"In my defense... I saw 'Bring It On'..." -Anonymous Board Writer
Question #90033 posted on 07/06/2017 8:02 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

It's Summer. The place where I work has zero shaded parking, and the parking spots are all aligned north-south, meaning that all the major sun (coming from the east, and later the west) comes in the side windows of my car, thus rendering my windshield shade mostly useless. Every time I step into my car to turn on the A/C, I feel like I'm getting heatstroke and it zaps my energy for the next several hours at least (and yes, this is after opening up both front doors and waiting a minute for it to air out).

Any ideas for how to keep my car from getting this hot in the first place, under these conditions? Most of what I've found online says "park in a shaded place" and "use windshield shades", things that, as I've already mentioned, don't work in my situation.


-The Questioness


Dear scorching heat,

Here are some tips for cooling down your car:

  1. Keep your windows slightly open.
  2. Invest in tinted windows. They will block some of the sun and therefore prevent your car from getting extremely hot.
  3. Take a break from work 5 minutes before leaving and turn on your car.
  4. Invest in a solar powered cool ventilation fan.
  5. Get a seat cooling cushion.
  6. Get some shade covers for regular car windows and not just for the windshield.

Stay cool my friend!

-Sunday Night Banter


Dear Questioneer,

Keep your windows open a crack. It's not a completely perfect solution, because it's still going to get wicked hot in your car, but at least letting air circulate throughout the day helps a little bit. I've been in a similar situation to yours before, and that's what I always did.

Another thing you can do is make sure the AC in your car is completely charged up. I don't mean turning it up as high as it can go (although that helps, too), I mean making sure that the regfrigerant in your car's system isn't running low so the air it blows out is as cold as it can get. Recharging your AC honestly makes a huge difference in how fast your car cools down--when I recharged mine last year, my car would be completely cooled down within three minutes of turning on the AC, after being parked in the sun for 9 hours a day without any shade. It was truly magical. This website gives a pretty good rundown of how to recharge the AC yourself if you want to go that route, or you can google where you could pay someone to get it done near you. 

And finally, a little unsolicited advice (this is the Board, after all). Being completely sapped of energy for hours after driving in your hot car seems a little extreme, so just make sure that you're drinking enough water throughout the day. Being hydrated can help a lot. Even just taking a water bottle filled with ice water into the car could help, because when you're feeling hot and exhausted you can take a swig of ice cold water. Obviously I don't know you, and maybe you're already drinking plenty and your body just reacts poorly to heat. If that's the case, feel free to ignore this last paragraph! I just thought I'd throw it out there just in case.

Good luck! I was in this situation last summer, and I know how crummy it is. Hopefully at least one of these suggestions helps a little bit!