How to keep your car cool in summer

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parked car window shade
Stay cool in a shady spot
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Easy ways to keep your car cool in summer to be more comfortable while traveling

Summer heat can make every joy of the season Ė long days, outdoor festivals, floating in the ocean Ė unbearable. Learning to keep your car cool in summer isnít complicated. While these tips wonít work miracles, they will block the sunís most intense rays so you donít feel like youíre baking!

Take a defensive approach

The less sunshine that enters your car the more comfortable youíll feel. But unless you park underground, the steering wheel and seat cover are bound to heat up, offering discomfort from the moment you sit down. Hereís what to do:

  • Invest in sheepskin seat covers. They add incredibly soft cushioning and moderate temperatures so you wonít end up sitting on a hot surface. 
  • Keep a hand towel nearby. Cars tend to heat up when they sit in a parking lot for an extended period. Before leaving, simply cover the steering wheel with a hand towel so it doesnít feel hot to the touch when you get back.
  • Use a dash cover. Youíre not sitting on the dashboard or constantly touching it to steer the car, but it's worth protecting. Keeping all surfaces cool will keep the overall temperature down. Plus, it prevents sun damage by preventing from fading and cracking.  

No sun allowed - quick tips

Park in shady spots. Granted, this wonít always be an option, but keep an eye out for dark parking spots even if theyíre further from your destination. This is the simplest way to keep your car cool in summer without spending a dime.

Crack the windows and inch. Donít leave them down so far someone could reach an arm in, but a little ventilation will keep air circulating so it doesnít become a still and steamy sauna inside.

Tilt the sunroof open while keeping the sun blocker closed. For the same reason itís a good idea to crack the windows a touch, allowing some air flow welcomes any breezes and keeps temperatures below boiling.

Get the windows tinted. Darker windows keep much of the dayís sticky warmth from creeping in. The tint wonít affect visibility, but it will reduce the amount of UV radiation that enters a car. 

Tinting blocks nearly 95 percent more solar heat than untinted windows, reducing your chances of getting sunburned while driving. Because thereís less solar heat present, once youíre driving the air conditioning works far more efficiently.

Shade the windshield. An unshaded windshield is basically waving the welcome flag to the sun. Shades are affordable and take no time to put up. Go for one made with reflective material for best results. Getting a custom fit will cost slightly more, but if you live in a sunshine state itís well worth the investment.

Open your sun visor before stepping out. Every little bit of heat you can block out counts, and it only takes about half a second to flip it down.

Set up a solar-powered fan. These gadgets are designed to suck the heat out of your car and send it far, far away, or at least to the next car over. On a still day, simply lowering the windows isnít enough to keep temperatures down. Fans provide steady circulation.

When hot air gets trapped, temperatures have nowhere to go but up. Knowing how to keep your car cool in summer is essential to your health. On a day thatís 80 degrees Fahrenheit, interior temperatures of a car can rise well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. 

A hot car and even a mild case of dehydration can be a lethal combination when youíre behind the wheel. Take every precaution possible and drink plenty of water.

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