How to cool your car in hot weather?

In summer, we all try to park our car in the shade. But it is not always possible to avoid the sun beating down on your car, especially during a heat wave. So, how can you lower the temperature in a car? What are the risks for babies and dogs in a car with no air? Not forgetting tyres which are also affected by intense heat.

Avoid heat inside a car: how to keep it cool in summer?

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What effect does heat in a car have on your organism?

First of all, during periods of high temperatures, you should be aware that in direct sunlight, the greenhouse effect with the windows and the lack of air circulating in the car accentuates the temperature up to 60°C in just a few minutes. Therefore, our children and pets should not be left in a car, bearing in mind that above 40°C, they face a serious risk to their health due to dehydration.

Also, how does heat affect tyres?

The sun shines directly on the rubber which is in constant contact with the scorching asphalt. Here is what you need to know about tyres:

  • Fit summer or all-season tyres: the compound is designed to withstand intense heat while maintaining a high level of performance. Driving with summer tyres will be less dangerous than with winter tyres which are developed for cold weather.
  • It is essential to check tyre pressure. Either before setting off or because it is very hot, heat can cause tyres to lose pressure. Under-inflated, or even over-inflated tyres, can affect the handling of your vehicle: less efficient braking, risk of punctures or tyre explosion. Adjust your tyre pressure according to your car manufacturer’s recommendations. In all cases, avoid measuring the pressure of your tyres in the heat or if your car has been parked for a long time in the sun.
  • Check the state of tyre wear: the tread wear indicator must not be exposed otherwise you need to fit new tyres. The tread must be clean to be able to evacuate dust, stones and water. However, heat can alter that.

Is it hotter in a black car?

Against heat, cars with a light coloured body (white, light grey, metallic, etc.) reduce the rise in temperature inside the passenger compartment. It is a known fact that the black colour absorbs more UV rays and quickly transforms them into heat, unlike white or metallic colours which reflect the light. A black car parked in direct sunlight can accumulate up to 25°C more than a white car. Light coloured and fabric car interiors are other advantages offering protection against heat in summer.

How to cool the car interior?

Easy, the trick of using a damp towel or cloth works well to cool equipment inside a car. With high temperatures; the leather seats, dashboard, steering wheel, gear knob, etc. become extremely hot! Above 50°C, you risk being burned. Bearing in mind that plastic parts inside a car can easily reach 80°C after one hour in the sun, it is better to find shelter. You can also place damp towels on the windows and in front of air vents before leaving the car. Place cotton cloths on the backrests of the seats to absorb excess sweat. It’s much more pleasant to travel in these conditions!

How to make the best use of air conditioning?

You can set the air conditioning to 5 or 6°C below the outside temperature. The air conditioning system must be maintained for it to operate correctly throughout the summer. When the vehicle is parked for a long period of time, we recommend you air the passenger compartment before setting off. As such, the temperature will drop and then you can gradually adjust the air conditioning. However, leaving the windows slightly open when stopped will not lower the temperature.

Be aware that starting to drive faster with the windows open has no effect on the hot air already inside the vehicle. It is better to start the air conditioning without opening the windows so as not to cause excessive fuel consumption.

Is the windscreen sun protector really efficient?

Car windows create a greenhouse effect phenomenon, intensifying the heat inside the vehicle.

Windows with tinted glass is a real advantage to filter UV rays. Another option is to opt for a sun protector. Roller retractable, foldable or with suction pads; the sun protector comes in different formats and textures. To prevent the dashboard, the steering wheel and the seats from overheating, a silver or golden sun protector placed against the window on the inside can be a good alternative. But sun protectors that are secured by closing the doors and which are installed on the outside are more efficient: they provide more protection against sun rays resulting in temperatures 10°C lower in the passenger compartment and up to 40°C lower on the dashboard.

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