With record-breaking temperatures soaring across the country, our car interiors feel like upholstered ovens when we get inside. Sure, parking in the shade helps a little, but that’s not always an option, and when it’s upwards of 90-degrees out, it’s roasting in your car, even when you park in the shade.
One recent study measured the temperature inside cars parked both in the shade and in the sun for an hour when the outdoor temperature was 95-degrees. It found that after an hour, the average temperature inside the cars in the sun was 116-degrees, but the dashboard was 157-degrees, the steering wheel was 127-degrees and the seats were 123-degrees. Even the cars parked in the shade were 100-degrees inside after that hour, which is still way too hot.
Fortunately, there are some strategies that can help keep your car’s interior a little cooler in the scorching heat:
- Use or make cool packs for the seats - They’re like giant versions of those freezer packs for lunch boxes and coolers and you can buy them online, or you can make your own DIY version.
- Use a potholder or oven mitt for buckling seatbelts - When your seatbelt is too hot to touch, a towel will work, too.
- Drape a towel over your steering wheel - Really, having anything covering it up will help it be a little less hot when you have to drive.
- Use a windshield sun shade - These don’t do much for the car’s interior air temperature, but they do help keep the dashboard and steering wheel cooler.