When it's hot outside, it gets even hotter in your car, especially if you don't have air conditioning. Bah! However, there are ways to keep cool, such as using ice packs, wearing lighter clothing, and improving the ventilation in your car. You can even take a different route or head out at a time when it's cooler.
Method 1 of 4: Using water or ice
Step 1. Drink a cold drink to stay hydrated
If your body is well hydrated, you will be able to regulate your body temperature better. Drink cool water or another cold drink like iced coffee or iced tea.
- Drink regularly during the day and try to drink at least 8 glasses of water with a capacity of 250 ml daily. If you wait until you get really thirsty, your body is already dehydrated.
- Place cold drinks in an insulated thermos or travel mug to keep them cold longer.
Step 2. Put an ice pack or ice on your wrists and neck or wet those areas
These are pulsation points, which are closely linked to the part of your brain that regulates your body temperature. Placing something cold on these spots will help you cool down faster.
- Other pulsation points include your temples and the spots at the back of your knees.
- Spraying cold water on your pulsation points using an atomizer has the same effect.
- Place a cold cloth on your pulsation points if you don't have an ice pack or ice.
Make your own ice bag
Place a plastic water bottle in the freezer for at least 3 hours or until completely frozen. Take it out of the freezer to use as an ice pack in the car. When the ice has melted, drink the water to stay hydrated and cool. This way you kill two birds with one stone!
Step 3. Hang a wet cloth in front of the center air vent in the car if air is blowing out
If air comes out of your car's ventilation grille, cool the air with a damp cloth or washcloth, even if the air is warm. Use pegs or small clips to secure the cloth to the top of the grille.
- Take some wet cloths with you to replace the first cloth, as it will dry out quite quickly.
- Freeze the cloths ahead of time to let it cool down even more. Be sure to freeze them flat so that they cover the grids when you hang them.
- Do not leave the cloths in the car when you get out, or mold can grow in them.
Step 4. Place a block of ice in a container near the floor grates to cool the air
When the air coming out of the lower grids blows over the ice, the ice will cool the warm air. To prevent the melted ice from leaking into your car, place the block of ice in a plastic container or baking pan.
- You can also put ice cubes in a polystyrene or Styrofoam container. Keep the lid off and place the container on the floor.
- In case of longer car journeys, take extra ice with you in an insulated cool box.
Method 2 of 4: Putting on the right clothes
Step 1. Choose loose-fitting clothes made of light fabrics such as linen and cotton
Tight-fitting garments trap heat against your body, while wider garments allow warm air to escape and cool air to flow in. Look for garments made of breathable fabrics that allow more air to pass through.
- Other breathable fabrics besides linen and cotton include silk, chambray and viscose.
- As a woman, wear a wide dress made of viscose or as a man, choose a wide cotton T-shirt.
Step 2. Wear light-colored clothing that reflects the sun
Light-colored fabrics keep you cooler because they absorb less heat from the sun. White is the coolest color you can wear because white reflects all wavelengths of light. However, light reds and yellows are also suitable.
- Avoid dark colors like black and navy blue. These colors absorb sunlight and heat, making you warmer.
- Take extra clothes in your car in case you sweat profusely in the clothes you're wearing.
Step 3. Ride barefoot
Your feet play a major role in regulating your body temperature. Don't make them too warm by wearing socks and closed shoes. Instead, expose them to the air so your body can get rid of the heat.
- It is not prohibited in our country to drive with bare feet or with slippers. However, if you cause an accident, you can be held liable. It is also possible that your insurance company does not reimburse all damage, even if you are fully insured.
- Driving with sandals and open shoes also helps you stay cool.
- Make sure there are no sharp objects on the floor, such as a screw or a piece of glass.
Step 4. Remove your hair from your neck if you have long hair
Because your neck is a pulsation point, your body will warm up faster if you cover your neck. If your hair is longer than your neck, tie your hair in a ponytail or bun before driving.
- Two other hairstyles that can keep the hair out of your neck are French braids and a Grace Kelly roll.
- Think about getting your hair wet before taking it off your neck. Driving with damp hair cools your scalp while the air dries your hair.
Method 3 of 4: Keeping it cool in the car
Step 1. Open at least two windows to allow air to blow through your car
If you only open a single window, the air will not circulate as well and you will probably also hear a kind of heavy bass sound that is caused by resonance at different speeds. How far you open the windows depends on how much air you want.
- If you have an air vent with a fan, open the vent and turn on the fan. Then open a window at the back far enough to let the air blow through your car.
- Opening the sunroof or rear window of your car will allow even more fresh air to flow in. When the sun is shining, put on a hat when you open the sunroof so you don't get even hotter.
Step 2. Connect a fan to the cigarette lighter if you want to improve the ventilation in your car
Buy a cheap 12-volt fan online or from an auto parts store. Clip it to your sunshade or rear-view mirror, or place it on the dashboard. Turn on the fan while you drive to circulate the air and cool you down.
- To make the air even colder, hang a damp cloth in front of the fan.
- Another option is a solar fan if the weather is very sunny and there is a lot of bright sunlight.
Step 3. Blind your car windows
This way, less direct sunlight enters your car. In our country it is forbidden to blind the windscreen with foil or a coating, because the windscreen must be at least 75% translucent. The front side windows must be at least 70% translucent. You may apply foil or a coating to the rear window, but your car must then have a right-hand exterior mirror. If the light transmission of the windscreen and the side windows next to the driver is less than 55% percent, you can be fined.
- With foils and coatings to blind windows, percentages are used that express the light transmittance. With a light transmittance of 35%, the foil or coating allows 35% of the light to pass through.
- The lower the percentage, the darker the foil or coating is.
- Take your car to a garage to have the windows tinted or do it yourself.
- Blinding your windows also protects the interior from UV rays that can damage your car's upholstery and dashboard.
Step 4. Open the windows 1-2 centimeters if you park in a safe place
This allows the warm air to escape, keeping your entire car cooler. Only leave your windows slightly open if you park your car in a place where it is unlikely to be stolen. Use common sense when deciding whether or not to leave your windows open.
- Also check the weather. Don't open the windows when it's raining unless you park in a covered spot.
- Open the windows all the way when you park your car in your own garage.
- Never leave children and pets in a hot car that you park somewhere.
Step 5. Park in the shade or in a covered area to block out the sunlight
This makes a big difference in how warm your car is when you get back. Look for trees, parking garages, or even the shadow of a tall building. The lowest level of a parking garage is the coolest.
- If you park your car in a parking lot for a long time, try to figure out which direction the shadow will move based on the position of the sun.
- If you can't find a place with shade, create shade yourself by putting sunscreens on the windows that are in the sun.
Method 4 of 4: Travel a different way
Step 1. Ride during the coolest hours of the day, such as early morning or evening
If your daily schedule allows it, travel as much as possible at times when the heat is more tolerable and when there is less direct sunlight. For example, try not to drive home in the afternoon.
- The coolest time of day is usually just before sunrise.
- Cloudy days also make it less hot while driving. However, it is better to avoid rain because then you cannot turn the windows down.
Step 2. Avoid crowded places with a lot of traffic that prevents air from flowing through your car
If you're in a traffic jam, your car will hardly move, and if your windows are open, almost no air will flow in and out. This can make it oppressively hot in the car.
- The rush hour is the worst in terms of traffic. In the morning, the rush hour is usually from 07:00-9:00 and in the evening usually from 16:00-18:00.
- Other high traffic areas and times include weekends during holidays, construction sites, and days when major events are held near you, such as concerts and sports competitions.
Step 3. Choose shady roads to drive along every day
The more you drive in the shade and avoid direct sunlight, the cooler you and your car will be. Streets with trees and roads within built-up areas often have more shade than highways. If possible, opt for back roads with trees when you go to the store or to work.
Keep in mind that you may be in the car longer if you drive along back roads or streets in built-up areas. Adjust your travel time accordingly
- A car can get dangerously hot inside if it's in the sun. So never leave children and pets in the car.
- Do not use dry ice in your car. This displaces the oxygen as it sublimes and can suffocate you if you are in a confined space.
- Be very careful when driving with flip flops on. They can get stuck under a pedal.
- In the Netherlands it is prohibited to blind the windscreen and the front side windows.
- Weigh down all light objects before opening the windows so they don't get blown in your face or out the window. Place heavy objects such as shoes on it.