How to Keep a Parked Car Cool

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Summer brings hot, sunny weather, leaving most drivers to deal with hot and uncomfortable cars. Hot cars are dangerous, as many of the car's parts -- such as seat belts or the steering wheel -- heat up and may become too hot to touch. Thankfully, there are some proactive steps that can be taken to keep the car cool during the hot summer months.

  • Find a shady parking spot in the shadow of a building or under a tree. This is often easier said than done, since most people looking for a parking spot are looking to keep their car cool as well. If all the shady parking spots have been taken, look for the next best thing: a parking spot with partial sun or a spot that will receive shade as the sun moves. If a garage is available, park there.

  • Vent the windows. Leaving the windows open a half-inch will allow cooler air to flow through the car as it is parked. Side vent shades for the backseat side windows also help keep the seat and car cool.

  • Shield the windows. Cars parked in a parking lot for long periods of time under direct sun can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit inside. Most car companies sell customized car window shields, but they may also be purchased at car auto supply stores or from online retailers. Window shields lower the interior temperature of the car and help to protect the interior's fabrics and the car's dashboard from heat and color fading.

  • Use the air-conditioning. Once you enter a warm car, lower the window a few inches, then let the engine warm up before turning the air-conditioner on. Once the air-conditioner is emitting cool air, close the windows.

Tips & Warnings

  • Children should never be left unattended in a hot car. They can suffer heat exhaustion or even death. Pets should not be left inside a parked car either. Pets that are left in a parked car under direct sun can suffer from heat exhaustion, brain damage, heat stroke or death.

References

  • Photo Credit Peter Starman/Photodisc/Getty Images
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