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Guitar left in hot car
heymisterk
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Hi All,

I guess I'm one of those people who wants to know WHY sometimes...

Today, I put my SG in my car and drove to work with the intention of taking it to my guitar tech for a set-up after work. Unfortunately, I forgot to take it out of the car and into work to keep it cool.

When I pulled it out of the case at the shop, I grimaced when I felt how warm it was. When the guitar tech felt it, he shot me The Look that guitar techs sometimes get, like I was a student that did something wrong. Oops.

So, here's the question: I know it's BAD to leave a guitar - even in a case, as mine was - in a hot car, but why? Does the wood expand? Contract? Does something happen to the finish, or the glue? Is there are chance my guitar guy is going to call me and say, "Your guitar is f%&@ed because of your stupidity?"

So jury, What say you?

Post Date: 9/8/2008 @ 10:22 pm
RE: Guitar left in hot car
Poop-Loops
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The guitar was probably made at room temperature. As you pointed out, things expand with heat. So bad things could happen. The glue could also become unstuck, so things might move around. Maybe even the moisture in the wood would start to expand and cause some bad things to happen.

But honestly, unless it was like 120F inside the car, I wouldn't worry. People get really paranoid when it comes to guitars and they forget that these things are made from choice cuts of wood and metal.

I've never had a piece of furniture suddenly warp on me. I don't see why a guitar would.

Post Date: 9/8/2008 @ 11:14 pm

RE: Guitar left in hot car
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JC93230
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There are many different materials, woods, finishes etc, that go into the construction of a guitar. They do not all expand proportionately to each other. Glues can soften with heat and reset parts a little differently than they should.

It is bad for all those reasons and more. Electric guitars seem to handl this a little better as necks are set, through or bolted on. Still Bad though!

Acoustics can be really sensitive, as bridges are glued down and often pull up or drift with heat. Many glues used in musical instruments are designed to come apart with heat for repairs.(violins come to mind).

I hope your SG is OK. Having it in a case helps some (hopefully enough) as it slows the speed at which the temperature changes occur.

"I have had nothing less than a nice time with any guitar, but I cannot say the same for women." -jc93230

Post Date: 9/8/2008 @ 11:19 pm

RE: Guitar left in hot car
Monty Python
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Poop-Loops said:

The guitar was probably made at room temperature. As you pointed out, things expand with heat. So bad things could happen. The glue could also become unstuck, so things might move around. Maybe even the moisture in the wood would start to expand and cause some bad things to happen.

But honestly, unless it was like 120F inside the car, I wouldn't worry. People get really paranoid when it comes to guitars and they forget that these things are made from choice cuts of wood and metal.

I've never had a piece of furniture suddenly warp on me. I don't see why a guitar would.


===================================================


Even a moderately hot car can easily reach 120 degrees...

Post Date: 9/9/2008 @ 12:10 am

RE: Guitar left in hot car
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MobBarley
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I think the car windows can "magnifying glass" it... so, if it was in it's case, it's probably not so bad.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Have you ever seen a hundred thousand rip riders from the side
Blue chuck, blue rags, grey cloud, blue skies
on the move, can't lose, hell street blues

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g1YXnKPLE8

Post Date: 9/9/2008 @ 12:22 am

RE: Guitar left in hot car
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guitardude82
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yeah, its a good thing it was in a case.....

Joe

www.relientk.com Check 'em Out! My Favorite Band

Post Date: 9/9/2008 @ 12:27 am

RE: Guitar left in hot car
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cowardm
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you're pretty much asking for troubles. ever noticed how on a really hot day you'll get in your car and it's even hotter than it is outside? and you leave your guitar in that?

wood will always be wood in pretty much any case. acoustics are more sensitive than electrics, but you throw it an anything above or below 10 degrees (F) room temperature and that wood is going to change. the wood may bend, shrink, or expand and the finish may crack depending on the temperature or humidity. the best place for you guitar? a case with a 40-60% humidity between 65-80 degrees (F). if i remember right 45-50% is ideal humidity and 68-75F is ideal temp. the best way to control this is by keeping it in the case (with a humidifier).

one time in the car may or may not effect it. in all likely hood, it probably won't this time. if it did you probably would know by now. worst case scenario, you may need a truss rod adjustment or general setup.

-----
Michael

Post Date: 9/9/2008 @ 12:36 am

RE: Guitar left in hot car
M. Brown
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It's usually repeated abuse that causes noticable issues in cases like this. But sometimes the finish can be damaged after only one time. I've seen two Olympic white Strats get green splotches from being left in a hot car while in the case.

If something like this ever happens again, the best thing to do is get it out of the hot car and into a normal environment. BUT, leave it in the case for a few hours so that it can climatize slowly.

-----------------------------------------------
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Post Date: 9/9/2008 @ 1:16 am

RE: Guitar left in hot car
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janosfia
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Click on my username and then the link at the bottom of my profile. The Washburn pictured is a result of being left in a hot environment.

Post Date: 9/9/2008 @ 2:34 am

RE: Guitar left in hot car
mdw3332
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janosfia said:

Click on my username and then the link at the bottom of my profile. The Washburn pictured is a result of being left in a hot environment.

===================================================


Good thing you don't have a fancy, custom-made, terribly expensive, hand-made Swamp Ash Strat. I hate to see what you would do to that. Smiley Smiley Smiley

My electronics guru has been busy planning a big party, but is going to try to figure out the un-guitar like noises it currently makes. Smiley Hopefully soon.

Post Date: 9/9/2008 @ 3:24 am

RE: Guitar left in hot car
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MobBarley
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janosfia said:

Click on my username and then the link at the bottom of my profile. The Washburn pictured is a result of being left in a hot environment.

===================================================


Eh, just buy some wood glue and clamps or something...

I'm just saying... but buying a $1000 guitar every 3 years is cheaper than cable TV. I snapped through my headstock on my $400 guitar.. but then realized, I paid $1 per week for it.

So, when people cry over broken instruments and schit.. they're not children, they're not car accidents, they're not dogs... It's not so bad.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Have you ever seen a hundred thousand rip riders from the side
Blue chuck, blue rags, grey cloud, blue skies
on the move, can't lose, hell street blues

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g1YXnKPLE8

Post Date: 9/9/2008 @ 3:55 am

RE: Guitar left in hot car
dspellman
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Monty Python said:



Even a moderately hot car can easily reach 120 degrees...


===================================================


And here in LA, it's not unusual for a hot car to reach 160 degrees. That can soften several kinds of glues used on guitars.

Post Date: 9/9/2008 @ 4:00 am

RE: Guitar left in hot car
Swamp Rocker
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Some Pickups are waxed so around 130 degrees it may start to go wrong when the wax melts out.

Post Date: 9/9/2008 @ 4:56 am

RE: Guitar left in hot car
Poop-Loops
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That's because you losers all live down south where it's hot and sunny. You all need to come up to Washington, the land of everlasting Autumn.

Post Date: 9/9/2008 @ 6:27 am

RE: Guitar left in hot car
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janosfia
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MobBarley said:

janosfia said:

Click on my username and then the link at the bottom of my profile. The Washburn pictured is a result of being left in a hot environment.

===================================================


Eh, just buy some wood glue and clamps or something...


===================================================


I've actually thought about doing that. I got a few bids to repair it, and it costs just as much as buying a comparable new guitar. Since it just sits broken in a case all the time, I figure I've nothing to lose. Luckily, all of the breaks were very clean, an obvious sign of glue failure.

Post Date: 9/9/2008 @ 6:40 am

RE: Guitar left in hot car
puckhead
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MobBarley said:So, when people cry over broken instruments and schit.. they're not children, they're not car accidents, they're not dogs... It's not so bad.

===================================================



Hand in your membership. Smiley

-------------------------------------------------
"Turn up the good, Turn down the suck!"

Post Date: 9/9/2008 @ 3:05 pm


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