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Hot Like a Parked Car: How to Keep Your Car Cool Through the Summer

hot like a parked car

We’ve already shown you how to keep your car’s engine from overheating, but what about the inside of the car? Hot like a parked car isn’t just an expression.

When it is 80 to 100 degrees outside, the inside of your car is 130 to 175 degrees. This extreme rise in temperature happens in as little as 15 minutes.

There are a number of things you can do to cool off your car. There are also things you can do to keep the materials in your car cooler to the touch. Use these tips when you park it during the summer.

Sunshades and Visors

A shade in the windshield blocks the sun’s rays from beating down into your car. This will help keep your car a few degrees cooler so it will cool faster when you start your car.

It will also block the sun’s UV rays from directly hitting the materials on the inside of your car. This will prevent extreme heating, fading, and cracking.

Tinted Windows

This solution is a bigger investment that other option on this list, but it is also one of the most effective. Before you tint your windows, check your state’s laws.

You will be able to tint your side and back windows. The darker you tint the windows the more protection from the sun you will have.

Dash Covers

An upholstered dash cover will help you feel less hot as it will protect you from the hot vinyl. A cover will also protect your car’s vinyl from the sun’s rays. This will prevent fading and cracking over time.

Towel on the Steering Wheel

Buy a steering wheel cover that is fabric. If you don’t want a permanent cover you can lay a towel over your steering wheel. Doing either of these will protect your hands from a superheated steering wheel.

Park in the Shade

Park in the shade whenever you can. The shade can provide a few degrees of relief, especially if you are going to be parked for a while.

The cooler temperatures are worth a long walk through the parking lot. If you can’t get the whole car in the shade, park so the windshield is in the shade.

It is better to have the rear window in the sun. Parking this way will keep the steering wheel and front seats cooler.

Covered Parking or Garage It

Covered and garage parking both keep your car out of direct sunlight and in constant shade. Even a warm garage is a better option than the sun’s rays beating down on your car all day.

Crack the Windows

Don’t leave your windows all the way down, this is a security risk for your vehicle. You only need to crack your windows to benefit from them being opened.

A good rule of thumb is to open them enough to let air flow but not so much that an arm can fit through. You can also open your sunroof with the venting feature.

Doing this will help promote air circulation. The superheated air on the inside of the car will move to the cooler air outside of the vehicle.

Solar Powered Fan

A solar-powered car interior fan used with cracked windows can keep the inside of your car cool. These small fans will circulate the air so it flows out of the cracked windows.

The fan will usually hook onto your side window. Then the fan pulls air from within the car and directs it outside the car.

The constant air circulation will keep your car noticeably cooler. You can also depend on the fan to work as the sun is already out making it a hot summer day.

Towels or Blankets on the Seats

If you have fabric seats this tip won’t help you. Those with vinyl or leather seats will appreciate it.

These materials can get skin blistering hot in the summer. Throw a blanket over your seat so when you come back out the material is cooler.

You can then either sit on the blanket or throw it in your back seat. The blanket stopped the sun from beating down directly on the car’s seat material.

Cool Cushions

Want even cooler seats? Try a seat cooling cushion. It will work to cool your bum and provide extra cushioning.

Open the Doors First

You come back to your car after leaving it parked out in the sun for a few hours. Prepare for the inside of the car to be hot.

Don’t torture yourself by getting in right away. Instead, open the doors and let the air flow through the car for a few minutes.

Doing this works the same as cracking the windows but on a larger scale. For it to be most effective open the doors on either side of the car so the air can flow directly through.

Try This Door Fan Trick

Before you get in the car and start driving roll down the passenger window. Then “fan” the driver’s side door.

This will force air in the car to circulate out quickly. You might look a bit silly in a parking lot, but that is ok for the fastest method to cool a car.

Hot Like a Parked Car

By following these tips, hot like a parked car will be a thing of the past for you. Use a combination of tips to give yourself a multiplied benefit.

For example, use the windshield screen to block the sun’s rays from coming in and directly hitting the materials in your car. Then crack the windows and use the solar fan to keep the air in the car circulating.

If you don’t want to use the sunshade try to cover the areas inside your car. Use a blanket or towel to cover your dash, steering wheel, and seats.

For more information about caring for your car check out our blog.