STROUDSBURG — If you're like us, you've wondered why manufacturers tell us not to leave electronic devices in a hot car.
It's because of the battery. Even the Energizer Bunny would pant and keel over in this heat.
At high temperatures, chemicals in the battery can heat and explode, turning your iPod into iPoop, according to Geek Squad agent Dave Narducci of Best Buy in Stroudsburg. "Alkaline is the least safe. Lithium is safer," he says.
iPods, iPhones and iPads use lithium batteries, but Apple says that using your device, including a notebook computer, at temperatures greater than 95 degrees can permanently damage the battery's capacity.
Charging it in hot weather may damage it more, and storing the batteries in the heat can damage them permanently.
When in doubt, "most manufacturers have recommendations on their websites (or in the dreaded manual) that list the min-max temperatures for operation and storage," said J.D. Biersdorfer of the website and podcast Pop Tech Jam. "Most things I've read say to keep the gear out of direct sunlight in a parked car, and even stow it in the dark trunk if you can't take it with you."
Computers, even with their batteries removed, are at risk. Certain circuit boards within the computer have tiny batteries that can also explode.
Beyond your cellphone, GPS and other keyboard-equipped electronic geegaws, don't forget your digital camera.
Your camera is no more than a computer with a lens attached to it, according to Dave Butler of Stroudsburg Foto Shop.
"We had a camera last week that was too hot to touch and wouldn't work," he said. "Once we had it in the store for a couple of hours it worked."
The camera lens also has lubricants that smear in the heat.
"If it's too hot for you to be in there, your camera doesn't want to be there either," Butler said.