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Cool running – How to avoid roasting in your car this summer.

Updated August 24, 2013

This summer may well be a scorcher, the weather recently hasn’t been predictable, but global warming seems to be pushing the UK to temperature extremes.

There are few things more pleasurable than driving your car through the countryside with the wind in your hair, but there are few things worse than getting into a car that has been sitting in the sun for hours.

Here are a few tips for staying chilled in your car this summer.

1)      Watch where you park

This sounds obvious, but it’s an easy thing to forget, and it’s not as simple as you might think it would be to remember. Don’t get caught out parking in a hotspot just because the sun is behind a cloud, and remember that the sun moves. If possible try and figure out what is going to happen to the shade. If you are regularly leaving your car for predictable periods of time, try and pay attention to where the shade is when you pick the car up and park there instead, rather than looking for the shade at the time that you park. If you have absolutely no choice at all about leaving your car stewing in a hotspot then consider buying a shade to leave with your car. External shades will work better than internal ones, as once the energy has passed through your windscreen it is already trapped in your car


2)      Use Air Conditioning systems sparingly

You should remember that air conditioning systems cost fuel to run, and so you should switch them off when your car is cool. If you are taking any long car trips that you don’t normally make in the heat then remember to budget extra fuel (about five per cent difference is typical) rather than getting caught short of your destination because you’ve been overusing the AC.


3)      Close the window!

One thing that many people don’t realise is that opening windows also increases fuel costs because of drag. Below 50mph the cost is generally less than that of cooling the car using air conditioning, but above 50 you are probably better leaving the windows closed and using the air conditioning. If you do open the windows then pay attention to how the air flows around the cabin of the car, opening more than one window will tend to cause an air flow from one window to the other and so can increase the cooling effects, but this can potentially be distracting for the driver.


4)      Consider the paintwork

The last thing that influences the cooling of your car is the colour. A black car will absorb more heat in summer and will get hotter than a white car that will reflect more heat. So if you are going to be living in a hot climate you may want to consider this. Don’t forget that this applies to the car interior as well.


This post was contributed by Francis Lawson, a freelance writer specialising in car tips, such as where to find the best car loans and how to get UK car credit.



Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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