How to Keep Your Car Cool in Summer

 

If you live in a climate that’s hot year-round, or you’re looking for creative ways to keep your car cool in the summer months, then you might want to continue reading. Although everyone knows to park in the shade and avoid direct sunlight from heating up the dash, some people don’t think to use a windshield cover or towels to keep the interior of their cars at a comfortable temperature.

Windshield Covers 

Putting a silver windshield cover in the interior of your car can help protect your upholstery, leather seats and dash. A windshield cover can also help prevent heat from accumulating in the cabin and people from seeing into your car. Also, if you travel with a laptop and keep it in the passenger seat, it will also be kept cool by adding a windshield cover.

Windshield covers work by reflecting the sun’s punishing UV rays away from your vehicle. In the hotter summer months, adding a windshield cover (a.k.a., sun shade) can reduce the temperature in the cabin by as much as forty degrees. This makes for a more comfortable ride and protects your investment. A windshield cover is a very affordable accessory that can protect your dash and upholstery while keeping everyone comfortable and happy.

Park in the Shade or Garage

Ideally, you would park your car in the shade, especially if you don’t have the benefit of a windshield cover. In cases where you can’t find an open, shaded space, park your car in a garage. Although a garage can still be a little toasty, it protects your car from the sun’s rays and should still be a cooler option. Since heat rises, look to park your car in an underground parking garage. That said, almost any garage beats having your car buffeted by UV rays all day. Especially if you have a darker toned car, realize that heat can definitely accumulate and make the ride more unpleasant than it needs to be.

Crack Down Your Windows 

A lot of heat buildup in parked cars is attributable to poor ventilation. Make sure that your windows are cracked slightly to allow good circulation and prevent heat buildup in the summer months. Just cracking your window down the length of a playing card would be enough to get the air flowing and prevent stepping into a sauna after your day out. On a similar note, you could place a solar or battery-powered fan in your car to get even more circulation going. The fan will not only create more circulation, but it will also shift any heat out the crack that you’ve just made in the window to prevent heat buildup.

Consider Adding Window Tint

Window tint can be added to your vehicle to reduce UV exposure and even prevent thefts. Another main reason people add window tint aftermarket to their vehicles is to control the amount of heat that gets let into their vehicles. Adding window tint can result in over two-thirds less solar energy seeping into your car and making the ride unpleasant. Window tint also has the side benefit of reducing your dependence on the car’s air conditioning, which saves you money and helps protect the planet.

Blanket Your Seats 

If you’re concerned about your leather seats or upholstery cracking due to exposure to the sun’s rays, then consider simply placing a lightly colored towel over your seats. Towels are obviously very easy to throw back on the floor, trunk or in your vehicle’s cargo area when you’re done using them.

10 Tips to De-Stress During Rush Hour

 

Everybody that drives more than a few miles to work or lives in a metropolitan city knows the stress that comes with sitting behind a seemingly endless stream of cars on the highway just to get to work or make it home in the afternoon. For most people, that rush hour stress is just a fact of life. Unfortunately, chronic stress can lead to health problems that are quite serious.

 

You may not be able to shorten your commute or avoid rush hour altogether, but there are some things you can do to keep stress at bay while you’re in your car. Use these 10 tips to keep calm behind the wheel, even if you’re stuck there a lot longer than you’d like.

 

1. Consider Carpooling

 

Sometimes the worst part of rush-hour is simply sitting alone behind the wheel alternating between the gas and brake pedal for two hours. Carpooling with a group you like from a designated starting point can make the trip a lot easier. It can also save you considerable wear and tear on your car.

 

2. Give Yourself Extra Time

 

Giving yourself extra time so that you’re not a stressed-out maniac in the car sounds obvious, but most people just don’t do it. Opting for that extra 10 minutes of sleep might sound like a good thing, but it’s probably not worth the extra stress in the car. However long your commute takes you, try adding an extra 15 to 20 minutes.

 

3. Pack a Snack

 

Hunger makes everything worse, and rush-hour coincides with the times people are hungriest. Pack a healthy snack like nuts or a piece of fresh fruit for the ride.

 

4. Use Alternate Routes

 

An alternate route may not be faster, but at least you’ll be looking at some new scenery. Use your GPS or smartphone to get you where you’re going in a new way.

 

5. Listen to Soothing Music

 

The sound of car horns and your own gnashing teeth isn’t soothing and makes stress worse. Bring some soothing music with you for the trip and keep it in your car. An iPod or smartphone with music options is even better.

 

6. Catch Up on Current Events

 

Current events aren’t always calming, but at least you’ll be doing something productive on the road. Find your local NPR or news radio station. Take the time to learn something about the world around you.

 

7. Relax Your Body

 

It’s impossible to be mentally stressed while your body is relaxed, so make the effort to unclench your muscles. Relaxing your body – not too limp, you’re still driving – can help cool you down during a nightmarish commute.

 

8. Use In-Car Time Wisely

 

If you have a Bluetooth enabled smartphone, taking some time to chat with friends and family is an excellent use of your commute. You’ll just be doing it at home anyway, so why not take care of two things at once?

 

9. Focus on the Positive

 

When rush-hour just seems like too much to deal with, chances are you’re starting to really feel the effects of stress. Instead of focusing on spending too much time in the car, try focusing on what’s positive in your life. If you’re late to work, at least you have a job, and hopefully one you like.

 

10. Accept What You Can’t Change

 

You’re stuck in your car, there’s bad traffic, you’re late and you’re in a bad mood. When that happens, accepting that you can’t change it, but it will be over soon, is often enough to get you through while still retaining your sanity.