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How to Keep Your Car Cool on Hot Days

Is there anything worse than a hot, stuffy car in the summer? You may enjoy spending time outdoors during the summer months, but the heat and sun can make driving around intolerable, as your car may feel like an oven when you get in and take what feels like an eternity to cool down to a comfortable temperature. Hot summer days can make your car feel like a sauna on four wheels. Here are some quick tricks to keep it cool on hot days.

1. Find shaded parking
Nobody likes to enter a car that's been parked in direct sunlight. Take extra time to find shaded parking spots under trees, building, or underground parking lots. If your car's been parked in direct sun for a long time, open all the doors for a couple of minutes before entering. Glass windows insulate heat inside, so it's important to get the hot air out. Better yet, allow hot air to escape by leaving the windows slightly open while parked.

2. Use a blanket and sun shade
Purchasing a sun shade, or a UV heat shield, is a great investment for those who can't escape parking outdoors on hot days. Not only do they reduce interior temperature, but sun shades protect the car's interior from harmful sun rays that penetrate windshields. If you live in a climate with months of hot weather, look into spending a little more and purchasing a custom-made sun shade online to cover the entire windshield. These will fit your windshield like a glove, and virtually no light and UV rays can get it.


3. Use bottom vents
Most people who enter a hot vehicle open the windows right away to immediately cool their upper body. Since heat rises, the best method is to push the hot air out from the bottom to cool the vehicle as quick as possible. Adjust the fan setting to "max" and close the upper vents so only the bottom vents closest to the ground are functioning. Pushing the air from the bottom to the top helps the stale hot air escape through the open windows. Once the hot air is pushed out, switch to the upper vents to stay cool while driving.

4. Toggle A/C settings
If you're lucky enough to have air conditioning, make sure you set it to "fresh air" and not "recirculation" when you first enter your vehicle. Recirculation draws in the interior air and typically works best once the vehicle has reached its desired temperature. Recirculation is also great when you're stuck in traffic as it prevents carbon monoxide emissions from other vehicles being pulled into your car. Get into the habit of switching to fresh air when you first turn your A/C on, and then switching to recirculation after 5 or 10 minutes.


While keeping the car cool is for the benefit of comfort and condition, it also saves lives. Under no circumstance should an animal or small child be put into or left in an overheated vehicle. Young children can develop heat stroke in a matter of minutes. While you can’t change the weather, you can prepare your car to handle a sizzling summer. Remember these tips this summer and enjoy a cooler car.

Read more tips on how to keep your car cool at cnet.com

Image Source: All State Blog