Keeping your car cool during peak summer days takes planning and effort. Here are some tips for those new to the game.
As the heat index becomes the daily news focus and drivers struggle to keep things cool inside our cars, there are some simple things one can do to help keep the inside of the car from being a sweat lodge. Some of the most important ways to keep your car’s interior cool start before you leave the dealership. While there are many smart things that you can do to keep a car cool that will cost you almost nothing, the most recent news is cabin pre-conditioning. There are two basic ways this works. The old-school method is simply a remote car starter. Leave your vehicle settings on their maximum cooling settings and then when you restart on your way out to the car it will already be cool when you get in.
The second way is a modern take on that same theme. Most upscale brands and pretty much any electric vehicle now have cabin preconditioning apps that you use via your phone. You simply tell the car to make itself cool before you need it. BestRide reader Jackie Ferrara (shown in our top of page image) recently switched from a dark burple (brownish purple) Lexus RX 350 to a Lincoln MKC. Jackie lives in Henderson, Nevada. This week the low will be 74 F and the high 106 F in Henderson. Summer temperatures in Nevada routinely break 110 F. Jackie told us, “The remote cooling is fantastic. I can either just start the car from my phone or I can schedule it if I want to.” She added, “By the time I get in the car is already cool.”
Opting for an exterior color that reflects heat, rather than absorbing it is a good start. White and silver are the way to go here and moving away from dark colors is always a helpful way to keep the car a bit cooler. Although exterior color seems like a big factor, interior colors are also key. A “black leather jacket” themed interior is going to absorb more heat and cause you more discomfort than will a light colored interior.
We will warn readers now that a light-colored dashboard top is not a wise move. The glare on the windshield will be much more noticeable than glare from a dash topped with black material. There are also some important seating technologies to consider. Cloth is always more comfortable than vinyl or leather in hot temperatures. However, perforated leather is also a good choice. If your budget permits, go for cooled seats which route cooled air to the seats. Jackie’s Lincoln also has cooled seats. She told us, “The cooled leather seats make a huge difference here in Nevada. They are of my favorite things about this new car.”
A moonroof is always tempting when shopping for a new ride and these can be very helpful as part of your cool-car strategy. The best ones for keeping your car cool on dry days have a sunshade that closes but still allows for ventilation when the moonroof is tipped up a bit.
Window tint is also a proven strategy that hot state residents have come to rely on. Just be sure you check your local laws on how dark you are allowed to go. Here is a quick list by state if you need one.
The last bit of advice is to use a portable windshield shade for times when you can’t find any shade to park under. In addition to reflecting a lot of the sun’s energy back out of the car, it will keep your dash and interior protected from the sun’s heat. Silver is the most effective, but they come with fun themes as well.
If we’ve left out any good cool-car tips please share them in the comments below this story wherever you find it.