Can electronics, hard drives survive in a car for a week?
June 23, 2016 6:56 PM   Subscribe

I will be shipping a car in the US and this is estimated to take 4-6 days in an open transport. I will leave some things in the trunk (yes, I am aware it can be stolen). Since it is summer weather, the car may be potentially on the top, so it will be subject to significant heat, I wanted to ask if things such as hard drives and electronics will make it through the trip. Thanks.
posted by eliluong to Technology (9 answers total)
Check your shipping contract--you might be prohibited from leaving anything in the car. Per my experience, they'll check.
posted by Special Agent Dale Cooper at 7:01 PM on June 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have checked with them, they allow up to 100 lbs of stuff.
posted by eliluong at 7:02 PM on June 23, 2016

I'd be more worried about dust and vibration. Seal them up in plastic, and cushion them somehow.
posted by intermod at 7:02 PM on June 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Temperature is not likely to be an issue. Even hard drives are OK for storage up to 70C or so and most electronics probably even higher.
posted by ssg at 7:29 PM on June 23, 2016

"Mil Spec" grade products are functional at 125C. You don't need functional at that temp, you just need safe storage in powered-down mode.

Most of our mass-market, name brand, consumer goods are going to be mostly compliant with "Mil Spec," just because it's easier for the manufacturers to build everything to a level that satisfies most customers.
posted by yesster at 8:58 PM on June 23, 2016

OK, maybe 125 c is extreme.

85C is still a reasonable expectation for consumer products.
posted by yesster at 9:01 PM on June 23, 2016

I would personally pull the hard drives and travel with them out of general paranoia. Batteries will likely be unhappy with the trip, as stoneweaver pointed out, but powered off electronics should generally be fine.
posted by Candleman at 9:23 PM on June 23, 2016

Thank you for the responses. It'll be a few solid state and mechanical hard drives, I'll store them in their original packaging/box and then seal it inside a zip-lock bag, too. I have most of the important data backed up to a NAS that I'm leaving home, so it will be okay if something happens. Regarding other electronics, it'll be things like computer peripherals without batteries, chargers.

If I powered off a tablet, would it affect battery life significantly?
posted by eliluong at 12:31 AM on June 24, 2016

If I powered off a tablet, would it affect battery life significantly?

Lithium Ion batteries don't like being above 84 degrees, so the trip would likely damage them a little, depending on how much heat they're exposed to on the trip. On the other hand, I've taken tablets into the desert for longer than that with no immediately apparent drop in capacity, so it's not like you're dooming yourself to terrible battery life. Quite a bit of our electronics are sent across the country in non-temperature controlled trucks and trains during the summer season on the way to stores.
posted by Candleman at 6:24 AM on June 24, 2016

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