What happens when you stick a guitar case in a Mini, in full sun, for 8 hours and 40 minutes

On another forum, several have us have been doing some experiments involving cars in hot sun - inside temp vs. outside temp, ttrunk temp vs. inside temp, etc. I decided to take a different approach.

At 10:00, I parked my car in a parking lot that should receive full sun all day. The car doesn't have a trunk, so the case is sitting in the back seat. Here's the car:

I cracked the windows and the sunroof. said it was 84 degrees out. Here's what the thermometer in the case says:

The thermometer is an ancient one that was mounted on the house sometime around 20+ years ago. Here's what I did with the case:

Yeah, that's some scarves and some microfiber cloths. And a shirt. They happened to be in the car; and that's what I would use in a real-world application.

Here's how things looked at lunch. said it was 88.

The sandwich was roast beef with peppers on marble rye.

I wasn't able to get back to the car until 6:40. Here's what I found when I opened the case:

I guess that would be somewhere around 113 degrees. That's after 8 hours and 40 minutes inside a case, inside a car that has a whole lot of glass to let light in - the roof itself is 60% tinted sunroof. Of course, I left the windows and sunroof cracked.

Outside temp when I took the photo was right around 92.

So what does all this mean? I don't think it means that we can leave cars in the sun all day and expect nothing to happen to a guitar inside. But, I personally am not going to be too worried if I leave the guitar in the car while I run some errands.

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"That which is not inside a car, cannot be stolen from it"

--Baba Dhu Rhan Rhan
When I bend guitar sides I heat the wood in the bender to 120+ and then let cool to below 100 and the wood will stay in its shape but if I take it out of the bender before it lowers below 120 it will want to straighten out some.

I think glue comes apart at 120 degrees to!! Try that test with a junk guitar and see what happens to it!!

I will look for a junk guitar in my junk pile and see what happens to it.

try that in sacramento california when its 105 out your guitar will explode
Surprisingly, it gets just as bad in Kansas as it does in Sacramento, only with more humidity...

I have a few more thoughts... first, trying to put together the jig that Frank Ford uses in this post on

and testing it in a case. Second, getting one of those outdoor thermometers that will record high and low temperature and humidity, to see what the range is in a case. And third, getitng a junk guitar to try it out on.

I wonder which joint will fail first? Bridge/top, neck, other? Getting a junk guitar, throwing some heavy strings on it and tuning up a step or so should increase the likelihood of something failing.
Well John in my repair biz and at the music store i repair at 2 days a week i see the bridges coming off the most.
I notice that you don't have any windshield sun shade - these are far more effective than you'd imagine especially if you can put one outside. In case you're worried about someone stealing an outside one put one both inside and outside and that way at least the instrument is protected. It's easy to make an outside one out of a reflective mylar sheet with about $0.50 in materials. Secondly depending on the security situation and how well you craft you can run low current computer fans in a window rolled down just enough to add the fan assembly. This can be quite secure if you have power windows as you can source small fans made as chip coolers smaller than a potential theif's hands with a 1/8" aluminum frame that covers the rest of the opening. Remove the power windows fuse or install a secret shut off switch for them and the door locks and even if a thief gets their hands in the car they can't activate the windows nor locks. The current that these use is so tiny that it would take months to run down your batteries but if you're concerned or perhaps make a unit that can be moved from vehicle to vehicle, etc., you can easily power these small fans with a small solar cell panel. Just make sure that in parking lot sunshine it puts out sufficient current at 12VDC to power the little fans. With the advent of the computer fans I really don't understand why auto makers - especially BMW (also known as "big money waster") - don't include these in the engineering to provide secure parked ventilation.

Hope this helps.

I just put inside my car parked outside in the sun it is 100 out side and now is over 120 and that is as high as my themoterer will go. I have put in side the car a old parlor guitar made in the 30s or 40s and I assume the glue is hide and another guitar side with lining and end blocks that have tite bond glue holding it together. I will leave it all afternoon and see what happens.

Ron, I assume that you don't really care about the guitar, correct? I'm impressed with your selfless dedication to the science and the craft. Why don't you see if you can bake some bread in it while you're at it?

I, too, admire your selflessness, your devotion to the cause.

Impressive. I look forward to pics.
I've gotten a good amount of repair work over the years from folks who didn't think that leaving their instrument in a hot car would matter all that much. God bless 'em, but it's never a good idea under any circumstances........ just sayin'.


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