Unless you’re one of the lucky few living in the cooler parts of India, by now, almost all of us are painfully aware of the fact that we live in one of the most torrid countries in the world.
A point that becomes especially apparent when you enter your car that’s been parked in the sun; even if it’s been there for just half an hour. While we can’t totally get rid of that ‘driving in a furnace’ feeling, the following tips will definitely offer some much needed relief and help keep the car’s cabin relatively cooler.
Keep the windows slightly open
When parked directly in the sun, keeping the windows slightly down aids in cross-ventilation and extracting heated air from the cabin. However, make sure the window isn’t rolled down too much, else, it may pose a security risk.
Buy a solar-powered fan
These are quite effective and help in keeping your car cool even during extended hours in the sun. These solar-powered fans extract hot air from the cabin (just like a fan in your computer’s cabinet) and when paired with a cracked window, are very effective. Google ‘solar auto cool fan India’ and you should find a few websites selling them and can be bought under Rs 1,000.
Get your air-conditioner serviced
It may sound obvious but many people tend to overlook the condition of their HVAC system. A clogged filter or low levels of refrigerant gas unnecessarily burden an already overworked system and significantly reduce the cooling performance. Typically, servicing the AC costs around Rs 2,500 for most hatchbacks and smaller sedans.
Use a sunshade or window visor
For all the times you can’t park in a shady area, sticking a sun shade to your windows is one of the most sure-fire ways to keep a fair bit of heat at bay. Remember to use a sunshade on your rear window as well, especially if you’re going to park it for over an hour. Also, use these visors only when parked as it is illegal to keep them while on the move.
Wrap the steering wheel with a handkerchief
Even after you’ve rolled down your windows and let the stifling air escape, often the steering wheel is just too hot to touch. Despite using window visors, it’s a good idea to wrap the steering wheel with a hand towel or handkerchief, especially around the points of contact.
Keep your belongings in the glove box
While this tip won’t make your car any cooler, it will definitely save you some cash. The strong, direct sunlight combined with a heated cabin can easily damage items such as MP3 players, CDs or your phone. If you choose to leave these things in your car, keep them either in the glove box or maybe even the boot – any area you’re sure won’t come into direct contact with sunlight.
Toss a cotton bedsheet over your leather seats
Seats with leather and art leather covers tend to get very hot when exposed to direct sunlight. Covering them with a cotton bedspread will definitely help keep their temperatures in check. Carrying a bedsheet around may get a bit cumbersome but if you have leather seats and don’t have a closed parking space, the pros of keeping one in the boot outweigh its inconvenience.
Do you have any tips that make driving in summer pleasant? Discuss them here or head to the Autocar forums here.