Tips for Keeping Your Car Cool in Summer

If you are wondering how to keep your car cool during summer, there are plenty of simple and effective things you can do. From maximizing your air conditioning to taking advantage of a shady spot when parking, the following tips can help you maintain a cooler vehicle on those hot and humid summer days. Whether you’re doing errands or taking a road trip, summer driving can be so much better with a (literally) cool car. Plus, your travels will be all that much safer.

Block Car Windows from the Sun

Cars can trap heat, causing the temperature inside them to quickly rise, quickly endangering children and pets.1 According to one test, a parked car’s temperature rose from 85 degrees to more than 104 degrees in about ten minutes, and reached 128 degrees within an hour. A car can quickly reach close to 150 degrees inside.2

Reducing the amount of heat entering through your windows may help keep your car cooler, making it more comfortable when it’s time to take a ride. Here are some tips to help keep your car cool in the summer:

  • Sun shades: Sun shades help block the direct rays coming into your vehicle, says Consumer Reports. This keeps the temperature slightly lower, which can help your car cool down more quickly once the vehicle is started.
  • Tinted windows: A more expensive, yet constant way to block the sun, says, is with window tinting. But before you take your car in to have the windows darkened, make sure you know your state’s laws, as some have restrictions on how much or which windows you can tint.3
  • Covered parking: If you don’t have tinted windows or a sun shade, a helpful alternative may simply be parking in the shade. Consumer Reports suggests looking for a shady spot or parking your car so the sun is hitting the rear window instead of the windshield. This may help keep the steering wheel and front seats slightly cooler.
  • Cracked windows: Because windows hold in warm air, leaving them open slightly while parked will create slight airflow. If your vehicle has a sunroof, says you can also crack that or use the vent feature if it’s not raining. For both windows and sunroofs, only leave them open slightly (less than an inch) to help minimize the possibility of theft.

Keep Your Car’s Seats Cooler

Scorching seats can cause discomfort or even burns. For this reason, you might consider purchasing a vehicle with cloth seats instead of leather. If you have leather seats, you may want to cover them with towels or use cloth seat covers to help keep them cooler during the summer. Or, purchase cooling gel covers or pads.

If it’s in your budget, you might also look into buying a vehicle with air-conditioned seats, which circulate cool air around your backside. Typically, this works by utilizing a porous mesh on the car seat so air can flow through it. Fans inside the seat produce air circulation, which is diffused to spread the cooling effect throughout the seat and through the mesh, cooling the seat’s surface.

Take Advantage of Air Conditioning

If your vehicle’s air conditioning isn’t functioning properly or you don’t use it in the most efficient way, it may take longer than you would like for your car to reach a comfortable temperature. To maximize your car’s cooling ability, turn the air conditioner on full blast as soon as you start driving and lower your back windows for 10 to 20 seconds, says Consumer Reports.4 This helps push hot air out as the cool air comes out of the vents. Once you’ve achieved your desired temperature, says you should use the car’s air recirculating feature along with the air conditioning to maintain the coldest air.

Also remember to follow your car manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for air conditioning checkups. If the air coming out of the vents doesn’t feel as cold as you remember, the Environment Protection Agency says you may need your local auto mechanic to top off the refrigerant to recharge your system.5

While you can’t change the weather, you can prepare your car for the hottest months of the year. Remember these tips this summer and enjoy a cooler car.

Who is Answer Financial?

Car ownership has many ups and downs, but purchasing the right coverage is essential to making it a better experience, no matter the outside temperature. At Answer Financial, we’re happy to talk with you about the right insurance for you. Call 1-888-737-7000 to talk about auto insurance with one of our insurance experts now or visit our site to quickly compare quotes from over 30+ top-rated insurance companies.


1. “Children, Pets and Vehicles,” National Weather Service,
2. “Here's how quickly a car heats up in the sun,” Insider,
3. “All About Window Tinting (and Why You Should Care),”,
4. “5 Tips to Get the Most Cool From Your Car Air Conditioning,” Consumer Reports,
5. “Options for Recharging Your Air Conditioner,” EPA,