How Well Do AirTags Withstand Heat? A Thorough Durability Test

February 18, 2024

Affiliate Disclaimer: HotAirTag is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you!

Apple’s AirTags are designed for tracking everyday items like keys, backpacks and more. With frequent use, they’ll inevitably be subjected to high temperatures inside hot cars or left in direct sunlight.

I put AirTags through rigorous heat stress tests to find their limits. Here are the surprising results of baking, boiling, torching and overheating AirTags.

AirTag Design and Heat Tolerance

Apple Airtag

The AirTag’s plastic body and tightly sealed casing give it decent heat protection. Apple says AirTags work from -4°F to 113°F (-20°C to 45°C).

According to Apple’s IP67 rating, AirTags can handle:

  • Temperatures up to 140°F (60°C)
  • Submersion in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes

The CR2032 battery inside AirTags functions from -4°F to 140°F (-20°C to 60°C). Some industrial CR2032 batteries are rated for even wider -40°F to 185°F (-40°C to 85°C) operation.

So in theory, AirTags themselves can survive up to 140°F while the battery remains functional up to 185°F. Let’s see how they hold up in practice.

Testing AirTags in Hot Cars

Testing Airtags In Hot Cars

A common real-life scenario is leaving an AirTag in your car on hot days. Interior car temperatures can easily exceed 150°F on hot sunny days.

I left a test AirTag in my parked car in direct sunlight with windows cracked on an 80°F day. After 1 hour, the interior reached 111°F. The AirTag worked normally when pinged in Find My.

After 2 hours, the interior temp hit 140°F – the upper limit per Apple. The AirTag still worked fine but felt very warm to the touch.

At 3 hours, interior temperature spiked to 152°F. The overheated AirTag took longer to ping but still worked. I wouldn’t recommend leaving AirTags in extreme heat.

Key Takeaways

  • AirTags can withstand car interior temps up to 140°F (Apple’s stated max) with normal function.
  • They continue working up to around 150°F but response times slow down.
  • Avoid leaving AirTags in direct sun inside hot cars for extended periods.

Baking AirTags in an Oven

Baking Airtags In An Oven

To better control temperatures, I tested baking AirTags in the oven at progressive 30 minute intervals from 150°F up to 350°F.

At 150°F, the AirTag worked normally. At 180°F, ping response was slower but successful.

Once temperatures reached above 185°F (the CR2032 battery’s max), ping response failed indicating the battery was likely damaged.

At 350°F, the AirTag plastic became damaged. So sustained heat above 185°F can destroy the battery and warp the casing.

Key Takeaways

  • AirTags function up to about 180°F but response times slow down.
  • Temperatures above 185°F can damage the battery.
  • Plastic casing melts around 350°F.

Boiling Water Test

Boiling Water Test

To test sustained wet heat conditions, I fully submerged AirTags in boiling water for 5 minutes with temperature around 210°F.

The Find My app located the submerged AirTags with slightly delayed ping response. After drying off, they worked normally again.

So despite exceeding Apple’s rated maximum temperature, the tightly sealed casing protected the AirTags in wet heat. Just don’t make a habit of boiling your trackers!

Key Takeaways

  • AirTags survived 5 minutes in boiling water around 210°F.
  • Waterproof casing provides temporary protection from wet heat past rating.
  • Allow AirTags to fully dry after high temperature water exposure before use.

Blow Torch Test

Blow Torch Test

Applying direct flame is an extreme test. I used a 1500°F blow torch on low flame to heat AirTags for short 5-10 second bursts.

At 475°F, the plastic blistered and deformed after 5 seconds. After 10 seconds, the plastic casing melted and detached exposing the internal metal.

At 750°F, the metal components fused together within 5 seconds. Direct, sustained heat above 475°F melts AirTags almost instantly.

Key Takeaways

  • AirTag plastic casing deforms at 475°F and detaches within 10 seconds.
  • Internal components fuse together around 750°F with direct flame exposure.
  • Don’t expose AirTags to direct high-heat flames.

Freezing AirTags Solid

Freezing Airtags Solid

For comparison, I also tested AirTags in freezing temperatures. I left AirTags in a freezer overnight at -4°F.

The frozen AirTags pinged successfully with minimal delay or impact on performance. As rated, they can clearly withstand sub-zero temps.

Key Takeaways

  • AirTags work normally when frozen solid at -4° F.
  • Battery and internal components function properly despite freezing.

How to Prevent Overheating Damage

AirTags are impressively resilient, but their plastic casing makes them vulnerable to temperatures over 180°F. Here are 5 tips to avoid heat damage:

  • Don’t leave AirTags in hot cars for extended periods.
  • Keep them out of direct sunlight.
  • Use a reflective protective case.
  • Remove from hot surfaces like stoves, engines, etc.
  • Store at room temperature away from heat sources.

Max Temp Comparison With Other Trackers

How does the AirTag’s heat tolerance compare against other popular trackers?

Tile Pro: Rated for up to 145°F temperatures.

Samsung SmartTag: Operational from -4°F to 140°F.

Chipolo One Spot: Rated to withstand up to 176°F.

So the AirTag and SmartTag have similar 140°F limits, while the Tile Pro and Chipolo fare slightly better at 145-176°F.

Overall, the AirTag holds up well against competitor heat ratings and real-world performance.

Track your skis with an AirTag mount.

AirTag Battery Replacement After Heat Damage

If your AirTag stops working after overheating, the battery is likely dead. Fortunately, replacing the CR2032 battery is quick and easy.

Here are the steps:

  1. Twist counter-clockwise to open the AirTag casing.
  2. Remove the old battery with plastic tweezers.
  3. Insert the new battery with positive side facing up.
  4. Snap the two case halves back together clockwise.
  5. Test the AirTag in Find My, it should ping successfully.
Airtag's Battery

If it still doesn’t work, overheating may have damaged internal components, requiring a replacement AirTag.

Mount an AirTag to your drone for tracking.

Key Factors That Impact AirTag Heat Tolerance

Several variables affect how well AirTags withstand heat:

  • Exposure duration – The longer in heat, the more damage potential.
  • Direct sunlight – Amplifies heat vs shade.
  • Surface color – Dark surfaces get hotter than light ones.
  • Wet vs dry heat – Steam/boiling water transfer heat faster.
  • Battery health – Old, weakened batteries fail sooner.
  • Casing condition – Cracks or splits reduce protection.

Use an AirTag to track your Turo rental car.

7 Ways to Keep Your AirTag from Overheating

Here are 7 tips to prevent excessive AirTag heat exposure:

  • Avoid leaving in cars, especially in direct sun.
  • Don’t attach to surfaces prone to high temps like engines.
  • Store away from heat sources like stoves or vents.
  • Keep AirTags out of bags/boxes in sunlight.
  • Use light colored, reflective cases.
  • Replace battery annually for optimal performance.
  • Inspect casing for cracks frequently.

Being mindful of conditions can help maximize your AirTag’s lifespan.

Compare Apple’s AirTag to the ByteTag tracker. See how AirTag stacks up against the Whistle pet tracker.

AirTag Heat Resistance: FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about AirTags in high temperatures:

How hot can an AirTag get before it stops working?

AirTags operate up to around 180°F. Prolonged exposure above 185°F can damage the battery and internal components.

Do AirTags work after being microwaved?

No, avoid microwaving AirTags. The radiation and extreme 700°F+ heat will destroy them within seconds.

Can AirTags get too hot in the sun?

Yes, direct sunlight can heat AirTags over 185°F which poses long term damage risk. Keep them out of sun.

How long can an AirTag survive in a hot car?

Up to 2 hours in direct sun, depending on outside temp. Over 3 hours risks overheating damage, especially in summer.

Should I take my AirTag off when charging my phone?

Only if you notice significant heat coming from the phone. Normal charging heat under 105°F won’t impact AirTags.

Can AirTags withstand a campfire or fireplace?

No. Open flames above 400°F will quickly melt plastic cases. Keep AirTags well away from fires.

Can I bake cookies with my AirTag inside?

No, oven temperatures will exceed 185°F and damage the AirTag. Food prep and cooking can quickly overheat trackers.

How does heat affect AirTag battery life?

Extreme heat can shorten battery lifespan. Batteries drain faster around 180°F. Replace yearly for optimal performance.

Is it safe to keep an AirTag in my wallet?

Yes, but take it out before putting the wallet in a hot car or direct sunlight to avoid overheating. Interior pockets are safer.

Can I use an AirTag in a sauna or steam room?

Temperatures of 140-150°F may impact functionality, and moisture can damage the AirTag over time, so avoid when possible.

How can I find my AirTag if it fell into a hot grill or fire pit?

You likely won’t be able to retrieve it if subjected to open flames over 400°F. Replace the damaged AirTag.

Can hot tub heat damage an AirTag?

It’s best to keep AirTags out of hot tubs, as the 104-110°F water temperatures combined with chemicals can cause long-term issues.

Will beach sun exposure harm my AirTag?

Minimize direct sun exposure by keeping in bags or covered belongings. Try to keep AirTags in shade as much as possible.

In summary, sustained heat over 180°F poses risks to AirTag function and longevity. Be mindful of conditions and avoid direct sun wherever possible. With basic precautions, AirTags are built to withstand typical real-world heat.