6 ways to keep your car cool

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Feeling hot and bothered in a car that’s like a mobile greenhouse can be one of the downsides of summer motoring. Overheating can make you feel annoyed or ill and can easily ruin your journey.

But, you you can beat the heat in your car this summer. Follow these tips to help you chill out…

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Keep your cool

Park in a garage or shady area if at all possible. Invest in a front windscreen sunshade made of mylar which will reflect the sun’s rays and help keep your car interior cool.

Rear seat side shades are also useful for shielding children and pets travelling in the rear seats. And don’t leave either in a hot car – when it’s 22 degrees outside it can reach 47 degrees inside the vehicle within an hour.

Avoid hot wheels

Painfully hot steering wheels are challenging to get to grips with. Apparently some Antipodeans have resorted to oven gloves to tackle this problem!

Options more suitable for the British climate include draping a towel or cardigan over the wheel or investing in a fabric steering wheel cover.

Sit down carefully

Vinyl or leather seats can get so hot that sitting down can pose a challenge, especially in shorts when you risk burnt thigh syndrome.

Fabric car seat covers can solve the problem – and because they’re removable it means it’s easy to sort out any ice-cream spills. Etsy have some fun and funky ones.

Alternatively, draping a towel or blanket over the seats before you leave your vehicle will help. And while you’re at it, cover up metal items like seatbelt and child car seat buckles so you’re not wincing when you have to handle them.

Relaxing on the beach

Sally AnscombeGetty Images

Add some ice

Fill some water bottles three-quarters full and pop them in the freezer. Once you’re on the go passengers can use them as ice packs on their forehead and wrists and as they defrost everyone will have access to chilled water.

To keep food and drink chilled in the car, opt for an electric coolbox. These are powered by your car’s 12v accessory socket, a.k.a. the cigarette lighter. We like this 14 litre coolbox from Halfords.

Put your feet first

Avoid driving in bare feet as if your feet get sweaty they could slip on the pedals.

Flip flops aren’t a good choice either as they slip off too easily. While driving in flip flops isn’t illegal in itself, wearing them could lead to a careless driving charge if they impede your ability to drive safely. Under Rule 97 of the Highway Code, drivers are advised they must have “footwear and clothing which does not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner”.

To make sure you stay safe and still keep your feet airy in the hot weather, opt for deck shoes or trainers.

Control the climate

Not sure whether to opt for air-con or an open window? The AA advise it depends on the circumstance. If you’re driving slowly on local roads, opening windows will keep you cool. If you’re on a motorway, the wind resistance created by open windows will use more petrol, so switch on the air-con instead.

With modern cars, climate control is a more advanced option than air-con. With this you can set the precise temperature you prefer as you would with a house thermostat. And certain car manufacturers, such as Volvo and BMW have apps linked to the climate control features which allow you to contact your car remotely to raise or lower the temperature in advance so you can ensure returning to a cool car.

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