6 ways to keep your car cool during a heat wave

Booking a shady place to leave your car, keeping up maintenance on the cooling system and using natural ventilation are just a few of the ways you can keep the temperature down this summer.

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Temperatures are expected to skyrocket this summer in the UK. And while this might be good news for beach dwellers and festival-goers, it also unfortunately means extra work for car owners.

Keeping your car cool in hot weather is crucial so that you can commute comfortably and prevent potential damage that can be taken on when overheating.

Park in the shade

Whenever possible, park your car in a secure, shaded area or within a covered car park to significantly reduce the amount of heat absorbed by your car.

If you don't want to leave this up to chance — especially when visiting busy areas where shade might be tough to find — you can book a parking space ahead of time using JustPark and filter for 'Covered parking' so you're guaranteed a sun-free spot.

Crack open the windows

Leave the windows slightly cracked to allow hot air to escape and promote airflow inside the car. It might be a good idea not to stray too far from the car while you're doing this though, to avoid any thefts or damage to your personal belongings.

If you've got extra time, you can use your car's fan to get air flowing while the doors are open.

Use a sunshade or windshield visor

Any surfaces you or your passengers have to touch when getting into the car might be scorching for the first few minutes — and unpleasant and probably familiar feeling to most of us. To help mitigate this, place a sunshade or reflective windshield visor to block direct sunlight from coming through the windows.

Throw towels or an old t-shirt over the hot spots

It's not sophisticated, but it works: To prevent hot spots like the seats, steering wheels or metal buckles from becoming a burn hazard, use seat covers or towels, rags or old shirts to shield them when not in use. This will provide some insulation and make these surfaces more comfortable to touch.

Use air conditioning strategically, but sparingly

If you've got a modern enough car, chances are it has air conditioning. While it's a great option to cool things off initially, it's certainly not sustainable to run constantly while you're driving: it can cause a number of added strains on your car including engine performance and fuel consumption.

Use the AC at the start of your journey or in bursts on road trips, and keep things cool with the addition wind deflector that can block out harmful rays for longer journeys.

Regularly maintain your car's cooling system

Make sure you're getting your MOT completed and conduct self-checks for coolant levels, possible leaks or other issues that may need troubleshooting to ensure your car is road-safe and capable of handling hotter environments.

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