How to Keep Your Vehicle Cool in the Summer

The hot summer sun can turn your vehicle into a veritable oven. Interior temperatures can quickly reach levels that are not only dangerous but potentially damaging to your vehicle’s interior surfaces. Super-heated leather or vinyl seats and steering wheels can scorch bare skin, metal seat belt buckles can flat out burn and an overheated dash can keep your vehicle’s interior temperature elevated far longer than you’d prefer. So, let’s quickly review somethings you can do to help keep your vehicle cooler during these hot summer months. 

Red Jeep Grand Cherokee in sunny parking lot with WeatherTech SunShade in windows.


1. Park in the Shade

This might seem like a no-brainer. However, making sure your vehicle is not being bombarded all day long with direct sunlight is an easy, simple and of course super cost effective solution to keep it cooler. If you’re unable to park in the shade, try to park so that your front windshield will be facing away from the sun. This way your steering wheel, front dash, front seats and everything else up front is out of direct sunlight making it slightly more comfortable when first climbing in.

2. Use a SunShade 

 Car in the shade with SunShade installed.
Blocking direct sunlight is the theme we’re going to stick with for this second tip. Obviously there’s no way to always make sure that you’re parking in a shaded area. So why not just supply your own shade with a sun blocker or deflector? These products have been proven time and time again to dramatically reduce interior air temperature within vehicles. In fact, WeatherTech’s own internal testing with our SunShade, shows a 35% decrease in dashboard temperature after 45 minutes when using a SunShade in your front windshield. Also, the WeatherTech SunShade is custom-fit for your vehicle’s specific make and model, so you know your vehicle is getting the maximum UV protection.

3. Crack Your Windows

Another quick and practical solution. Leaving your windows cracked on those warm days will keep cooler air circulating through your vehicle, and lower the internal temperature of your vehicle by a fair amount. There’s a good amount of research and studies that show having your windows open can lower your vehicle’s internal temperature by more than 20 degrees! You’ll want to make sure you keep an eye on the weather though, as pouring rain is definitely no good for your vehicle's interior. Alternatively, you can always pick up a set of WeatherTech Side Window Deflectors, and never have to worry about the summer forecast when your windows are cracked open. Also, be sure to only leave your windows open an inch or two as you don’t want to open yourself up to theft.

4. Cover Hard Surfaces

Hard surfaces like your vehicle’s dashboard and steering wheel can absorb and hold a lot of heat. Steering wheel and dash covers are a great way to take those parts of your vehicle out of the direct sunlight, thus lowering the amount of heat the interior of your vehicle will retain. If you’re looking to be a little more frugal, instead of purchasing these products you can always cover these areas of your vehicle with some light colored towels.

5. Cool Your Seats


Tan WeatherTech Seat Protector on front seat of unidentified SUV.

Similar to your vehicle’s steering wheel and dashboard, leather and vinyl seats can scorch your skin when you first climb into an overheated car. Covering these materials with a light colored cloth material (such as a towel) is a great way to keep them cooler for when you’re ready to climb in. Also, keeping direct sunlight off of leather or vinyl is never a bad idea.
If you’re looking for a better solution than just draping towels over your seats, make sure to check out WeatherTech Seat Protectors. Made from a tough polycotton twill fabric, this material won’t absorb nearly as much heat as leather or vinyl and will be sure to keep your seats protected from a lot more than just sunlight!