5 Ways to Beat the Heat if Your Car Doesn’t Have Air Conditioning

Summer is upon us, which means it’s a great time to go for a drive. There’s almost nothing like hitting the open road in your car with the air conditioning blasting and watching the miles slip by. But what if your car doesn’t have air conditioning or the system is currently broken? Here are five ways that you can beat the heat this Summer if you don’t have the luxury of cold air coming out of your car’s vents.

Roll down your windows

 Queen Elizabeth II was seen driving her Range Rover.
Queen Elizabeth II was seen driving her Range Rover. | (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Have you ever heard the term “2-60 air conditioning?” It means that you roll two of your windows down and go 60 mph on the freeway to cool off. It’s a pretty obvious no-brainer that if your AC is on the fritz, then you can roll down all your car’s windows to stay cool. According to BobVila.com, this will create drag and decrease your car’s fuel economy. But who cares about saving gas when it’s super hot in your car?

Park your car in the shade

The Smart Car parked in the shade of an oak tree.
The Smart Car parked in the shade of an oak tree. | (Marjie Lambert/Miami Herald/MCT)

After sweltering in a semi-hot car with the windows down, the next best thing you can do when you get to your destination is to park your car in the shade. Parking the car in the shade will ensure that your car stays cooler, and if it’s in a safe spot, cracking the windows will help as well.

Use a sunshade

Munchkin Brica Sunshade
Munchkin Brica Sunshade | Amazon.com

Another way to keep your car cooler when it’s parked, especially if you can’t find a shady spot, is to use a sunshade in the windshield. There are also sunshades that you can buy for the side and rear windows on the car, which should help as well. According to Popular Science, these sunshades can reduce the heat in your car by 15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. You can currently find sunshades for around $20 on Amazon.com.

Tint your windows

A man takes the interior temperature of a car.
A man takes the interior temperature of a car. | Getty Images

Your car’s windows create a greenhouse effect on your interior and it’s especially hot if you drive a larger SUV or sedan. Another way to keep the heat out is to tint your car’s windows using a ceramic tint. It can cost a few hundred dollars, depending on your application, but the reduction in heat and UV rays is well worth the added cost.

The door fan

McLaren Honda's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso's father Jose Luis Alonso opens a car door.
McLaren Honda’s Spanish driver Fernando Alonso’s father Jose Luis Alonso opens a car door. | (QUIQUE GARCIA/AFP via Getty Images)

While everything we previously mentioned will undoubtedly cool down your car’s interior, there is one weird door trick that Popular Science recommends. You’ll need to open the driver’s side door and then roll down the passenger-side window.

Then “fan” the driver’s side door by opening and closing it several times in a row. Doing so will circulate the hot air quickly and make it cool enough to get inside and it’s quicker than driving with the windows rolled down. Also, it might look weird, but it’s a perfectly effective method.

Just because you don’t have AC, it doesn’t mean you must suffer

Driving around in a car without air conditioning might feel like a torture chamber on wheels, but it doesn’t have to be. Sure, these tricks might not be a substitute for the nice cold air that you get from a working AC system, but they are definitely better than doing nothing about it. Beat the heat and keep your car mostly cooled with the aforementioned tips.

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