With global warming and climate change chasing our tails, there is a constant shift in the external temperature beyond natural definitions of seasons. In places like Tamil Nadu, where its tropical climates contribute to hot sticky weather, conditions like these are exacerbated. With temperatures of 40 – 40°C recorded during summers in the states of Tamil Nadu, not only does driving become difficult, but even new, old and best used cars face a lot of heating up and engine weakening. 

One would have noticed cars getting extremely hot when parked under the sun or in summer. When this happens, not only does the interior of a car resemble a furnace to temperature; but the air conditioner system in the car also overheats and weakens in performance. 

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Why do cars get hot?

Cars work very similarly to greenhouses. Like how a greenhouse allows sunlight to enter inside and traps it, cars being enclosed spaces do the same. When sunlight falls on the car windows, the glass absorbs sunlight. This sunlight which is in the form of short-wavelength light energy is easily trapped by the interior of the automobile. Once absorbed, it is given out to the air as heat. Since there is no way for the heat to dissipate, it builds up inside the car and heats it. 

Keeping the interior of the car is important for various reasons:

  • To have a smooth, comfortable ride
  • To avoid overheating over air conditioner systems
  • To avoid sweaty steering wheels and fatalities 
  • To prevent overheating of seats that make it difficult to sit re

Tips to keep the interior of the car cool:

There are several time-tested methods to keep the car cool. These could be modifications to the exterior, interior or even installing new devices to assist in dissipating the cooped up heat inside the car. Some of these tips include:

  • Open Windows: Be it old cars that have rotating window openers or best-used cars that have your windows rolling down with the click of a button–open your car windows! When one is going to park the car for a while, letting the windows remain open, even if it is just 5 centimeters, does a great deal in dissipating the heat. Opening it more than that increases the risk of theft. The air inside the car will still be hot, but the temperature would be much less.  
  • Windshield Sunshades: These along with window sunshades help deflect some heat from the interior of the car. They are made of reflecting fabric that not only protects the car from heating up but also protects the passengers from harmful UV rays. The black color helps intensify their utility. They are easily usable due to their retractability. 
  • Backseats: Most car seats come in leather-make. Leather is known to trap heat! Many cars go for a dark backside but this could make the car susceptible to absorbing more heat. Many best-used cars are available with light-colored backside seats that reduce the absorption and trapping of sunlight.
  • Tinted Car Windows: Tints come in colors from yellow to brown. Based on the intensity of the tint, it helps deflect UV rays and heat while allowing sufficient sunlight to stream in. However, some states have laws for and against utilizing tinted windows. 
  • Sheets: If a car is going to be parked under the sun for quite a long time, it is bound to heat up even with shades. In such cases, using a light fabric cotton sheet to cover the seats and steering wheel can help reduce the heat they absorb. Having a damp cloth handy can also be a quick fix. If it is used to wipe down the steering wheel, dashboard, and seats that absorb heat quickly, the dampness of the cloth helps dissipate some of it. 
  • Solar-powered Fans: These are fans that run on the solar energy that they harness instead of letting it fall on your car and heat it. These fans need to be attached outside the windows so that they can take in solar energy easily. Previously, it used to be an issue as it might look unappealing from afar. Nowadays, these fans are mobile and can be used whenever needed.

There are several other ways by which one can keep the interior cool:

  • Use reflective paint so that the car reflects off the heat.
  • Fix the AC system before summer sets in.
  • Try to park the car under the shade as much as possible.
  • Utilize beaded seats to increase air ventilation. 
  • Use universal curtains to cut out the direct sun rays. 

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