9 tips to keep your car cooler during the summer

(Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Bill Newell)

(Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Bill Newell)

The heat of summer can make this otherwise beautiful season downright unpleasant.

For drivers who don't enjoy intense heat, getting into a car that has been parked in hot weather can feel like being roasted alive. Stay cool and get more out of your summer by using these tips to keep your car cooler when parked:

1. Use a sunshade or window visor. This tried-and-true method of keeping your car cool should be your go-to option to counteract hot interior temps throughout the summer. Put up a sunshade or window visor every time you exit your car for more than a few minutes. Keep it even cooler for long periods by putting a sunshade in your rear window as well.

2. Use a dash cover. A fabric or upholstered dash cover can go a long way towards making your car's interior more comfortable. You won't feel as overwhelmed by the heat if you don't have to touch hot vinyl surfaces. Dash covers also protect sensitive vinyl from sun damage that can cause cracking and fading.

3. Cover your steering wheel with a hand towel. Even if you use a sunshade, it's a good idea to cover your steering wheel with a small towel. This will help to keep the contact temperature of your steering wheel down.

4. Park in a shady area. Whenever possible, park in a shady area. If you're going to be somewhere for an extended period of time, it's worth it to walk a bit farther in order to park in the shade. You'll be happy to enter a not-so-hot car when you return from your day out.

5. Keep your precious possessions out of the sun. Any tapes, CDs or delicate items that you keep in your car should be stored out of the path of direct sunlight. Try storing your tape and CD cases underneath the seat. You can also throw a blanket over your precious possessions. If you can't find a place in your car that will conceal heat-sensitive goods, consider placing them in the trunk.

6. Park in a garage when possible. Whenever possible, park in a garage. Your car will be out of direct sunlight and will have the benefit of near-constant shade. Even a warm garage beats being parked in the sun all day.

7. Keep windows slightly cracked. While it's not a good idea to leave your windows all the way open, it is a good idea to leave them slightly cracked. Check to be sure that you can't fit your arm through the crack in your window. Even a small crack will promote ventilation and help to keep your car cool.

8. Purchase a solar-powered fan. Paired with cracked windows, a solar-powered fan can make your car feel downright pleasant during even the hottest summer days. These simple fans work  to expel hot air from your car. By creating constant air circulation, they lower your car's overall temperature.

9. Throw blankets over your seats. If your car features vinyl or leather seats, you know just how hot these materials can become when exposed to sunlight and high temperatures. To keep car seats cool, throw blankets over them. When you return to the car, you can place the blankets on the floorboards or toss them in the trunk. Keeping your seats cool will make your car more pleasant on hot summer days.


Comments

One of the best know ways to keep your car kool, is to put Window Tint on all windows. The High grad film blocks out 99% of UV rays and heat..

Use those tips, but get a car with remote start! I have an 08 Malibu and the remote has a range of about 200', so the car is really cool by the time I get to it!

One key item is missing: window film. Have your windows tinted with high quality film like Llumar or 3M, not cheap film. Once installed, a quality window film will benefit for many years, also protecting passengers from sun damage. There's film that will reject the heat and is nearly colorless. It doesn't have to be dark. Also, windshields are where a lot of the heat enters. There is now a special film for windshields to eliminate the heat gain.

I would rather my car sit through a winter at the South Pole then spend one hot summer day in the sun with the windows closed. A tip: Never lock a convertible. You would much rather a thief open the door then slit the top. If you drive a ragtop, don't park it anywhere that would concern you with it's security.

Just wondering if anyone knows of a good solar powered car fan? Sounds like many of them are junk!

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