10 Tips To Keep Your Parked Car Cool In Summer

The throbbing heat of summer can often be somewhat unpleasant. For drivers, getting into a boiling car that has been parked in the sun is an uncomfortable feeling. Whether it’s scalding seat belt buckets, sizzling leather seats, a scorching dashboard and steering wheel, stepping into a hot car isn’t a pleasant experience. Luckily, there are some efforts to add to your lifestyle that you can try to keep your car cooler, even if it’s parked in the sun. Here are some useful tips for keeping the interior of your car cooler during summer, especially if you’re unable to park somewhere in the shade. 

  1. Park smart
  2. Use a sunshade or window visor
  3. Use a dash cover
  4. Cover your steering wheel
  5. Keep the windows slightly open
  6. Invest in a solar-powered fan
  7. Place blankets over the seats
  8. Invest in tinted windows
  9. Have your air conditioning serviced
  10. Keep valuables out of the sun

1. Park Smart

Cars parked in shade

When away from home on a very hot day, you will ideally want to park under a garage. If that’s not available, then look for trees to park underneath on the edges of a parking lot, or the side of the road. It will be worth the bit of extra walking.

However, it’s important to note where you park and consider the time you’ll be coming back to your car, as a shaded area at 11 am may not remain a shaded area by 3 pm. 

2. Use A Sunshade Or Window Visor

Car sunshade

This is a tried and true method for keeping your car cool; this option counteracts hot interior temperatures throughout summer. Place a sunshade or window visor every time you leave your car, even if it’s just for a few minutes. You can keep your car cooler for longer by putting a sunshade in your rear window too. 

3. Use A Dash Cover

Car dash cover

A fabric or upholstered dash cover can work well to make your car’s interior feel more comfortable. A dash cover will keep your car’s vinyl surfaces from getting too hot to touch, and they protect sensitive vinyl from sun damage that can cause cracks or fading.

4. Cover Your Steering Wheel

Steering wheel cover

Even if you use a sunshade, you should also cover your steering with a small hand towel. This will help to keep the temperature of your steering wheel down so you can touch it when you get into your car after it’s been parked in the sun. 

5. Keep The Windows Slightly Open

Car window open

It’s not a good idea to keep the windows all the way open, but if you’re in a safe area, it is a smart idea to leave each window slightly open. Best to check that a hand or arm cannot fit through the window. But a small crack will allow airflow through the interior of your car and thus help to keep the temperature down. 

6. Invest In A Solar-Powered Fan

Small car fan

In addition to leaving the windows open a tiny bit, a solar-powered fan can make the inside of your car feel cool even on the hottest of days. It works by simply expelling hot air from the car and creating a constant flow of ventilation, lowering the overall temperature of your car. 

7. Place Blankets Over The Seats

Blankets for car seats

If your car has vinyl or leather seats, you probably know just how hot these materials can get when the sun is beating down on the seats. You can keep the seats cooler by laying blankets over them, and when you get back into the car, you can simply put the blankets into the boot or on the floors. Keeping the seat cool will make being in the car more pleasant on summer days, especially if you have passengers. 

8. Invest In Tinted Windows

Tinted car windows

If you plan on keeping your car for a long time, or if you just live in a scorching area, tinted windows are a smart investment for your car. Tinted windows will cool your car down much better than a window visor. But if you don’t have tinted windows, you can simply install car window shades for the summer and remove them when they are no longer needed. 

9. Have Your Air Conditioning Serviced

Car air conditioning

As summer is in full swing in most of South Africa, you’ll want to be sure that the air conditioning in your car is working efficiently. If not, take your car to be serviced so that the air conditioning system can save you from those long trips in the heat.. 

10. Keep Valuables Out Of The Sun

Girl with sunglasses

Keep valuables such as electronics, sunglasses and others out of the sun. Rather keep them safe in the glove box, tucked away underneath seats, or even under blankets in the footwells, to keep them out of harm’s way. 


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Using at least one of these methods is better at keeping your car cooler than none of them. A combination of all of these efforts, however, will work wonders. In addition to these tips, you can also try opening the doors of your car before hopping inside to let some of the heat out before you drive. If you can park your car under a shade port or garage roof, then that is the best option for keeping your car cool during the summer. While parked in a garage, it may still be a good idea to keep windows open slightly to let the air flow through your car, as garages can be rather warm areas during summer too. 
Before moving your car into your garage, you may want to have your garage cleaned professionally by SweepSouth to keep it free from clutter all season long.

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