| Car Life
A car with an animated fan blowing on it to represent ways to keep your car cool

The snow and ice of winter is long gone, and summer’s here! But with the summer comes scorching hot days, meaning at least a portion of your drive time will include red-hot door handles, bare skin against toasty seats, and an AC unit that just doesn’t seem strong enough or fast enough to stop you from turning into a giant puddle of sweat. To help make every trip (both long and short) in the car more bearable, keep the following tips in mind!

Timing is Everything

In such a busy world, it’s not always easy to schedule all of your errands, shopping trips, and appointments. But when you can, save your longer outings for later in the day. If you get your groceries at night, you can spend more time picking out the perfect produce because the summer sun won’t turn your car seats into a burn risk.

Seek Shelter

Whether your day has you hitting the big shopping mall across town or hopping from one friend’s house to another, street-level parking may seem like a luxury. After all, it’s incredibly convenient. Simply pull into a spot, park your car, and walk a few feet to your destination. But if a parking structure is available, head that way instead to keep your car out of the harsh midday sun. Mobile phone apps like SpotHero can even help you find a garage parking spot ahead of time!

Made in the Shade

If there’s no parking structure available, choose street-level parking near a tall building that will shield your vehicle during shorter trips. Keep in mind the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, so if you find a shady spot, it probably won’t stay that way all day.

Another way to give your car a break from the summer sun? Put a windshield sunshade up! While sunshades won’t totally stop your car from heating up, they will definitely make a difference. The best news about windshield sunshades? You can typically find them for less than $20, meaning they’re more affordable than parking in some downtown locations!

Use the Science of Airflow

If you need some immediate relief when you get back to a hot, stuffy vehicle, try out this little hack in the video above. Open one of the front windows. Then, head to the opposite door and flap it open and closed five times. This should create a one-way airflow to send some of that suffocating air out of the car, lowering its internal temperature. And it’ll allow you to breathe easier until your AC can catch up to the sweltering summer heat.

Roll ‘Em Down

Sure, rolling down your windows and opening up the sunroof may sound like a no-brainer. However, sometimes traffic, distractions, or even the smells of the city can stop us from rolling the windows down, even though it provides relief while your AC starts to work its magic.

With advancements in technology, some cars even allow you to lower the windows either by pressing on and holding down the “unlock” button on the key fob, or by turning the key in the driver’s side door and holding it there briefly as the windows go down. This means you can start to cool your car down without having to set foot inside the stuffy vehicle. As far as cool car features are concerned, this has to be the next best thing to cheap car insurance. Just make sure to stand back on particularly warm days because the heat escaping from the vehicle can really sock you!

How do you keep your car cool during hot summer days? Lots of ice cubes? Running a fan off of your car charger port? Let us know in a comment below!