I feel like an idiot.

I left my Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster in its case in the trunk of a car today in -11 degree Celsius weather while my friend and I went into a music shop for 2 hours to look at amps for him.

Coming home, I immediately brought in the guitar and opened the case on my bed and noodled around on it for about 3 minutes playing Aces High until I realised I should NOT be playing a cold guitar, and I should have let it gradually warm up. I detuned the strings a bit afterwards to ease tension on the neck and let it rest on its stand.

The guitar wasn't extremely frozen or anything but it was cold. Could I have done any permanent damage to the neck, body or electronics in doing this ? I've read electrics are more forgiving than acoustic guitars when it comes to things like this. What are the chances ? Is there a way of telling if I did ? The neck is a maple neck.
Last edited by Lightning.Rider at Feb 12, 2012,
If the guitar had a nitro finish, doing what you did would have caused immediate finish checking. If you happen to leave a guitar out in the cold, or even the hot, the best thing to do is bring it inside and leave it in the case. Allow it to slowly return to room temperature over several hours.

Chances are, your guitar has no permanent damage to the neck, body or electronics. By the way, any guitar is more succeptible to the heat. The glue used on most guitars melts at around 120 degree Fahrenheit, which is typically bad.
If there really was something wrong,you'd know about it.
Seagulls,the chicken of the ocean.

Originally posted by Gunpowder:
Everyone just jumps on the bandwagon and gives the same advice in these situations. You know what? I'm going to be different. Call the firemen.
Lol being in the cold for a couple hours does absolutely nothing to it. Ive even played gigs outside in the cold weather numerous times, cold barely affects your guitar.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

Two hours is nothing. Your guitar should be fine. I've left an acoustic in my car in bitter cold winter overnight and it was fine.
Quote by KG6_Steven
If the guitar had a nitro finish, doing what you did would have caused immediate finish checking.

So I guess if this happened, I would have visible cracks on the body if I understand the definition of finish checking?

According to the Fender website, the American Deluxe Strat does not have a nitro finish, but rather Satin Urethane:


Mine is the 2011 model so the specs should be up to date.
It just makes everything sharp, because it's tensing up a bit, just like in the heat everything gets flat because everything's a bit loose, you're fine dude.
Ah well good I feel better now, everyone seems to be saying there's nothing to worry about... hehe

There's no cracks or anything on the guitar that wasn't there before. So I guess all is good after all.

Thanx guys
Last edited by Lightning.Rider at Feb 12, 2012,
Only -11C? You'll be fine.
This post may contain my opinion and/or inaccurate information.

Current Rig:
2006 PRS CE-24
Mesa/Boogie Mark V
Voltage S212 w/ V30's
Strymon Timeline
CMATMods Signa Drive
TC Electronics Corona & Hall of Fame
Yes. Finish checking is the same thing as saying cracks. If you look at the vintage Gibson ES-335 and other older guitars, you'll see this quite a lot. On a urethane finish, I doubt you'll have any issues with checking. Still, not a good idea to expose your guitar to the extremes. Most manufacturers recommend keeping your guitar in the same environmental conditions you find comfortable.
Fender American Deluxe strat should have a poly finish. Guitar should be fine.
dude all my Agile guitar has sit in the UPS truck for a whole weekend .at -15 here in montreal . they played just fine .. maybe a minor set up require but nothing cracked or the neck didnt warp .. and i open the package as soon as a got the guitars ( didnt know oyu had to leave it at room temparature before . the electornic was was cold guitar was in the box + a hard case and played just fine .

i think its more of a precaution that a real danger .

Like post before .. if you feel theres nothing wrong . their isnt . dont worry .

if you wanna be really sure and not familiar with set up .l.. bring it to a profesionnal luthier for a set up . shoukld cost you around 55 $ and your guitar will come out as perfect as it was before .
Bedroom rock star :

- Gibson Les paul Standard 2001 Honeyburst .
- Agile 3200 Slim
Last edited by Skysc at Feb 12, 2012,
2 hours at minus 11? you're paranoid man.

really, guitars aren't that sensitive. sure, you can throw out the set-up a little bit, but usually simply letting the guitar warm up gradually will solve most issues. the only thing you really could do is spider-web the finish, but that takes hours at -40
Quote by Skysc
dude all my Agile guitar has sit in the UPS truck for a whole weekend .at -15 here in montreal .

From Montreal too.

And yeah I know I am a paranoid person when it comes to these things. Can't help it, I figured it would probably be fine but figured I'd ask the wise folk on these boards for ultimate peace of mind

I re-stringed it today and it plays lovely as it did before.