7 Ways to Keep Your Car Cool During a Southern Summer
Here are 7 ways to keep your car cool during our Southern summer. Internal temperatures in a parked car can escalate quickly. If it is 80 to 100 degrees outside, you can expect the temperature in your car to reach 130 to 172 degrees. The sun heats the interior air in your car. It creates a greenhouse effect and the heat is trapped with no escape. Such heat is not good for you or your vehicle.
Parking Tactics—If at all possible, park in a garage. If that is not an option, park in the shade. If you must park in the sun, turn the car so the sun shines in the back which will offer some relief for the driver’s seat, dash and steering wheel.
Sunshades—Windshield sun shades can reduce the temperature in your car and protect your dash from damaging UV rays. You can order custom shades that cover your entire windshield or inexpensive off the shelf options that work reasonably well. You can also buy window shades for your side windows. Repeated exposure to UV rays can fade your dash over time.
Ventilation—Keep your car windows cracked an inch to allow hot air to escape. Be sure to check the weather forecast first.
Window Tinting—Factory installed window tinting is standard on most vehicles. It protects your car from heat and UV damage, but additional tinting is available aftermarket if you choose.
Air Conditioning System—Have your air conditioning system checked before it gets too hot to make sure Freon levels are correct, that there is no debris build up in the water drain tube or cowl panel, that coolant levels are properly filled, and that your cabin air filter is clean so airflow from your fan is not restricted.
Using Your Air Conditioner–Follow these instructions when you get into a hot car to maximize cooling and protect your system. Turn the air conditioning on and the recirculating fan off. This will pull in air from the outside and completely dry out any moisture from your evaporator. Even on the hottest day, the outside air will be cooler than the interior temperature of a parked car. Pulling outside air will also prevent fungus growth and foul odors. After 10 minutes of driving with your air conditioner on, turn the recirculating fan on. This will recirculate the cooled air inside your vehicle.
Cooled Seat Technology—Buy a car with a seat cooling system. Even with the AC on, your seats can feel hot and sticky, particularly if you have leather. Ventilated seats push cool air to the back and bottom of the seat.
Most importantly, remember heat kills. Do not ever leave children or pets unattended in a parked vehicle.
Get your car checked before it gets too hot.