Heat wave? 6 tips for staying cool in your car

3 min to readYour car: tips & tricks
Almost every summer we experience at least one heat wave. Especially in your car, it can get very hot. Here are a few simple tips to keep you cool.
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1. Check if your car is ready

After a cold winter, it is always a good idea to bring your car to a garage for maintenance. But when it gets really hot outside, there are a few things you should certainly check:

  • The engine fluids: warm temperatures have a significant effect on your engine. So it is crucial that your oil level and coolants, among other things, are ready for these weather conditions. Especially if you plan to drive a long distance, there should be enough coolants to prevent the engine from overheating during your journey.
  • Tyres: hot temperatures can increase the pressure in your tires and cause a blowout. Therefore, regularly check the condition of each tire and, if necessary, stop at a gas station to monitor and adapt the pressure. The correct pressure can be found in your car’s maintenance manual.
  • Windscreen wiper fluid: this is probably the least important element in this list, but driving with a dirty windscreen is obviously not pleasant. Particularly on hot summer days, a real graveyard of insects can form on your windscreen, disturbing your view of the road.

1. Use the air conditioning wisely

The air conditioner seems to be the most important part of your car on hot days. Yet it is not a good idea to run the system at full speed. The greater the difference with the outside temperature, the greater the risk of catching a cold. Ideally, you should maintain an average temperature of 22 to 23 degrees. A good air conditioning system normally blows fresh air after just a few seconds, but you can of course also simply open all windows for a few minutes when you leave. 

For the consumption of your car, it also best not to put the air conditioner on its coldest setting. In an electric car, sensible use of the air conditioning system can even increase your driving range.

2. Park in the shade

Your car can really be the equivalent of a baking oven when it is parked in full sun. So when you find a parking spot in the shade, be sure to make use of it. In any case, always have a sunshade in the car. You can put that on your windscreen to protect the interior. The steering wheel, for example, will not be burning hot when you want to leave. Bright sunlight can also make a crack in your window burst faster. Although it is of course an even better idea to have this kind of damage repaired before it can become a problem.

3. Avoid dehydration and make sure to have water on board

On hot days it is even more important to drink enough water. Therefore, always provide one or more bottles of water in the car. If you are sufficiently hydrated, it is easier to keep your focus on the road. And you never know what you might encounter. A long traffic jam can make a journey a lot longer than planned. It is best not to keep your water in the trunk, so you can easily reach it. The temperature in the trunk is also often a lot higher than in the nicely cooled passenger compartment.

5. Prepare for problems

A bottle of water is one of the things you should have on board to prepare yourselves for problems. With extremely hot temperatures, it can never be completely ruled out that you will end up at the side of the road with a mechanical failure. Therefore, you should also provide an emergency kit with general tools to fix simple problems yourself without having to wait for assistance.

6. Be careful with children and pets

We end with a tip that seems obvious, yet every summer we hear stories of pets being trapped in a scorching car. As soon as you park the car, the air conditioner stops working and conditions in the car can become devastating. Therefore, make it a golden rule to always take your children and pets with you when you leave the car. If you are driving with children, we would also like to refer to the fourth tip to make sure you have a bottle of water or something else refreshing on hand.

Finally, it is generally recommended to stay indoors during the hottest times of the day. Especially between 12 and 4 pm, the sun can make it extremely hot outside. So it is healthier to opt for a cool place. If you can plan your trip in the morning or evening, you will be doing yourself and your car a big favor.

Published at June 1, 2021

June 1, 2021
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