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Picture this: it’s a scorching summer day, you get to your car, and the cabin is practically an oven. You stick to the leather or burn against the cloth, cooked by the midday sun. We’ve all been there, and it severely sucks. But here are some maintenance tips and tricks to keep your car’s interior cool.

2022 Chevy Equinox interior | Chevrolet

A foreword about different colored car interiors

Oftentimes, people purchase a car based on interior color. After all, lighter colors help disperse heat, which makes your interior cooler in sunny states. Or does it?

Consumer Reports just conducted a test with two cars, one with a light interior and the other with a dark interior. Both were parked outside in 78-degree weather, and their interiors reflected that temperature. But after an hour, the cabins heated up to over 100 degrees, with the dark interior soaking up a little bit more sun. But this just shows that, no matter what car you drive, if it’s parked in the heat, it’s going to get hot.

So rather than choosing a car interior based on the heat, base it on how much dirt you track in, or what colors you like the most. Yes, light interiors will spare you a couple of degrees. But in my eyes, once you get past 90, there’s no going back. With that said, all these tricks will apply to you in helping dispel the heat.

Things you can buy that’ll keep your cabin cool

Ice painted cool music car from behind
An Ice-Cool Car Interior | myLoupe/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Get it? It’s an ice-cool interior… anyways.

The safest, simplest solution is to purchase a windshield visor, which can serve as decor to give your car a bit of personality. After all, it’s not actually the interior color that determines how hot the car is, but the amount of glass. Remember using a magnifying glass (and the power of the sun) to set leaves and twigs on fire? Maybe it was just me, but imagine that in your car.

Covering up the glass is an excellent way to make sure your cabin’s temperature doesn’t rise as much. It’ll still be hot, but things on your dash won’t get sun damaged. And if you’re worried about the dashboard itself, consider buying a dash cover. That way, the material of your dashboard stays just as cool as the cabin itself. You could also buy a car cover, but those are a hassle to put on and take off every time, and might damage your car.

If you’re really desperate to keep things cool, you can also purchase a small, solar-powered fan. Just pop one or two of those on your dash and let them run, as they’ll keep the car cool on the brightest days. It’s like having the air conditioner on almost all the time, without needing to remote start your car.

But what if you’re like me and hate spending money? Are there things lying around the house that’ll help cool down your car’s interior?

Makeshift ways to cool down the cabin

Folded Blankets | Annie Wells/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

If you have an excess of sheets and blankets, take them out of the guest room and put them on your seats. Whenever you’re ready to go, just take the blankets off, and the seats will already be significantly cooler. You could also use bath towels, though they aren’t quite big enough for full seat applications.

Speaking of towels, throw a small one on your steering wheel. Even if you don’t cover the seats or the windshield, covering the steering wheel makes your driving experience all the more bearable. I have a black steering wheel myself, and if the sun hits it just right, I can’t drive until the AC kicks in (unless I want to burn my fingers).

These tips were provided by CBSN, and while the list does have a few other suggestions, we’d refrain from using them. One of them is to leave the windows cracked, but that’s just inviting thieves to break-in. A better solution is to roll down all your windows with your key fob as you approach the car, a feature you may not have known about. Do a little research online to see if your car has a feature where, by pressing unlock twice, you can open the windows and sunroof (if applicable).

Lastly, and this might be obvious, try to park in the shade or in a garage. But that’s more common sense than anything.

None of this information applies to you if either 1.) you live in a cold state or 2.) you have a remote stater. So if you read this far, I can’t help but wonder why, but I hope this information helped.


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