This week is going to be a hot one. Weatherology predicts a high of 99 on Tuesday, 101 on Wednesday, 102 Thursday, 101 Friday, 99 Saturday, and 100 on Saturday. So we're going to be getting into some really hot cars over the next week. Here are some tips on how to cool your car off, and keep it from being uncomfortably hot while you're driving.

How To Cool Your Hot Car Using Air Conditioning

There are actually some things you can intentionally do to get your air conditioning to work effectively. This is beyond hopping in your closed car, turning the air on max, and sitting there sweating until the air starts to cool the car. According to the RAC website here's how to properly use your car's air conditioning to cool it off quickly:

  • Start your car and put the air conditioning on its coldest setting. Open your windows, it'll help the hot air get out of your vehicle.
  • Have your air set to bring in fresh air from the outside, not recirculate, because at this point outside air will be cooler than the hot air that's been trapped in your car.
  • Shut off your upper vents, and blast the cold air through the vents in the vehicle's footwells. This will push the hot air up.
  • Start driving with the car windows open for a minute or two until all the hot air escapes.
  • Close the windows, change your air conditioning to recirculate mode, and set the air to go through the vents how you like them.

Park Smart 

Direct sunlight will heat your car's interior. One of the best things you can do is park smart. At home, if you have a garage, use it. If you can park in a garage while out and about, do that too. If there isn't a garage, Garage Living suggests parking near under a tree, or in the shade of a building. The more shaded your vehicle will be, the cooler it will be when you hop in it.

Use A Sun Shade

Garage Living suggests a sunshade because they actually do work very well at keeping your car's temperature down. That said, the website says some are turned off by them because they look dorky, call attention to the car, and are a hassle to use. Garage Living says if you're self-conscious about a dorky-looking sun shade there are more expensive ones available that are made to be less dorky, and as a bonus, the higher-end ones are even more effective at keeping heat of your vehicle because they're made with heat-absorbing materials.

Cover Your Vehicles Surfaces

If you don't want to use a sunshade, you might consider using blankets and towels to cover your seats and dash according to CBS News. Vinyl and leather surfaces of your car heat up the most, so covering the dash and leather seats with old blankets will help keep them cool. Using a hand towel to cover your steering wheel will also keep it from being too hot to touch.

Keep Your Windows Slightly Cracked

CBS News says even a small cracked window will help promote ventilation and help keep your car a little cooler. That said, Garage Living says the benefits of this practice are fairly limited, and that leaves your car more vulnerable to theft, so it might not be the thing to do.

Get A Solar Powered Fan

Both CBS News and Garage Living suggest trying a solar-powered ventilation fan. Apparently, you attach the fan to the outside of one of your rolled-up windows. The fan will blow out the hot air from inside the car while pulling the relatively cooler air outside into your car. Garage Living warns the quality and reliability of these fans vary widely, so I'd suggest looking at user reviews and looking for patterns of what customers are saying about the product.

Protect Your Stuff Too

Those of us who came of age during the vinyl and CD eras of physical media know you shouldn't leave compact discs or vinyl records in the sunlight. Truth is you shouldn't leave anything in a hot car with the windows up that might get damaged. That might include laptops or items powered by lithium-ion batteries, things that might be melted by the heat or sun. At the very least they should be covered by an old blanket or something to keep the sun off them directly, better yet, shove 'em under your seat or stick them in the trunk.

Hopefully, these tips will help keep your car a little cooler in the summer.

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