Editor’s Note: The above video shows how heat can impact your car.
TEXAS (KXAN) — Oh, summer. The sun is high, the UV index is something fierce, and stepping inside of your car feels like a personal sauna gone bad.
While we can’t wave a magic wand and discontinue the triple-digit heat, here are some tips and tricks on how to help minimize the heat inside your car during the unforgiving summer months.
Invest in a windshield sunshade
Does it look like you’ve rolled out some tinfoil on your windshield? Absolutely. But windshield sun covers have been shown to substantially reduce internal car temperatures while you’re away from your vehicle.
Braman BMW Miami reported a good windshield sun shade can reduce both cabin and dashboard temperatures between 8% and 25%. Not only does it help reduce heat, but also sun exposure to soft-touch plastics within the vehicle — which can cause wear and tear over time if not prevented.
Cover up interior parts of your vehicle
Whether you don’t like the look of a windshield sun shade or are looking for some supplementary aid for your vehicle, covering up key parts of the interior of your car can help offer some additional relief, per Garage Living.
Covering the steering wheel, leather seats and/or dark interior seats will reduce the amount of heat absorption — and your hands and legs will thank you for it.
Tossing one or two light-colored blankets on top of the steering wheel and seats will provide some reprieve. Drivers can also consider investing in lighter-colored fabric seat covers to use during the hotter times of the year.
Tint your windows
Tinted windows can reduce the amount of light passing through, blocking out some of the thermal rays and, by extension, heat. They can also cut on harmful UV rays passing through the glass.
An important factor to keep in mind is each state has varying laws dictating whether tinted windows are permitted and, if so, the maximum tinting level allowed. The American Automobile Association breaks down various tinting regulations across states, while the Texas Department of Public Safety has a complete analysis on Texas-specific window tinting standards.
Invest in a solar-powered ventilation fan
Solar-powered ventilation fans attach to the outside top of a rolled-up window and feature an outward-facing solar panel that operates it. The fan works by blowing out the hot air from inside the car while pulling in the — somewhat — cooler air from outside the vehicle.
If you invest in two of these fans, you can set them up on either both front or both rear windows and create a cross-ventilation breeze, helping decrease the temperatures inside even more.
Park in a garage when possible
Shaded parking coverage will, surprise surprise, block out extra sun rays and keep your vehicle’s internal temperature lower. If you don’t have access to a personal garage, a public parking garage or an apartment complex’s carport, parking underneath trees at the edge of a parking lot or under a building’s shade can help.
Keep windows open during first few minutes of driving
It might seem silly, but with it taking your vehicle’s air conditioning a few minutes to kick into high gear, opening your windows while beginning your drive can help more quickly dispel hot air. Once your AC is properly cool and running, close your windows to prevent the colder air from escaping, per RAC.
Use the lower air vents
When you first start your car, turn your air vents downward to help send the air-conditioned air into the base of the vehicle. Because hot air rises, this action will force the hot air already present within the vehicle up and out the open windows.
While doing this, shut off the upper vents to keep all the air going in the same direction.