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What the hot weather can do to your phone or tablet

An expert says when a cellphone shuts down, it is the phone's way of protecting itself.
Person using phone
Posted at 7:04 AM, Jun 21, 2024

The heat wave hitting much of the country right now can be harmful to our bodies and our pets. But the same is true for our phones and other tech devices.

Whether you're heading to the pool, hiking, or just running errands, accidentally leaving your cellphone in a hot car for a half hour can cause it to overheat and do some serious damage.

Eileen Wood recalls a frightening incident with a hot phone.

"I was outside at a pool, and it beeps and just shuts off. You wonder what's going to happen after it shuts down," she said.

It turns out many owners experience overheating phones and tablets.

At a uBreakiFix by Asurion store, Alex Hausfeld said your phone shutting down and requiring you to wait is actually a good thing.

"That is the device's way of protecting itself. It is trying to prevent you from using it as much as it can," he said.

Hausfeld says the worst things you can do are to leave your phone in the sun poolside or leave it on a hot dashboard with the sun beating down.

"Leaving it in a hot car is basically baking your phone," he said.

He says more than a half hour in the hot sun can cause the battery to swell up.

"Ultimately, a total meltdown of the device, where people would risk losing data," he said.

It can even be a fire risk.

"We actually had a phone in here not too long ago where the battery had combusted inside the phone," he said.

If your phone slows or shuts down from the heat, Hausfeld says "put it somewhere cool, put it in front of the fan, or the AC in your car." But he says do not put it in a fridge or freezer, which could crack the glass.

Finally, Hausfeld says to think twice about having it on the dash during a long drive.

Mom Joy Seidel, who we found leaving a grocery store in a hot parking lot, says she will be very careful over the next few weeks.

"Not leaving it in the car for sure, and just keeping it out of the sun," she said.

So be very careful in the hot sun, and around the pool, and that way you don't waste your money.

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