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It hot! How to stay cool in the car

You don’t need to be hot and bothered in your vehicle no matter how hot it gets outside. There is a shed load of tips all over the internet on how to keep your cool, which on many levels is paramount. A cool, calm driver is a safer one, and passengers are happier and will, therefore, be more positive and not complain to the driver. With the temperature set to get hotter, reducing stress levels and staying alert in conditions that are not ideal for driving will lower accident risk levels. There are simple tips that may not seem important, but if mixed together will ensure that everybody inside your vehicle will ‘keep their cool.’

To avoid stress levels caused by heat, planning the journey, wearing the correct clothing, having enough fluids, and being courteous to other road users will help keep you cool. Maintenance may seem to be the last detail that needs to be addressed, but in fact, a poorly maintained car could leave you and your family at the side of the road under a hot midday sun, waiting for emergency services to arrive. Here are some of the best tips for keeping cool.

Before setting off

It’s happened to us all. On a hot day, we have entered the car and find that the temperature is unbearable. Exposure to sunlight means that the cabin becomes like an oven, and if you are with children, it doesn’t take long before they start complaining. An obvious solution is to make sure that you park your vehicle in the shade to lower the intensity of the heat. Another method that works and doesn’t cost any money is to leave blankets on seats when the car in not in use. The blanket will take all of the heat, but the seats will be protected from the direct sunlight. When the passengers and driver get in the car, the blankets can be put in the boot.

As an alternative method to blankets, a sunshade can be used inside the windscreen. There are also ones designed for the back seats, which can also be used when the car is moving to keep passengers shaded.

When you return to your vehicle on a hot day, another tip is to wipe down the safety belts, steering wheel, and gear shift with cold water. This water will evaporate fairly rapidly, taking away some of the heat.

Although it is never wise to totally leave your windows open on a hot day, when the car is parked, it can help. By leaving a small crack of space in all of the windows, you will be surprised how effective it is to ventilate the cabin in your absence.

Keeping cool when the car is moving

To keep cool when the car is being driven, many cars have tinted windows, which help quite a bit. Because heat rises, the best way to stay cool is to push the hot air from the bottom spaces of your vehicle by only using the bottom vents. Make some adjustments to the fan settings and leave on maximum. Shut the upper vents, so only the bottom ones are functioning. By leaving the windows open, the hot stale air will escape. As soon as the hot air is pushed out, close the windows and stay cool for the rest of the journey by using the upper vents.

If you have air conditioning, then it is important that you use it to maximum effect. Don’t set on recirculation, but make sure that it is on ‘fresh air’ mode. Recirculation will use the interior air, and works at its maximum after the vehicle has reached the desired temperature. When you first access AC use fresh air mode for at least ten minutes before switching. Recirculation is excellent when you are stuck in a traffic jam, as it keeps out those nasty carbon monoxide emissions from other road users.

Bizarre tips for staying cool (life hacks)


  • If you don’t have air conditioning (AC), then try and make your own. Place a wet piece of material over the cars central vent. The air that comes through the vent will be much cooler. You do, however, need to change the fabric at regular intervals.
  • This may seem a bit weird, but driving in your bare feet will keep you cool. This works because you lose a lot of heat through your feet. Before doing this, you should check on the legality, as it is illegal in some parts of the world.
  • Driving with wet hair will keep you cool.


Keeping cool saves lives and it is vital that you drive in a comfortable condition, not matter what the weather is like.