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5 Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Parked Car Cooler During The Heat waves This Summer

5 Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Parked Car Cooler During The Heat waves This Summer

It doesn’t matter how much you love this beautiful season, when it’s a scorching 95+ degrees outside, everything becomes downright unpleasant - especially when you open that car door. It certainly does feel like you’re being roasted alive. And the scalding seatbelt buckles, sizzling hot leather seats, steering wheel too hot to touch, and the toasty little dash cam that has now shut down because of the built-in overheating mechanism - all just makes the whole situation even more dreadful.

A Stanford University study found that on a sunny day with temperatures ranging from 72°F to 96°F, the temperature was an average of 40°F higher inside cars. In other words, when it’s a mere 90°F outside, it can get up to 130°F inside your parked car.

Park in the shade or in a garage. This is a no-brainer. If you have the chance to park under the shade or in a garage, you should definitely do so, even if it means walking a little further for that shade. Even if it is an outdoor parking structure, being out of direct heat is better for your car than in the sunlight. You should also try your best to keep any personal belongings out of direct sunlight. These things can get hot, fade, melt, and ruin the items or the car interior itself.

But what if you can’t find a shady parking spot?

Ways to Reduce the Heat Inside Your Parked Car When You Can’t Park In The Shade

We’ve got tips, tricks, and hacks for you!

Keep the windows slightly cracked

You won’t want to crack the windows so much that someone could get their arm in it, but even the slightest crack can let the hot air escape. Even just enough to keep the air moving through the vehicle will suffice. A study conducted about 40 years ago found that cracking the window just 5 centimeters lowered the temperature in a car by about 28°F on a hot 98°F day. The interior was still hot, reaching a sweltering 122°F, but that’s already much better than the 150°F they measured with the windows fully closed. The more cracked windows, the better. An inch on either side would be sufficient to create a cross-draft.

Use a sunshade or window visor

The sunshade or window visor is a tried and true method of keeping your car cooler. Have you ever walked through a parking lot and seen cars with all the reflective shades up to the windows? The philosophy behind this is that the reflective element of the sunshade reflects the sun rays and keeps them from entering the car.

If you put the shade or visor up every time you exit the car, it will help keep the car cooler’s interior. Think of it like an insulated lunch box; you keep the contents inside the optimal temperature for as long as possible.

Cover your seat and steering wheel

If you’re not a big fan of sunshades, at least cover your seat and steering wheel with a blanket or beach towel. No matter how good they look, leather car seats are not fun during the hot summer seasons. Carrying a blanket or towels to place on the seat and steering wheel when you aren’t in the car can help deter the heat from building up.

A study from the Florida Solar Energy Center found that using sunshades can reduce your car’s temperature by up to 15°F and reduce your dashboard’s surface temperature by up to 40°F! The inside of your car will still get hot, but honestly, if you have ever sat on a hot leather seat, you will appreciate having something on top of the leather while it is parked - scorched backs and sticky thighs are not myths.

And if you forgot a cover, when you park, try to turn the steering wheel so the 10 and 2 face away from direct sunlight. This way, you will have a relatively cooler spot to grab when you return to your car.

Hang a solar-powered ventilation fan

The sun is burning hot - you might as well take advantage of it and keep your car cool with a solar-powered fan! These small and simple fans clip right up the window and ventilate your car by blowing out the hot air from inside the car while pulling in the relatively cooler air outside the car. Using two fans set up on the two side front or rear windows and paired slightly cracked windows, you can increase the cross-ventilation airflow and decrease the car’s overall temperature even more.

Declutter

Let’s face it, many of us treat our cars as an extension of our closet, garage, or office. Winter jackets, beach blankets, boxes of paper from the office, and other stuff that we rarely use. Unfortunately, this clutter, especially dark items, will absorb and hold heat. Declutter your car to enhance air circulation and reduce things that absorb heat.

When All Else Fails...

Using any of the above tricks, or even better, a combination of them will help keep your parked car cooler. But if it’s still a bit too hot for your liking, there are other tricks to get the heat out faster.

For instance, if you don’t mind getting strange looks from people, a simple method is to fan your car door to push out the heat. Just fully roll down all windows and fan the driver-side door a few times will do the trick. If you drive a hatchback, truck, van or an SUV, opening the truck door does wonders, too!

Dash Cams That Can Survive The Heat

The last thing we all want to see is our parked car was broken into or damaged, but the dash cam failed to record because it overheated and shut off. Yes, we still strongly recommend using a dash cam, but what you need is one that can withstand the heat.

All dash cams come with a recommended operating and storage temperature. For instance, the Thinkware U1000’s operating temperature range is 14°F to 140°F and a storage temperature range of -4°F to 158°F. In other words, it should be able to operate inside the parked car on a sunny summer day up to 140°F.

If you have been following us on YouTube, you might have seen our Beat the Heat experiments where we literally throw the dash cam into a heated tank to test when the dash cam shuts down due to heat. Our Beat the Heat tests on the BlackVue DR750-2CH LTE, VIOFO A129 Pro, Thinkware U1000, and the now-discontinued IROAD X10 showed that these dash cams were able to keep going even when we cranked the heat tank’s temperature a couple of degrees above their operating temperature range and kept it there for hours.

Don’t Rush Getting Into a Hot Car

Getting into a hot car can be uncomfortable and may even cause burns, especially if you have leather seats. So when you find yourself grabbing at the metal buckle, think twice if you have left your car in the sun. Buckles can become extremely hot and may burn hands, especially little hands, keep your kids from grabbing onto them without checking them first.

Take your time before jumping in your car and taking off this summer. You will find that your car can be ready to hit the road in no time with a bit of preparation. Drive safe and stay safe this summer. Don’t let a car accident or hit-and-run ruin your summer road trip. Talk to us today to find the best dash cam for all your summer driving needs.

And finally, if you’re wondering, black cars are really hotter than white cars.

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