According to a study from San Francisco State University’s Department of Geosciences, a car heats up by 19 degrees Fahrenheit after just 10 minutes in the sun. After 60 minutes on a 70-degree day, the internal car temperature can reach 113 degrees.
These numbers get even more intense as the temperature rises outdoors. On the more extreme side, a car left in 95-degree air temperature for an hour will heat up to 138 degrees inside.
Read on to find out how hot a car gets in the sun. Plus, we’ll fill you in on how to find the hottest deals on car insurance!
How hot does a car get in hot weather?
A car left in the sun when the outside temperature is hot will heat up the most during the first 10 minutes. A recent study (the same one mentioned earlier) found that vehicles will heat up by 19 degrees during this time and will continue to get gradually hotter as time goes on.
After just an hour on a hot summer day, a car can warm up by 43 to 44 degrees!
Even if your car isn’t left in the direct sun, it’ll still get pretty hot inside. Another study showed that when left in the shade, the temperature on the inside of a car rose from 85 to 101 degrees in an hour.
3 ways to keep your parked car cool in the sun
Whether you use any of the following strategies or not, never leave children or pets unattended in a hot car for any amount of time. Even in the shade, a car’s internal temperature can reach lethal levels of heat and cause overheating, heat stroke, or hyperthermia.
A body temperature of just 104 degrees is enough to cause heat stroke. Even air conditioning isn’t enough to keep little ones safe in a parked car in hot weather.
However, if you just want to ensure your steering wheel doesn’t scald your hands and your seats don’t roast your legs, try these tips to keep your vehicle cool!
Use a sunshade
A traditional reflective sunshade is designed to redirect the sun’s rays, keeping them from reaching the car’s interior. Other sunshades are non-reflective, and they’re able to absorb rays instead of reflecting them.
In many cases, a sunshade can decrease the interior temperature of a car by more than 30 degrees in high-temperature weather. Just make sure that you’re using the sunshade correctly, with the right side facing toward the sun.
Park out of direct sunlight
This one is fairly straightforward. The sun will heat your car much faster if you are parked in direct sunlight. Keeping your car parked outside in the shade isn’t as great as parking in a cool garage, but it’s definitely better than leaving your vehicle entirely uncovered.
Invest in window tint
Various types of window tints will also help. Most window tints are designed to filter out heat-producing rays, effectively keeping the interior of your car cool.
Having tinted windows as well as a sunshade is an especially effective combo for keeping your car cooler while it’s parked in the hot sun. Just remember that not all window tints are legal depending on where you live, so make sure to follow the legal tinting guidelines in your state.
How to tint car windows
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How does the sun affect the temperature of a car?
The temperature of a car parked in the sun can go up by 20 degrees Fahrenheit in just 10 minutes. A 2005 study from Pediatrics found that the temperature of a car parked outside in hot weather can increase by 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit per minute.
Does opening the window help cool a car?
Not really. A study that found that a car heats up by 3.4 degrees per minute in the hot sun also found that the temperature still rose by 3.1 degrees per minute with the windows rolled down 8 inches.