Will extreme temperatures damage CDs?

United States
December 9, 2008 2:28am CST
i have a cd player in my car and of course i leave cds in there to play and i worry that they are gonna get screwed up.. i have most if not all on back up on my mp3 player but some are starting to skip and i dont know if its dirt or if the cold temperatures outside are screwing them up.. i figured the heat would have been worse so when they did fine all summer i thought i was in the clear.. will the different temperatures outside affect the cds in my car?? which is more harmful cold or heat?
3 people like this
18 responses
@Zezlol (409)
• United Arab Emirates
9 Dec 08
Actually, normal changes in heat will do little damage. Sudden changes in temperature may cause condensation on the disc, this can cause it to stick to the packaging. Basically, extreme temperatures can make them warp. CD's are more vulnerable to bright light than other formats. The silver layer within the disc will decay, rendering the disc useless. The most likely visible damage will be the small holes when you hold the disc up in the light. In extreme cases, the whole silver layer will flake away from the disc. The damage caused by light is irreversible... keep 'em in the dark! Discs last longest when stored in plastic cases in a cool, dark, dry environment. (NIST recommends that for CD's and DVD's, relative humidity should be in the range of 20%-50% and temperatures should be in the range of 4C-20C). Because gravity can gradually bend the disc, storing it upright like a book is best for long-term storage. But hey, who really does all that..?
2 people like this
• United States
10 Dec 08
well its in a cabinet type thing between the two front seats of the car so its dark but they are just laying on top of each other and not in cases since they were burnt cds to begin with.. i should prob find something to encase them..
@wheel416 (1019)
• Canada
13 Dec 08
Well, I don't really have anything better to add than what zezlol has already said, so I would just add my voice behind his and add that before playing any disk it is probably best that it be as close to room temperature as possible. And as Zezlol already said how many people will do any more than that? Take care, and Happy Mylotting!
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Dec 08
The sun can cause the damage to distort. Cold shouldn't hurt anything, though. They say machines like CD players tend to run better in cold because they can't overheat. :) You gotta keep in mind... the windows of your car will always let a magnified version of the sun's rays in. Anything in its path (especially with color) will likely suffer damage. I don't know. I'm no scientist. I just observe things! :)
2 people like this
• United States
11 Dec 08
i have mine in the armrest thing that opens up to hold things so the sunlight isnt hitting it but i just wonder how hot it does get in there though
@rizzu87 (860)
• Malaysia
10 Dec 08
Heat is harmful for damaging the data in the cds but i dont think cool temperatures would damage them anyway. I think it must have got scratches on it, you keep them in the cd cover in your dashboard then they all will be fine in both season..
2 people like this
• United States
10 Dec 08
i think i need to get a better case just to be careful
1 person likes this
@Putranda (129)
• Indonesia
10 Dec 08
In my opinion, I am sure that heat temperature is more harmful because high temperature can make your cds melting down! But I think extremely low temperature also influence your cd. As I know, the good temperature for almost all things is between 0-40 Celsius.
• United States
10 Dec 08
yeah with the seasons now changed i was wondering since they are in my car
1 person likes this
@neozero (171)
• Malaysia
9 Dec 08
Ofcourse extreme temperatures will harm your cd. When the temperature increased the plastic the cd is made from will lose its shape and that will lead to the degradation of the magnetic layer that the data is stored
2 people like this
• United States
10 Dec 08
do you know which is worse? or if cold is as bad as heat?? i have always heard of heat but now that its winter time i need to know if i should worry about the cold
@Keola12 (716)
• United States
9 Dec 08
It is the cold weather outside that makes your CD's skip. This is what happens if you leave the CD's outside in your car in extreme temperature regardless if the weather is extremely hot or extremely cold. Cold and heat are equally harmful to CD's.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Dec 08
crap... im gonna have to figured something out then because they were fine during the summer but now that its cold they are skipping like crazy!
@twoey68 (13667)
• United States
9 Dec 08
I've always been told that heat is really bad for CD's. I don't tend to take them in cars with me so I don't have a problem with them. I'd suggest that if your going to put CD's in the car, make a copy of them, keep the original at home and keep the copy in the car...then if it's ruined your not out the CD. [b]MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! ~~AT PEACE WITHIN~~ **STAND STRONG AND TRUST IN GOD**[/b]
2 people like this
@060157 (1060)
• Pakistan
9 Dec 08
jsut make sure that you put the cds inside the compartment and not outside, directly under the sunlight. that can damage the data on it. or if you leave like that for hours, the cd will most probably de-shape. a little bit change in temperature does not damage the cd that much, but dust can be a big damaging factor. so keep the cds clean of dust. also remember that cds have a life as well, and the data on it will get corrupted eventually. the dvds last pretty long as compared to normal cds. i was told this from my friend who read an article. sorry i cannot provide with a reference.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Dec 08
they are in the armrest/cabinet thing of my car so there isnt any light and should be ok i would think.. dust might end up being an issue though.. and yeah i need to just make new remix cds since i think some of them might just be wearing out without the weather being involved
• India
10 Dec 08
Yes extreme temparature will damage the CD because CD's are mede up of silocon which melts with every slight change in temparature so always use protective case to protect ur CD's and always don't leave the CD's in the player even this also damages the CD
2 people like this
• Singapore
10 Dec 08
I never hear of extreme heat temperature can damages the CD, but i heard that you could bend them when you put them in high temperature......
@lockheart (1406)
• Philippines
10 Dec 08
its more dangerous in a cd if its in a cold-hot places... it causes the cd to break the foil something like...
2 people like this
@wanted123 (121)
• India
9 Dec 08
yes it affects because the cell in the cd cann be destroyed due to high temperatorue so keep the cd in safe place where there is no need to scare abt the temperature and even have a cd pack so heat will reduce the capability of the cd and it affect the player too and i think it bad so dont keep in hot climate
2 people like this
• United States
11 Dec 08
I do not know which is more harmful...but it is recommended to keep them at room temperature. I have never had anything happen to my cds, so i do not know the effects of extreme temperatures..in less you count knowing what will happen if you microwave a cd counts.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Dec 08
do i even wanna know why the heck you microwaved a cd?
• United States
11 Dec 08
It wasn't me i swear!!!! Okay maybe one time it was me, but here is the story...the guy i was dating my freshman year of college showed me, i don't know how it was brought up or anything, it was just like let me show you how neat this is thing, pops a cd in a microwave, we watch the light show, pops it out and the marks are the cd are neat. The only bad part of it is the smell and the fact that it can't be good for the microwave.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Dec 08
now im curious
@ahgong (10088)
• Singapore
12 Dec 08
Well, CDs storage instructions are to store them in a cool dry place. If it is too hot, the thin film where the data is kept may just seperate from the plastic disc, thus damaging it. I do not know about extreme cold though. Cos where I am, there is no such whether. So cannot comment on it. If you really treasure your discs, it is better to keep them at home. Burn a copy of it on CDRs and play those instead. In the even the copies get damaged, you can always create new copies again to play them in your car.
@ahgong (10088)
• Singapore
15 Dec 08
No Silly! You do not have to keep bring them in and out. Keep the originals in your home. Burn the copies and store them in your car. In the event your copies got damaged due to the extreme temperatures, you can always make a new copy and replace it. CDRs are really cheap now a days!
1 person likes this
@saundyl (9698)
• Canada
10 Dec 08
I've left mine in -40 c weather in my car and in +40 c weather...it was the 40 c weather leaving it laying on the dash that warped it so bad it didnt even look like a cd anymore.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Dec 08
well mine are stored in the arm rest so its not getting directly hit with heat or anything
1 person likes this
@saundyl (9698)
• Canada
10 Dec 08
thats usually where mine are too but that time i had tossed it on the dash as i stopped at the car to grab something on my way to an appointment i was running late for. I've never done that again.
1 person likes this
• India
9 Dec 08
hi friend, according to my opinion heat will make more harm to the cd...if cds get heat then a thin cover on that will damage... of course the data on that cd will also get damage..also in the case of cold this cover get damage,but it will not make more as compared to the heat..so please keep cd and this kind of materials away from heat...is it right?
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Dec 08
well they are covered and not in direct light and seemed to do ok during the summer but they are skipping now that its gotten colder which has me wondering if i just didnt notice till now or what
• India
10 Dec 08
ok but if you place your cd into an extremely hot condition you can able to understand that that cover on that cd will getting damage..that golden cover on that cd will get some another color..but in the case of cold condition it will not affect the cd that much..
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Dec 08
heat's worse-but i mean really extreme heat. i used to live in arizona and if you left them in your car too long,you might as well throw them out.they were all warped like old records. you figure if it's 115 outside,god knows what the temp is inside the car.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Dec 08
ugh i couldnt take that!! i lived in florida but at least i had an ocean nearby lol.. but naw im in tn and to me the heat feels worse but the weather man says differ so it has to be a better environment than az or fl
9 Dec 08
truely temperature inside the car only matters irrespective of outside......temperatures.so i hope may be due to snow thats is entering during kmaki the parts get struck.thats all there is not much chemistry.......
• United States
29 Dec 10
I have been reading your comments about temperatures that damage CDs and DVDs. I have a similar problem and need some answers, please. We just had a flood in our apartment. The pipes in the apartment upstairs burst and water by the gallons came down into our apartment. My CDs and DVDs did not actually get water on them but they were exposed to sooo much moisture. The humidity in our apartment remained over 66% for several months until they could finally dry the apartment out. I noticed that when I took the movies and music out of the storage shelves the plastic cases were damp. I dried the outside of the cases before we had tp pack them to go into storage while they repaired the apartment. Do you think any damage will be done to my movies and music while they are stored? I really need to know the answer to this, so I am hoping someone will be able to help me. We have had many water, humidity, mildew and mold problems in this apartment over the 19 months we have lived here. What kind of condition will my DVDs and CDs be in when I go to play them again? Thank you, Moviealways