We all know what it’s like to get into a vehicle after it’s been sitting in the sun all day – it feels like stepping into an oven! Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to lower the temperature in your vehicle.
Here are a few tips to help you, and your car stay cool during the hot days to come.
Covered Parking or Shade
The glass windows in your vehicle hold heat inside. Air does not circulate and it does not cool quickly. Consequently, even when it’s not that hot outside it will be much hotter inside. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests it can be as hot as 110 degrees inside your vehicle when it is only 60 degrees outside.
Try to park in a shaded area or under covered parking when possible. If you must park in the sun, look for a spot where the sun shines on the rear of your vehicle, not the front. At least then you can touch the steering wheel and sit on the front seats when you return.
Block the Sun
If you can’t park out of the sun, block it. You can buy foldup sunshades for almost nothing today, and they make a huge difference. It doesn’t hurt to put one in the front and the rear windows, especially if you’ll be out of your vehicle for a while. Sunshades also protect the dash and back window shelf from cracking.
Crack the Windows
Even a small gap will allow hot air to escape your vehicle. To be safe, leave your window open less than 1”, and if the weather permits, you can also crack the sunroof if you have one.
Cover Seats & Steering Wheel
Even if you have a sunshade on your windshield, the sun moves as time passes. Hot summer sun on cloth seats isn’t much of a problem, but when it pounds on vinyl or leather it makes them unbearable, especially if you’re wearing shorts.
Drape a large beach towel or sarong over the steering wheel and driver’s seat and toss another over the passenger seat too. They’re quick to fold up, compact and indispensable when it’s scorching hot outside. Some people buy space blankets to block the heat in the summer and then store them in the trunk for roadside emergencies during the cooler months.
Wait a Moment
Before you jump into your hot car, open the doors and wait a few minutes. It makes a world of difference as the hot air will rise out of the vehicle and cooler air rushes in.
If you vehicle has air conditioning, it’s important to use it properly. Open the windows slightly and start to drive. This will push out the hot air and suck in cool air.
If your air conditioner isn’t automatic, start it on low. After a few moments, turn it up higher. Once the air is cool enough use the recirculation mode. When you reach your destination, switch off your AC and then your engine. The fan will run for a moment or two and dry out the evaporator that cools the air. Otherwise it can harbor bacteria, because it stays damp.
Maintain the air conditioning system, or dust and bacteria will accumulate in the ducts and vents.