Ask a Luthier:
Leaving My Violin in the Car - Is It Ok?
Short answer: no. In our ask a luthier video series on the Fiddlershop channel, we focus on why it's most likely not a good idea to leave an instrument in the car on a hot day, or above 75 degrees. You can watch the video below on why heat and a musical instrument don't mix. However, let's focus on some other issues.
Extreme conditions in both directions - freezing or hot - will loosen or tighten pegs, open seams, and cause cracks to develop in the wood. For winter weather, this is due to the dry air, but also an abundance of moisture leads to the same problem. The result then is often whistling sounds coming from the instrument or frustrating difficulty getting and keeping the instrument in tune.
I am sure you've all heard the news stories of a professional leaving their Strad or some other expensive violin brand in the car, and it being stolen. That's a nightmare for any musician. It's just safer to keep your instrument on your person if you have to bring it anywhere with you.
Here are some ideas. If you have to bring your violin with you some place, always take it with you and find a safe, trustworthy spot inside to keep it. Maybe you can slide it under your desk if you're at work, find a locker in other places, and so on.
We'd love to know your ideas. Have you left your instrument in the car in extreme weather conditions? Did you have any issues? How do you successfully cart your violin around to work, school, or other areas outside of an actual music venue or lesson? Let us know.
Be sure to contact our luthier at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask any questions on instrument care, repair, and restoration. We may feature it on our Fiddlershop Ask a Luthier series!