How to keep your car cool without air con

Wednesday 14th August 2019



It’s summer, it’s warm, you’re out driving – the weather outside is certainly suggesting air conditioning is required to keep you cool! But what do you do when it isn’t blowing cold air as it should – or even if your vehicle doesn’t have air con at all? A driver’s summertime bugbear, having no cool airflow can initially seem like a nightmare. However, there are ways to keep your car cool in summer without air conditioning!

Summer driving tips – how to keep your car cool in hot weather

Parking

A simple tip, parking your vehicle in a spot that avoids direct sunlight can do wonders for keeping your car cool on a summer’s day. Steer clear of spots that have no shade – as when you come to return to your vehicle after a long day at work, the last thing you’ll want is to feel like you’re stepping into a furnace.

Another handy tip is to consider the position of the sun. You may park up in the shade initially, but return to a car parked up in full sunlight, right in the heat of the afternoon. Park strategically by pre-empting where the sun will be when it’s time for you to get back into your vehicle – and jump back into a much cooler car for your drive home.

Window shade

Having shades or visors on the windows can keep your car significantly cooler. This would be especially helpful if you have young children – attaching a suctioned window shade to the rear windows will not only help to keep the vehicle cool, but keep direct sunlight off the kids too.

Pulling down the sun visors on the passenger’s and driver’s side won’t stop the sunlight completely coming through the windscreen – but it will help keep the car a bit cooler. Also, if safe to do so, you could leave the windows partially open when you’ve parked up, to allow some fresh air to get in while you’re away from the vehicle for short periods.

And remember – the quickest way to ventilate your car interior when it’s hot is by opening all the windows, and sunroof if you have one, to expel the hot air.

Cool the interior

Having leather or vinyl seats in the heat of a warm summer’s day can lead to a hot, sticky and uncomfortable driving experience. But these seats can be kept cool by simply throwing a blanket over them when you exit the vehicle. It can be quite uncomfortable to sit on hot leather in the heat – so keep passengers happy by preventing them from burning the back of their legs!

Similarly, you could also throw a blanket, or even a tea towel, over the steering wheel if the material is particularly prone to heating up. A steering wheel cover is often a good investment come the summer months, as you’ll be able to avoid awkward and uncomfortable driving as your steering wheel cools down.

Travel time

If you know you’ll struggle to keep cool without aircon, it may be wise to consider the times you’re travelling. Driving when the sun is low and the temperatures are cooler will allow for a better driving experience – whether that’s getting up slightly earlier for work in the morning, or running some of your errands at night instead.

And of course, ensure you listen to your body – if your vehicle is just not cooling down (and you’re definitely not cooling down either), you could be at risk of dehydration. Know when it’s time to pull over, take a breather and get some fresh air.

If your vehicle has air con but you feel it’s not working effectively, make sure you book in to have your air conditioning re-gassed or cleaned at your nearest Formula One Autocentre. In the meantime, take a look at our guide on common air conditioning mistakes you could be making in order to keep your air conditioning working as effectively as possible all year round.

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