Picture this, it's been a long day and you are on your way home from work but your car has been parked outside. As you enter your vehicle a waft of warm air greets your face as you feel the heat emanating from inside your vehicle. Entering a vehicle that has been parked directly under the sun for hours is never a pleasant experience. With that said we have created a quick guide to help you cool down your hot car that has been parked outside. This will help keep you away from sizzling leather seats, scalding belt buckles, hot steering wheels, and scorching gear shifters which could also leave you in some serious pain.
One of the many possible reasons why a car can get so hot while it is parked outside is due to the greenhouse effect. Your car lets the sun’s heat enter the vehicle through the windows and traps it there slowly increasing the temperature inside the cabin. This is why one of the first few steps you should do to help cool your car down is to find a way for the hot air to exit the vehicle. Conversely and if your parking is safe, you can also crack open a window slightly, just enough to let the hot air exit the cabin but not enough to let someone into your vehicle. It can help you later on especially if your vehicle will be parked under the sun for several hours. With that said on to the quick guide.
Open up the doors and windows
If you want your car to cool down, opening the air condition system isn’t the only way to get a cold cabin going. You will first need to let the heat escape from the vehicle before doing anything else. In order to do this you will need to open up both windows on one side of the car, then start “fanning’ the interior by swinging the doors. It is important to note that is an optional step in the event that your parking area isn't safe, however, note that it will get your cabin cooler faster without turning on the engine or the air conditioning system.
Use your car’s remote start (if applicable)
Many models with top-of-the-line offerings get a remote start system that can help you cool down your car before even getting into it. Having this feature is especially useful in the Philippines. Most remote start systems allow you to turn on your car from a distance using the keyfob. The actions include first locking the vehicle and then holding down the remote start button. This, in turn, will start the engine and turn on the climate control system to cool down the air in the cabin. Let the car run for a few minutes and hop in and drive away. If not, you will do have to do things the old-fashioned way.
Switch on your air conditioning
Now that you have expelled as much hot air from your vehicle as possible, you can now turn on the air conditioning system. Start the engine and turn on the air conditioning system to its coldest setting. You can do this by maximizing the fan speed and then slowly lowering it down as you feel the car getting colder. In the case of automatic climate control systems, you can set your desired temperature and the car will do the rest. To aid with this process you can also use the external air function of the vehicle instead of the recirculation option to further speed up the process of cooling. The air outside the car will be cooler than what is inside your vehicle. Make sure to still keep the windows open to further help evacuate the heat from your car. Take note that you don't have to do this for a long period of time in case you are worried about idling for too long and about your fuel economy. You can easily do this while already on the move to further help facilitate the expulsion of hot air. If you choose to stay put and wait for the cabin to cool before you set off, you can do so, as your engine will still be relatively cold and when it gets to its operating temperature its cooling fans will activate as well, so there is no need to worry about your car overheating. If it can survive bumper-to-bumper traffic with hot exhaust gases right in front of the radiator, it will easily survive a few minutes of idling without a problem.
While this is a feature that is rarely used, you can use the lower vents of your vehicle’s air conditioning system to help cool down your car. This works by blasting the cooler denser air to the bottom of your vehicle’s cabin, this method allows the hotter air to rise up and out of your vehicle. At this point, your windows should still be open if the interior isn’t already cool enough. Make sure that the upper vents on the dashboard are shut and at the base of the windshield as well in order to maximize the flow of the cold air downwards. You can also activate this feature while you are already on the road and driving.
Keep the windows down while driving
If at this point your car is still warm, you can choose to drive the vehicle with the windows down. Note that if you do not feel comfortable doing this you can partially keep them open to allow the hot air to leave the cabin. Only do this until the air from your air conditioning system feels cold to the touch, then put your windows back up again so your system doesn’t get stressed. When the cabin becomes sufficiently cold you can close the windows then lower the air conditioning system to your desired temperature.
As a final tip, to lessen the amount of heat inside your vehicle if you park it outside, you can choose to park it under shade if there are spaces available as not everyone may have access to a shaded parking spot. This will save you the hassle of having to cool your car down during a hot day. It will also lessen the amount of heat inside the vehicle further reducing the greenhouse effect inside the cabin of your vehicle.
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