How to cool a hot car left on sunny parking lot

One of the problems of living in a tropical country is having to deal with the heat of the sun. If you end up parking during noontime without shade, the trapped interior air heats up and leaves most of us with the question – what can you do to quickly cool your car?

This article is in response to the question we received through Facebook. We believe that most motorists will be able to relate to this scenario.

To explain the situation, the reason why the heat inside your car becomes unbearable is because 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.

Use a damp rag

Immediately touching the steering wheel and shift knob, whether plastic or leather, in these kinds of situation 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.

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 the windows

The aim here is to let the hot air trapped inside to 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.

Turn on the airconditioning

This one’s the tricky part. It’s a common misconception that you’re wasting Freon by turning your air conditioning on while your windows are down. Fortunately, that’s a myth and turning it on will actually help you blow out the hot air inside the car.

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 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.

Prevention: Use reflective sunshades

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 sunshades to cover your windshield, rear screens, and windows.

We’re recommending the reflective ones since it can bounce the sun rays away from the interior. Not only will it mitigate the heat build-up, 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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