I’d guess that pretty much every car owner has experienced the stifling discomfort of a journey in a hot car.
Whether you are the driver or the passenger, in that moment of hell-like heat, you probably just wished you could do something about it.
Moreover, as the summer months approach, it becomes almost critical to find solutions that help to keep your car cool before, during, and after journeys.
The worst thing about it is that it doesn’t even have to be summer for this problem to arise. Cars are like a greenhouse and are very good at locking in heat directly from the sun.
For this reason, even when the temperature outside is as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit, if the car is in the wrong place for the wrong amount of time – i.e. in direct sunlight, it could end up like an oven before too long.
Never fear though, as below we have a comprehensive list of gadgets and methods to help you keep your car cool in the summer, especially if you don’t have AC or it is working.
Table of Contents
“The Noggle?”, I hear you ask. Well, let me explain what exactly a Noggle is.
It is essentially a hose-like device that can be attached to the vents of your AC system. The Noggle can then be moved to pretty much any part of your vehicle to allow the air conditioning to reach that area.
The Noggle really is an excellent idea, that is flexible and is provided with hoses of 3 different lengths. This allows you to have it in the front without an extra-long hose getting in the way, but equally allows the passengers in the back seats to use with the longer hose.
One slight criticism is that the air supplied via the Noggle is not of the same coolness when compared to directly from the vent. This is a small thing though, as the benefits are still felt via the Noggle.
The flexibility really works well to allow the individual to move the Noggle around to blow the cool air where ever they need it most. Great for kids to use safely.
Electric Dashboard Fans
Fans are a proven method for providing receive from heat. The electric dash fan is a simple but effective gadget that will blow cool air to you really effectively.
Electric dash fans can be connected to the 12v car cigarette lighter outlet, which eliminates the worry of needing to supply a load of batteries.
Having said that, there are options that can also be battery-powered, which is great if you want to use them outside.
They come provided with adhesive pads on the foot of the electric fan which allow you to place it on the dashboard safely. This also allows flexibility to point the fan anywhere.
One issue is that typically there isn’t anywhere to mount these types of gadgets for rear passengers. A workaround is to perhaps hang on the back of the front seats
Baby Car Seat Sunshade
In the summer your car will likely be exposed to the sun while stationary making the seats searingly hot to sit in for you and your family.
An excellent way to ensure that at least your baby and small children are comfortable is to protect their car seats from the heat.
Baby car seat shades are the way forward regarding this, providing a preventive solution.
Although there are many options out there, we have seen that the OxGord Car Seat Sunshade has a received a high level of feedback from customers.
Electric Beverage Cooler/Warmer
This device will go some way to providing a cold comforting beverage during the long journeys in the summer heat.
Beverage coolers will plug into the 12v cigarette lighter outlet and effectively refrigerate your drink. What’s more, the temperature can be adjusted to also heat up your beverage, so will also come in handy in the colder months too.
YETI Rambler Tumbler
The Yeti Rambler tumbler is basically an insulated mug that will hold your beverage and keep it cool for many hours. That’s right, we said many hours. Even ice will remain intact for that time.
Yeti has grown to become a trusted brand in the insulated cooler and drinkware range and continue to keep introducing innovative designs.
Whatever your preferred drink is, just pour it in the Yeti Rambler, and cover it with the provided easy to use seal, and you’re good to embark on your journey with a cold drink ready to refresh you in the baking heat – whenever you need it.
While they provide a wide range of insulated food and beverage solutions, the Yeti Rambler in particular works well in a car.
Whether it’s the 20 oz or 30 oz tumbler you use, it is designed to fit in a standard size cup holder due to the narrowed down bottom half.
Although not the cheapest option available, it is certainly one of the best of this type.
Steering Wheel Cover Sun Shade
Hot steering wheels are inevitable if your car is parked in direct sunlight for a sustained amount of time. What’s worse is that it can take a fair amount of time to cool down, which is far from ideal when you are in a bit of a rush.
An easy solution to this is to invest in a steering wheel cover sunshade. These will reduce the potential temperature by enough to at least make the steering wheel feel normal to hold, even after extended exposure to direct sun.
Much like with the child seat sunshade we discussed earlier, the steering wheel cover sunshade works by reflecting the direct sunlight away from the steering wheel, making the build of heat reduce significantly.
This gadget really provides an easy win if hot steering wheels are a problem for you.
Electric Headrest Fan
Your rear-seat passengers will thank you for getting this. Here we have a fan that will is designed to hang on the headrest of the front seat and provide your kids and pets with some much need fresh air in the back seat.
This can be plugged into the 12v cigarette lighter outlet, and will comfortably reach the headrest without distracting you from driving.
We found that the XOOL Electric Headrest Fan is a great option that is lightweight and easy to install.
Cooling Car Seat Cover
You’re about to enter your car, but I have two questions for you. Has your car been sitting in the sun all day? Are you wearing shorts? I genuinely feel for you if the answer to both of these questions is yes.
The intense heat that greets the back of your legs is eye-watering. But what if you could do something about this?
Well, you can with a cooling seat cover.
Connected to the 12v cigarette light power outlet they will remain on as long as you need.
The cooling seat cover works by cleverly providing circulation of air through the seat cover, which provides a breathable surface and perhaps most importantly helps to cool the seats quickly.
Retractable Windshield Sun Shade
Using shade is the obvious method for protecting against the sun. Be it using an umbrella (more on that later), or a curtain-like structure.
Windscreen Sunshades have long been a go-to method for protecting car interiors against heat. They are effective and practical.
In our opinion, one of the best options is the ECFAC retractable sunshade. This can be trimmed down to fit pretty much any windscreen.
A bonus benefit is that that it will protect against UV rays and therefore prevent discoloration of upholstery pigment
This is a great gadget for those who struggle to find some shade to park under or don’t have a garage to store their vehicle in.
When fitted, the car umbrella (or car tent) works by providing a full canopy over your car. This will ensure that your vehicle does not get exposed to direct sunlight and will therefore not overheat as a result.
This piece of kit has been tried and tested and is effective against direct sunlight, hail, and is waterproof. This is an option worth going for if you want to protect the whole of the car interior against overheating.
Solar Power Ventilation Fan
This is a nifty option for those that want to enter a fresher feeling vehicle. What this device does is use the energy from the sun to help it power the fan. There is no need to use batteries or plug into a power outlet. Solar energy will do the work.
The solar-powered fan helps to remove the hot air building up in your car and replace it with the cooler air from outside.
An option to consider is the HONUTIGE Solar Powered ventilation fan. All you need to is hang over the window, switch it on, and leave it to work. Be aware that you will only be able it switch it on if there is sunlight to power it.
While this won’t provide game-changing results, if you are situated in a location that gets extremely hot summers, then this will contribute to the solution.
Covering your windows is a sure-fire method to protecting against heat caused by direct exposure to sunlight.
You can get large ones that will protect the windscreen and options that will protect the side windows. It will also help to protect the little one from glaring sunlight.
Bear in mind that these are simpler than the retractable alternative mentioned above.
An excellent option to consider is the EcoBour sunshade available from Amazon. Very easy to install and does the job.
A lot of the tools we have listed above will provide effective solutions to your car heat issues.
However, while we can recommend devices and tools to help you keep your cool during the summer months, it’s also important to understand that there is still much you can do also.
We’ve listed a few things that we feel are effective strategies to avoiding heat build-up from direct exposure to sunlight.
Park In the Shade
If you do find shade then you will have hit the jackpot.
Parking under shade will virtually guarantee that the interior of your car does not heat up to the excessive levels usually experienced with direct exposure to the summer sun.
Turn Your Car Around
If, however, you find it difficult to come across a shaded area to park then one thing you can try is to turn your car around periodically throughout the day.
This will ensure that one side of the interior of your car will not get overexposed to the sun and thus heat up as much as normal.
Also, this will give you an opportunity to open a few windows and allow some fresh air to enter your car. Always helpful, so matter for how long or short you do it for.
Move Your Car Throughout the Day
If you are able to, you can go one further than simply turning your car around, and actually take your car for a short spin.
Allow the windows or AC to work their magic and freshen the air inside the car. At the very least use this as an opportunity to find a shaded spot.
Invest In Window Tinting
Tinting your windows is an effective way to reducing the effects of direct sunlight on car heat.
If you are not confident in doing it yourself, then there are plenty of specialists out there that will provide this service. Just shop around for a deal that you are happy with.
Note: How dark you are allowed to tint your vehicle is dictated by state law, so we recommend that you research what you will be allowed to do in your location.
So what else should you consider to help keep your car cool?
How can I keep my parked car cool in the summer?
There are several ways that will help to keep your parked car cool in the summer. Try the following:
Park in a shaded areaThe main culprit for heat build-up in a car is the direct sunlight that it is exposed to. The shade will reduce this.
Choose you parking spots wiselyTry to park somewhere that know will get minimal exposure to the sun throughout the day. The north side of a tall building in the northern hemisphere, or the south side of a build in the southern hemisphere, will get the least amount of sun throughout the course of the day.
VentilateNot just AC, but opening windows to allow air to flow through your vehicle will not only help to keep the ambient temperature down but will also reduce the build-up of smells. Do this at your own risk. If you are parked in a high-risk area for car crime then re-think this step.
Ventilate while drivingTake your car for a short spin with the windows wound down. This will allow air to circulate in your vehicle more efficiently than while parked.
Declutter your vehicleIf you have loads of bulky items literally taking up space, then this will restrict the airflow around your car.
Choose your parking spots wiselyTry to park somewhere that know will get minimal exposure to the sun throughout the day. The north side of a tall building in the northern hemisphere, or the south side of a build in the southern hemisphere, will get the least amount of sun throughout the course of the day.
Is a black car hotter than a white car?
Yes, apparently so. Autotrader once took two very similar cars, one white and the other black, and let them both sit in the baking sun for the same amount of time.
After taking the temperature of each interior, they found that the black car was hotter at 130 degrees Fahrenheit, while the white car was 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
So, there you have it. There are clearly quite a few solutions that can help in our quest to keep our cars cool, especially in the summer months.
Not only did we list a great set of tools to help with this but have also given what we hope are practical and useful ideas on how to protect your car against the effects of direct sunlight without the need to purchase too many gadgets.
Have any other suggestions? Drop your suggestions in the comments section and we’ll have a look.