How To Keep A Car Cool In Summer

How To Keep A Car Cool In Summer

Summer is unarguably the most beautiful season of the year. However, this otherwise beautiful season can make driving unbearable due to the heat. Living in Florida, I’ve picked up some tips and tricks to keep your car as cool as possible during the summer heat. 

The best way to keep your car cool in summer is to reduce exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. You can add window tint, use a windshield cover, or park your car under shade when possible. It also helps to provide adequate ventilation so warm air doesn’t have time to heat up your car’s interior during the summer.

No matter what car you drive, there’s nothing more miserable than sitting in a hot, stuffy interior. These tips are helpful for every driver who wants to enjoy maximum comfort when driving during summer.  

12 Tips on How to Keep a Car Cool in Summer

Park in a Garage When Possible

The obvious tip of the day: whenever you can park your car in your home garage, do it.

It’s as simple as that. Parking your car in a garage prevents the accumulation of hot air. It helps keep its exterior looking good since fading or peeling paint is less likely.

Park in a Shaded Area When Outside

The next obvious tip; park in a shaded or covered area.

Believe it or not, the average temperature inside your car is 43°F hotter than it is outside. That means that if it’s 90°F outside, your car’s interior is about 133°! 

You should park in a covered area whenever possible, even if it costs extra. When you don’t find a covered spot, park underneath trees or under the shade of a building. 

Keep in mind, however, that just because you’re parked in the shade of a tree at 9 a.m. doesn’t mean the shade is still there by 1 p.m. So pay attention to where you’re parking, when you’re leaving, and when you’ll be returning to your car. 

Use a Dashboard Cover

If your car is parked under the sun for a while, your car’s unprotected interior will get hot. Sometimes, it can even become too hot to touch, especially if you have a metal gearshift.

Keep your car cool in summer by covering the dashboard. This way, you drastically reduce the heat absorbed by the surfaces in the car. 

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), used in making dashboard covers, has a high rate of heat loss due to radiation. Hence, when the dashboard absorbs heat from the sun, they are likely to radiate such heat into the car’s interior. 

Although it can look a bit dated, the best material for dashboard covers is Polycarpet. In a pinch, however, towels or blankets are also effective. Apart from preventing heat absorption, the dashboard cover also helps prevent fading and cracking. 

Use Tinted Windows

To keep a car cool in summer, reduce its sunlight exposure. One of the first investments I made when I moved to Florida was tinted windows. 

Tinted windows are essential if you live where it gets (and stays) very hot and sunny. Also, if your job requires you to park your car outside a lot, you should consider getting them tinted. Tinted windows are effective in keeping your car’s interior cool. 

A tint’s performance is determined by how well it allows light to flow through the window while blocking the sun’s rays. This metric is known as the heat rejection rate of the tint. Higher quality tints usually have a higher heat rejection rate and a higher UV rejection rate. 

However, be mindful of the regulations concerning tinted windows in your area of residence. In the United States and Canada, different states and provinces have varying guidelines for tinting car windows. 

Use a Solar-powered Ventilation Fan

A portable air cooling fan is another viable way of reducing the heat in your car during summer. However, make it solar-powered to save on batteries.

Install a solar-powered fan on the left side of the car, angled toward the back right. An outward-facing solar panel provides electricity to the fan, which is attached to one of your rolled-up windows.

The fan works by pulling out hot air from inside the car while blowing in the cooler air outside the vehicle. These solar-powered fans will help improve cross ventilation and help keep the air inside from getting stale. 

Use a Windshield Sun-Shade

It is probably the oldest and most popular way to keep a car cool in the summer. 

The primary step in preventing temperature rise in the car is blocking sunlight from entering the vehicle, which is precisely what windshield sunshades help achieve. 

Even though many drivers don’t like windshield sunshades, it is still one of the most effective ways to cool down your car in summer.

You’ll probably find many stylish windshield sunshades. However, the quality of the sunshade is not determined by how good it looks but by how much heat it can absorb, and you should keep that in mind when buying your windshield sunshade.

Service your Air Conditioner

Before summer kicks in, service your air conditioner. You should take preventive measures to prevent your AC from breaking down during the summer.

The AC unit cannot perform optimally when the filter is clogged, or the refrigerant levels are low. 

When you service your AC, the numerous benefits include improved fuel efficiency, minimization of costly repairs, better air quality, and a more comfortable ride.

Pop your Windows Open

Opening your window a little allows hot air to rise to the top and seep through the window opening. 

Be careful where and when you do this, however. Open windows can give easy access to a car thief or allow rain from a summer storm to leak into your car. 

If you leave your windows slightly open, park your car in an area with a decent amount of human activity or surveillance cameras.

Cover any Leather/Vinyl surfaces

The leather and vinyl surfaces in the car mainly include the seat, steering wheel, armrests, and center console. Another practical step in keeping your car cool in summer is to cover any of these leather and vinyl surfaces. 

When exposed to the sun, these surfaces are typically able to absorb heat and become very hot. Apart from keeping the car cool, covering these surfaces also help to protect them from fading and cracking. The seat, armrest, steering wheel, and center console coverings usually come in a set. 

Open Your Doors and Windows before Driving

When you get back to your car, don’t just jump in and start the engine. Try to reduce the hot air in the car. 

While the air conditioning will help keep you cool, it’s also helpful to open your car’s doors and windows before you start driving. This lets all that hot air out so that when you start driving, there’s only fresh air coming in. Also, ensure that your air conditioner is running full blast and that you’re fanning the doors to force the hot air out.

Use Seat Cushions

You can drive for extended periods without getting tired or stressed out thanks to car cooling seat cushions. Seat cushions aid in improving ventilation and keep the car cool. These car cooling seat cushions are simple to install on the seat of your car and can last very long.

If your automobile doesn’t provide ventilated seats as an option, you should choose a seat cushion instead.

Place Wet Clothes Over The Air Vent

You can also place wet clothes over your center air vent. Dip a cloth in a bowl of water and use it to cover the air vent in your car as you turn up the airflow. It may not be as effective as the air conditioner, but it can give you a cool breeze in your car. 


How Can I Keep My Car From Overheating In The Summer?

If the battery is old, it may not be able to provide power like it should, overworking your car’s components. Examining the cooling system and keeping tabs on the coolant levels can prevent your engine from overheating. 

You should be sure that all fluids are at the proper levels. Regularly check and level up the motor oil, brake, gearbox, and power steering fluid.

How Can I Make My Car Cooler Without the AC?

Use portable car cooling fans. The first can be installed on the passenger’s right-hand side and the second on the driver’s left side. These will help create air circulation, which is a great way to reduce heat in a car that doesn’t have built-in ac! 

Another great way to stay cool is with a cooling seat cover. These covers have special material that draws moisture away from the skin as you sit down and cools the area around it, reducing perspiration and making you feel more comfortable.


Your car can still be your comfort zone despite a hot summer. You don’t have to suffer excessive bouts of heat every time you get back into your car. 

Start by reducing the exposure to sunlight in your car, allowing cross-ventilation, and using materials with lower heat absorption capacity. This way, summer stays magical!