Can I Leave My Guitar In A Cold Car?

Are you about to store your guitar in a cold car? Then you should have a clear understanding of the consequences that can take place.

So can you leave my guitar in a cold car? You must not leave your guitar what even it is electric, acoustic or classical within a cold car or any other cold environment for a long period of time.

If you take a look at the effects that your guitar will undergo, you will figure out why. In the meantime, you should also learn what alternative methods are available for you to store your guitar, instead of keeping it in a cold car.

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if you are interested in what happens to a guitar in the heat you can check my post What Happens If You Leave A Guitar (Acoustic, Electric) In The Heat

What Are The Effects Of Keeping A Guitar In The Cold?

How Does Temperature Affect Your Guitar?

Under cold environmental conditions, condensation can take place. This will be the worst enemy to your guitar. That’s because moisture will get in touch with the metal elements on your guitar. In addition, moisture can get into some of the areas in the dense wood of your guitar as well. If you have an electric guitar, condensation would create a negative impact on the electrics. On the other hand, your guitar strings will be more vulnerable to rusting as well.

The acoustic guitar will suffer more compared to an electric guitar when it stored inside a car.

When you store the guitar inside a cold car, you cannot expect the temperature to remain constant. It can vary along with time. As a result, wood in the guitar will be subjected to contractions and expansions on a regular basis. This can wrap the guitar because wood contracts and expands along with the temperature. With this effect, glues that have been used to hold the pieces of wood in your guitar will fail. As a result, wood will split.

The Affected Areas Of The Guitar

The biggest damage on your guitar will take place around its neck. That’s mainly because most of the joints of your guitar are located around its neck. In most of the instances, people end up with an excessive forward bow after storing their guitars in cold cars for an extended duration of time. However, you need to keep in mind that not just the neck of your guitar will be damaged after keeping the instrument inside a cold car. All other areas of your guitar, including the bridge, have a tendency to end up with damages due to the exposure to colder environmental conditions for a long period of time.

Your guitar tuning will also be impacted by keeping it in a cold car for a long duration of time. That’s because the change in temperature inside your car will create an impact on the tensions of the guitar. You will perfectly tune your guitar and place it inside a cold car. However, you will not be able to experience that precise tuning after you take it out.

How Can I Store My Guitar In The Cold Safely?

If you don’t have any other options, you will be forced to store your guitar under cold environmental conditions. In such instances, there are few effective steps available for you to follow and minimize the damage caused on the guitar. Hence, you are encouraged to figure out how you can store your guitar in the cold, without causing any damage to it.

There are guitar cases, which have specifically been designed to provide enhanced protection to the guitar under cold environmental conditions. If you are going to leave your guitar in a cold car, you must consider investing in one of these guitar cases. Then you can simply go ahead and store your guitar. These guitar cases can keep humidity away from reaching inside. Hence, you will be able to eliminate the damage that can happen due to condensation.

You can also think about detuning your guitar before you leave it inside a cold car. Then you will be able to make sure that the temperature change doesn’t create a negative impact on the tuning of your guitar.

What Is The Optimal Temperature To Store My Guitar?

Next, you need to have a better understanding of the optimum temperature to go ahead and store your guitar. Figuring out the most appropriate temperature to store your guitar will not be a difficult thing to do. If you are comfortable with the temperature around you, your guitar will feel the same. In other words, a temperature that you are comfortable to live in is considered as the most appropriate temperature available for you to store your guitar as well.

The storage temperature of your guitar should be around 70 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 to 26 degrees Celsius. Whether you have an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar, you should think about storing it at this temperature. In addition to the temperature, you should be extremely concerned about the humidity as well. That’s because humidity alone has the ability to create a tremendous impact on the sound quality produced by your guitar. The recommended humidity for the storage of a guitar is around 40% to 50%.

Best Places To Store My Guitar

Finally, you need to understand how to store your guitar properly. With this understanding, you will be able to get rid of all sorts of damages that the changes in the environment can create on your guitar.

Purchase A Guitar Case Or A Gig Bag

You should always take appropriate steps to store your guitar inside a case. In most of the instances, the case that is provided along with your guitar would be ideal for storing it. However, there are some better guitar cases available in the market and I encourage you are to take a look at them as well. Some of these guitar designed to deliver improved protection to your guitar against low temperatures. The money you spend on purchasing such a guitar case will never be in vain. In fact, I can conclude that the guitar case is a sort of investment because you will provide a better ability to protect your guitar for a long period of time.

If you still don’t have a gig bag or a guitar case for your guitar, then check out my recommendation at Top 27 Must Have Guitar Accessories For Every Guitarist

Never Stack Your Guitars

If you have more than one guitar, you need to be extra careful about the storage. In fact, you need to make sure that you don’t store one guitar on top of another. You will always have to store the guitars standing up. In fact, the guitar cases you have should appear like suits that you have hung on a rack. You should never make them look like a deck of cards. But some people will find it a difficult thing to store them standing up due to storage issues. In such instances, you can think about keeping them on the sides. If you do it, you need to make sure that the upper side of the guitar is pointing up at all times.

When you are storing the guitars, you will also have to think about keeping the string tension on its neck. However, you should loosen the guitar strings a couple of steps. You don’t need to keep the guitar strings in regular tension while you store. But you need to make sure that some sort of tension is there to support the neck of your guitar. Otherwise, you will end up with neck bowing issues in your guitar.

Try To Store Your Guitar Inside As Much As Possible

As mentioned earlier, I don’t recommend storing your guitars inside a car, especially under cold environmental conditions. You need to try your best to take it inside your home. Once you get the guitar inside your home, you will have to think about storing it in a closet that is located in the center of your home. Then you will be able to provide a constant temperature to your guitar at all times. If possible, you can consider using a humidifier. This will provide a perfect storage environment for your guitar during colder seasons. In fact, a humidifier can make sure that the environment doesn’t suck up humidity from the wood of your guitar and make it sound lifeless.

If your guitar is a vibrato equipped one, you will have to think about storing it with detached arms. This trick will help you to minimize the damage that temperature changes can create on your guitar.


If you own a guitar, you must be looking forward to providing improved protection to it. In such a situation, you shouldn’t keep it inside a car under cold environmental conditions. If you do, the temperature will ruin your guitar. It will impact your guitar strings and lose them up as well as the glue that keeps the various wooden parts together. Hence, you will not be able to enjoy playing your guitar again. If there is no alternative, you must get a solid case and store your guitar. 

It is important for you to be aware of the most appropriate temperature to store your guitar. Then you will be able to protect your investment for a long period of time. On the other hand, you must also learn the best places to store your guitar around the home as well.


I have been playing guitar since 2004. As long as I can remember I always had a huge passion for rock music and I extremely enjoy playing it. Helping people on their rock journey is what drives me to keep on playing. Read More About Me

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