How to cool a hot car left on sunny parking lot

A common problem most vehicle owners will face especially in a tropical country like the Philippines is heaving to deal with the heat of the sun. This can be detrimental to your vehicle not only in terms of UV and heat damage but it can also be a hassle if you end up in an open parking lot during noontime. The design of the car acts like a greenhouse and heats up the trapped air inside making for an uncomfortable few minutes once you get inside your vehicle. With that said, we seek to help you find a solution to this problem by giving you a few ways you can beat the heat.

To explain the situation, the reason why the heat inside your car becomes unbearable is that on a hot sunny day, your car turns into a greenhouse that traps heat inside. Unfortunately, the hot air won’t go anywhere since there’s no opening or active exhaust. To help dissipate the heat quickly, here are the steps, as well as the things you can do to prevent it.

Damp rag

Aside from the high chance, you may feel some heat on the seats on a hot day, the next likely touch point you will touch is the steering wheel. Immediately touching the steering wheel and shift knob, whether plastic or leather, in these kinds of situations, will scald you due to heat. Before you proceed, use a damp rag to cool them down. The moisture that you will apply will ease out the heat tension on these materials. If you don’t have any water or any cloth that you can use to cool down the steering wheel we suggest not touching it in the meantime or using a couple of tissues in the event that you really do need to move the steering wheel. It will give you a little bit of breathing room from the heat of the wheel.

You could repeat as necessary depending on how hot each part is. If your car has leather seats, you could also use this technique so you know, you could sit on them. 

open car windows

Safety should always be a priority for you even on a hot day. Before you go about and open all the windows of your vehicle to let the heat escape from your car, we highly recommend checking your surroundings first. 

The aim here is to let the hot air trapped inside flow out of the vehicle. Roll your windows down and let the air inside be replaced with the cooler air outside. Just make sure that you’re in a safe place to do so.

For added effectivity, you can proceed and drive for a minute or two with your windows down (if possible). A running vehicle will cool down quicker rather than a stationary one as the rushing wind can neutralize the heat on the exterior and interior of the vehicle.

air conditioning controls

Another way that you can easily cool down your vehicle is by utilizing its air conditioning system. Take note that for some vehicles you can run it at maximum AC immediately to help evacuate the hot air from inside the car. In other cases, you will slowly need to ramp up the air conditioning to help give it the proper amount of time to cool your vehicle. 

The key point here is turning off the re-circulate setting of your ride. When it’s on, the vehicle will not allow fresh air to go into the cabin, which makes the air that goes out of the blower hot as well. Keep it off while the blower is set at its highest and the thermostat is at its coldest setting.

When the air outside and inside feels the same (or cooler), you can go ahead and roll the windows up, turn the re-circulate on, and toggle the settings of the a/c to your liking. After that, you’re all set.

sun shade

As mentioned, parking on a sunny spot is unavoidable in most cases however, there are things you could do to prevent your car from accumulating too much heat from it. The best thing you could do is to buy reflective sun shades to cover your windshield, rear screens, and windows.

We’re recommending the reflective ones since they can bounce the sun rays away from the interior. Not only will it mitigate the heat build-up, but it will also protect the plastic and leather parts from direct sunlight.

Following these steps won’t hurt and will more likely make your lives easier as motorists. Just remember, always put safety and security first before performing them. Moreover, don’t leave a person or your pets inside the car even if you’re just running off to an errand.

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