Michigan had it pretty mild at the start of winter.

Read Related: Why Michiganders Should Be Keeping a Quarter in Their Freezer

However, with these below zero temperatures and the intense windchill that makes it feel even colder, we're getting our fair share of harsh weather. And there's more still to come.

As of right now, next week's forecast has some snow and some below freezing temperatures.

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When things get that cold outside, your car can get pretty cold as well. So now's the perfect time to remind you that not everything can or should stay in your car for an extended period of time.

Read Related: This Michigan City Has Heated Streets and Sidewalks

I'm so guilty of this. I leave something in my car thinking, that's tomorrow me's problem. But then tomorrow rolls around and I have no desire to tackle the issue. This could lead to some trouble because there are a few items that, as a Michigander, I should not leave in my car, and neither should you.

USA Today put together this list as a friendly reminder to look over your vehicle and make sure none of these are left behind.

Things You Shouldn't Leave in Your Car During Freezing Temperatures

Some of them are pretty common sense, but some of the other suggestions might surprise you.

Living Creatures

Dog sleeping on snow in a park. Cold winter.
Remus Rigo

This might sound like a no-brainer, but kids and the elderly are way more vulnerable to the colder temperatures. The same goes for our pets.

Bottled or Canned Beverages (water, soda, beer, etc.)

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Canva Pro

When water freezes, it expands, and for those beverages under pressure, they just might pop their tops and get all over the interior of your car.

Cellphones, Tablets, and Similar Electronics



Apple advises against storing the iPhone or iPad at temperatures below negative-4 degrees, and they shouldn't be operated at temperatures lower than 32 degrees. There are similar recommendations for Samsung phones and other electronics.

Musical Instruments

Musical instruments lying on the piano in dark colors

When it comes to freezing, objects do the opposite of water, and they contract. So leaving your instruments in the car can cause them to contract and become out of tune. They might even contract to the point of breaking.



Some medications, like insulin, "can lose their effectiveness if they freeze."

Canned Foods


Canned foods typically have water in them. And just like bottles of water, soda, or beer, that water will freeze, expand, and eventually pop or break the seal, causing the contents to spoil. If this happens, you should throw this food straight in the trash.


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Canva Pro


Eggs shouldn't be allowed to freeze in their shells; if that happens, throw away any cracked eggs. Keep the un-cracked ones frozen, and move them to the refrigerator before use. "These can be hard cooked successfully, but other uses may be limited. That's because freezing causes the yolk to become thick and syrupy so it will not flow like an unfrozen yolk or blend very well with the egg white or other ingredients," according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service.


A Low Gas Tank

Fuel gauge
Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Sashkinw

You fuel lines have the potential of freezing. To help prevent that, keep your fuel tank half full or more.

Winter Weather Safety Tips for Michiganders

Whether you're staying indoors, shoveling your driveway, or hitting the slopes, here are tips for remaining safe and injury-free this winter season:

Gallery Credit: Lauren Gordon

8 Steps To Winterize Your Vehicle

Gallery Credit: Canva

9 Essential Winter Prep Tips for Michigan Homeowners

Brace yourself, winter is coming! Michigan homeowners should make sure they're doing these 9 things now before winter weather strikes. Here's how to prep your home for the cold harsh weather of Michigan winter:

Gallery Credit: Lauren Gordon