trying to save my lazy ass lugging it around. Sucks getting old
     
  6. wilerty

    wilerty Member

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    You didn't mention where you live? If you car is between 55 and 85 degrees, I wouldn't worry about it. Otherwise, take it in with you.
     
  7. Last

    Last Member

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    Aside from the obvious cold temps & potential damage the humidity changes are more of a concern when it comes to warping.
     
  8. getbent

    getbent Member

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    I leave my homemade telecasters in my trunk all the time... it doesn't seem to effect them... they are in good gig bags and don't get banged around too much... if I'm going from extreme heat or cold, I let them sit a few minutes to acclimate before pulling them out of the bag... I think this is probably placebo silliness... but, whatever...

    I have an old peavey t60 that we leave in the band trailer in a flight case... I check it every once in awhile just to make sure it is okay as it is our back up guitar "in case ****."

    If it is a super valuable piece, probably not take more risks with it than you have to...
     
  9. ssites

    ssites Member

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    I live in PA, and right now it's very cold. under 40 easily. I'll just take it in and be safe. To much money inversted in these things.

    I was just thinking about it last night because I would think it is damaging to touring guys with the equipment always riding in the back of a semi-truck?
     
  10. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    I leave my tele in my car a lot in the winter (in a gigbag).. I forget about it after practices or gigs and it sits in my suv until I wonder where it is... always tunes right up no issues... would never do it with my acoustic though... YMMV... in fact I've done it with my 1980 lp custom, in a case.. and still never any issues.. and it gets cold and hot in OHIO.... finally, my Tiny Terror, never leaves my car except for practices and sometimes if I feel like a change.. I'll gig with it...
     
  11. fjwiv

    fjwiv Member

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    I have a 1991 poly american standard strat that i've been doing this with since I got it. One of the advantages of thick poly is that the guitars are damn near indestructible. It doesn't hurt that it's a really great guitar to boot.
     
  12. Jujo

    Jujo Supporting Member

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    I would not do that. I would suggest buying a nice padded gig bag with 2 nice padded shoulder straps. Then you can wear it like a backpack to the office and not have to carry it.
     
  13. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    Beyond the damage cold can do, there's always the concern that it could get stolen too... my motto, especially when I'm on a gig is "if I keep it with me, it always stays with me"

    And yes, guitars that go on extended tours do indeed tend to get "beat up" quicker
     
  14. xzzy

    xzzy Member

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    Rule of thumb is, don't leave your guitar anywhere that you would be uncomfortable yourself.

    That said, if the instrument does get left in a cold car, it's not the end of the world. The biggest risk is to the finish.. if it warms up too fast, it's gonna crack.

    To improve the odds of not damaging anything, leave the guitar in its case for an hour or so before opening it. The insulation will slow down the warming to minimize the risk of cracks. If you're in a hurry, you can unlatch the case to let more air in after about 20 minutes. Stick your fingers in there, and if it still feels chilly, let it sit longer.
     
  15. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    When I was on the road, we had no choice. The guitars had to ride in the back of the truck. They were in sub-zero in the winter and in 120°F in the summer. I always loaded them last so they were one of the first things to go inside when we unloaded. By the time we got everything set up and did a soundcheck, they had been inside for about 2-3 hours. Even then, the finish got checked pretty good.
     
  16. TK LP

    TK LP Member

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    How cold is it where you are? How long is the ride from work to practice? I'm in Maryland, and we see the four seasons, so it can get pretty cold. What I try to do is put the guitar in the front seat/floor next to me and run the heater on the floor. With the guitar in it's case, that will usually bring the temperature up slowly, so the guitar can acclimate. I've been doing this for years, with no ill effects on my Gibson guitars. Of course I avoid this situation if I can. Quick temperature changes seems to be the thing to try and avoid.
     
  17. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    That's a big +1, Rubber Ducky.

    Haha, I wouldn't even do that with my relic guitar.
     
  18. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    I used to be more paranoid about it than I am now. If you don't care about finish checking, with most guitars (especially solidbody electrics) it probably won't be a huge deal. Certainly not as dangerous as leaving it in a HOT car, which is a DEFINITE no-no.
     
  19. sleek

    sleek Member

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    Feh.

    The correct answer is: don't be a wuss.

    The long version:

    I was a touring guitar tech for 7 years. In that time, we did months-long tours in the south in summer, and winter tours in canada. We did a 3 month stretch in Europe including Scandanavia. In December.

    The guitars would sit in the hottest/and/or/coldest temperatures imaginable for days at a time in those trucks...as would EVERYBODY ELSE'S. Then you'd pop them out at the whatever horrible local venue...and they'd be fine.

    I was out with bands like Cheap Trick, Ted Nugent and AC/DC among many others....guys with SERIOUS iconic guitars.

    I mean, think about it. If riding around Canada in a freezing truck for months at a time (year after year) didn't kill Angus Young's prized '50's-'60's SGs, it ain't gonna harm your little beauties. If it's good enough for the 20 highly desirable guitars Rick Neilsen would schlep out on every tour, it's good enough for yours as well. If it don't harm uncle Ted's vintage Byrdlands...well, you get the point.

    Man up.
     
  20. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    lol... I was starting to think I just got lucky with my careless ways...
     

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