A dog with its head out of a car window

How to cool down your car in minutes

A dog with its head out of a car window

With a car’s interior reaching temperatures of up to 70°C on a hot summer’s day, getting into one is not a pleasant experience – it can feel more like an oven than a car. But don’t worry, with our top tips we’ll have you cooled down in minutes…

Fan the inside: give your air conditioning system a little head start by quickly expelling the hottest air. Simply roll down the passenger side window and swing the driver-side door back and forth several times. This acts like a pump, sucking hot air out and cooler air in – remember the air outside is often cooler that the air inside.

Turn on your air conditioning: start your car and switch the air con to its coldest setting, using the highest fan speed. Also select the external or fresh air setting, usually shown as an arrow entering the car, instead of the air recirculation mode. This will pull fresher air from outsider rather than simply recycling the hot air inside. In the meantime, open the other windows.

Adjust the airflow: since hot air rises, adjust the airflow so its blowing into the footwells. This will force the hotter air up and out of the windows. Close the upper and windscreen vents for maximum effect. 

Drive with the windows open initially: it will take a little time for the A/C system to reach maximum efficiency, so start off driving with the windows open. This will get rid of the remaining hot air.

Close the windows: as soon as the air conditioning is blowing colder than the air outside, roll the windows up and switch to recirculated air; a circular arrow. You can now adjust the air flow.

Of course, it always helps if your car is not too hot to begin with. So, where possible park in the shade, or use a windscreen shade for extra protection from direct sunlight. Leaving your windows open ever so slightly open will also help – just one or two centimeters will allow air to circulate throughout the car – but is not enough for someone to reach inside. You may want to use seat covers or even a towel to keep the interiors cool as well.