Free 15 Cool Hacks To Reduce Heat On Your Car Dashboard

There’s nothing quite as unpleasant as opening your car door on a hot summer day, only to be greeted by a wave of scorching heat from the dashboard. An instant discomfort can turn even the shortest drive into an unbearable ordeal. 

More than just a discomfort, excessive dashboard heat can degrade your car’s interior over time, making it especially important to address. 

This blog post will offer 19 practical tips to help you keep your dashboard – and your car interior – cooler during the hot summer months. 

By implementing these measures, you can ensure a far more comfortable and enjoyable driving experience, no matter how high the mercury rises.

How To Reduce the Heat on the Dashboard?

1. Use a Sunshade

A sunshade can be a remarkably effective tool in your quest to keep your dashboard cool.

These specially designed covers reflect the sun’s rays away from your vehicle, thus minimizing the heat penetrating your windshield. 

When positioned correctly, a sunshade can significantly reduce the interior temperature of your car, permitting a cooler, more comfortable environment upon your return. 

To install a sunshade, open your car doors to allow heat to escape. Unfold the sunshade and align it with the interior of the windshield. 

Ensure that the reflective side faces the outside to effectively deflect the sun’s rays. Some sunshades may have suction cups, which can assist in securing the shade in place. 

Close the shade within the car doors to ensure it stays fixed. Remember to remove the sunshade before driving to ensure unobstructed visibility. 

Sunshades come in various sizes, so be sure to choose one that best fits your vehicle. Remember, the better the fit, the more effective the sunshade will be at keeping your dashboard – and your car – cooler in the sweltering summer heat.

2. Park in the Shade

Parking in shaded areas can play a significant role in keeping your dashboard and car interior cool. By shielding your vehicle from direct sunlight, you minimize the sun’s impact and reduce the heat build-up inside your car. 

The benefits of parking in the shade are twofold. Not only does it provide immediate relief by lowering the temperature of your vehicle’s interior, but it also has a long-term effect. 

Regular exposure to high temperatures and direct sunlight can cause damage to your dashboard and upholstery over time. By parking in the shade, you mitigate this risk and prolong the life of your car’s interior.

Finding shaded parking spots may require some creativity and foresight. Plan your day ahead and consider the locations where you’ll be parking. Look for multi-level parking garages, tree-lined streets, or buildings that cast long shadows. 

Even if it means walking a bit farther to your destination, your car’s benefits and comfort are well worth the extra steps. 

Remember, the shade moves with the sun, so what’s in the shadow in the morning may be in full sun in the afternoon. Therefore, try to anticipate the sun’s path when choosing your parking spot. 

If shaded parking is unavailable, consider options like carports or garages that provide similar benefits.

3. Tint Your Windows

Another effective method of reducing heat inside your car is to tint your windows. Window tinting involves applying a thin film to the interior of your car’s windows, which can block a significant amount of the sun’s harmful UV rays and heat.

The primary function of window tinting is not just about adding aesthetic appeal to your car but also about creating a cooler, more comfortable interior. 

By blocking the sun’s rays, window tinting can prevent your car’s interior from heating up to oven-like temperatures, making your journey more comfortable and reducing the need for air conditioning.

Moreover, window tinting can protect your car’s interior surfaces and upholstery from sun damage, extending their lifespan.

However, it’s important to note that window tinting can be highly effective, it is subject to legal regulations that vary by location. 

Most states and countries have specific laws about the darkness of the tint, often referred to as the ‘tint percentage,’ which is the amount of light that a window tint film allows to pass through your car’s windows.

These laws are primarily in place for safety reasons, to ensure the driver’s visibility is not overly obstructed, and to allow law enforcement to see inside the vehicle. 

Therefore, before you decide to tint your windows, make sure you check and understand the related laws in your area. 

Professional window tinting services should also be able to provide guidance about what is legal and what is not.

So, while the idea of a cooler, more comfortable car is attractive, always ensure you comply with local regulations when considering window tinting.

4. Crack the Windows

Cracking your car windows can serve as a simple yet effective method of heat reduction. When your car windows are closed, the air inside can’t circulate, turning your vehicle into a virtual greenhouse as the temperature rises. 

By leaving the windows slightly ajar, you allow a means for the hot air to escape. This can help to maintain a cooler environment within your vehicle, reducing the uncomfortable effects of entering a sweltering car on a hot day.

However, it’s crucial to be mindful of safety and security when employing this tactic. The windows should be cracked open minimally – just enough to promote ventilation but not wide enough to invite unwanted attention or make the vehicle an easy target for theft or vandalism. 

It’s about finding the balance between enabling airflow and maintaining security. Always consider the environment and location in which you park your car before deciding to leave your windows cracked open.

5. Use a Dashboard Cover

A dashboard cover can be an effective tool for protecting your vehicle’s interior from the detrimental effects of direct sunlight. 

Exposing your dashboard to constant sun rays can lead to fading, cracking, or even warping due to the intense heat. 

Dashboard covers are designed specifically to shield the dashboard from the sunlight, helping to maintain its original look and condition. 

They reflect the sun’s rays, reducing the heat build-up inside your car. This preserves your dashboard and contributes to a cooler interior atmosphere.

When selecting a dashboard cover, it’s crucial to consider a few key factors. Firstly, the fit is essential; a cover that fits your dashboard correctly will provide optimal protection. 

It’s advisable to look for custom-fit dashboard covers that are designed for your specific vehicle model. 

Next, consider the material. A good dashboard cover should be heat-resistant, durable, and fade-resistant. Some popular materials include carpet, suede, and velour. 

Lastly, ensure the cover attaches securely to the dashboard to prevent it from sliding or shifting.

Investing in a quality dashboard cover can go a long way in preserving your car’s interior and ensuring a more comfortable ride during the hot summer months.

6. Ventilate Your Car 

Ventilating your car is another essential method to manage and reduce excessive heat build-up. It’s a simple yet effective way to keep your vehicle’s interior at a comfortable temperature. 

When the car is parked under the sun, the interior air heats up and gets trapped inside, causing the temperature to rise exponentially. By using the car’s built-in ventilation system, you can allow this hot air to escape, thus lowering the inside temperature. 

In conjunction with a cracked window, the air vents can create a cross breeze that pushes hot air out and pulls cooler air in. 

Similarly, sunroofs or vent windows are other great outlets for escaping hot air while allowing fresh air to circulate within the car.

Here are a few tips on using ventilation effectively: 

  1. Always aim your air vents upwards. Hot air rises, so directing the vents upward will push the hot air out faster. 
  2. If your car has a sunroof, open it slightly to allow hot air to escape quickly. However, ensure it’s not wide open, which could let in direct sunlight. 
  3. Try to park so that the front of your car faces the wind. This will allow the breeze to enter through the front air vents and push the hot air out from the rear. 

Proper ventilation is crucial in maintaining the comfort and longevity of your car’s interior, especially during the hot summer months.

7. Use a Windshield Visor

A windshield visor—also known as a sun shade—is another effective tool that can significantly mitigate the heat inside your car. 

This device is usually foldable and fits inside your car’s windshield when not in use. When spread out, it is a barrier that blocks direct sunlight from entering your vehicle through the front windshield.

Sunlight carries heat energy, which can cause the interior temperature to rise dramatically when allowed inside the car. 

A windshield visor prevents this by reflecting sunlight away from your car, thereby reducing the amount of heat absorption and maintaining a cooler internal temperature.

When selecting a windshield visor, it’s important to consider a few factors:

  1. Size: Ensure the visor fits your car’s windshield perfectly. A too-small visor would leave gaps letting sunlight through, while an overly large one wouldn’t fit properly, making it less effective. Many manufacturers offer a sizing guide to help you choose the right one.
  2. Material: The most effective visors are made of reflective material. This kind of material is designed to reflect sunlight away, minimizing heat absorption.
  3. Ease of Use: Opt for a visor that’s easy to install and remove. It should also be easily foldable and compact so you can store it conveniently when it’s not in use.

Remember, a windshield visor is an investment in your comfort and the longevity of your car’s interior. 

While it might seem like a small addition, its impact can be significant, especially during the sweltering summer months.

8. Get a Windshield Film

Just as a windshield visor helps block sunlight, a heat-reducing film installed on your windshield can further enhance your car’s resistance against heat. 

These films are designed to reflect or absorb a portion of the sun’s radiation, decreasing the amount of heat that permeates your car’s interior.

Windshield films are typically made from various materials, including ceramic, metallic, or dyed film. Each of these materials has varying capacities for heat reduction. 

For instance, ceramic and metallic films are highly effective at reflecting heat, while dyed films absorb heat to prevent it from entering your vehicle.

Installing a heat-reducing film is a meticulous process and is generally best performed by a professional. 

It involves cleaning the windshield thoroughly, cutting the film to fit it precisely, and applying it with a special solution to ensure it adheres smoothly without creases or bubbles. Once applied, the film needs time to dry and set.

Windshield films can significantly enhance your vehicle’s ability to resist heat absorption, making it a worthwhile consideration for comfort during the summer months. 

Moreover, these films can offer added privacy and interior aesthetics, making them a multifaceted investment in your vehicle.

9. Install Window Shades

Window shades are another practical solution that substantially minimizes the heat inside your vehicle. 

These shades are typically affixed to the side windows, creating a physical barrier that blocks sunlight and heat from penetrating your car’s interior. 

The advantages of using window shades are plentiful. Not only do they reduce the internal temperature of the vehicle, but they also safeguard the car’s interior elements from harmful UV rays, which can cause color fading and material degradation over time. 

Moreover, they offer an additional layer of privacy, preventing prying eyes from peering into your vehicle.

Choosing the right window shades can depend on several factors. Firstly, consider the size and shape of your vehicle’s windows – shades come in various dimensions, and you’ll want to ensure a snug fit for maximum effectiveness. 

Secondly, take into account the material of the shade. While all window shades provide some heat reduction, those made of high-density materials offer superior heat and UV protection. 

Lastly, consider the ease of installation and removal. Some shades stick onto the window, while others require more complex attachment methods. 

Given their numerous benefits and relative affordability, window shades can be a worthwhile addition to your vehicle, especially in the hot summer months. 

They are an investment in the comfort of your car’s occupants and the preservation of your vehicle’s interior.

10. Park in a Garage

Parking your vehicle in a garage is one of the most effective ways to keep it cool, especially during the hot summer months. 

By nature of their design, garages shield vehicles from direct sunlight, resulting in significant heat reduction. 

Think of a garage as a giant, insulating sunshade encompassing the entire vehicle rather than just the windows. 

This comprehensive protection ensures that every part of your car, from the steering wheel to the back seat, remains pleasantly cool, even on the hottest days.

Finding covered parking options can be challenging, especially in urban areas where parking is often expensive. 

Start by scouting your neighborhood or city center for parking garages or covered parking lots. 

Even if these options are a bit further from your destination, the added walk can be well worth it for the comfort and protection of your vehicle.

You might also consider investing in a portable carport if you have space at home but no permanent garage. 

These temporary structures offer similar benefits to a fixed garage and can be an excellent solution for keeping your car cool when parked at home.

Remember, parking in a garage or covered area isn’t just about comfort – it’s also about preserving the longevity of your vehicle’s interior. 

By limiting the amount of heat and UV rays your car is exposed to, you’re taking a proactive step in maintaining the look and functionality of your vehicle for years to come.

13. Avoid Dark Dashboard Covers

Dark colors are known for their heat-absorbing nature. When you use dark dashboard covers, they absorb more heat from the sun than their lighter counterparts. 

This is due to a principle in physics known as “albedo.” Albedo measures how much light that hits a surface is reflected without absorption. 

Dark colors have a low albedo, which absorbs more light and, subsequently, more heat.

With this in mind, opting for lighter dashboard covers is advisable. They reflect a significant amount of sunlight, thus absorbing less heat. 

This can help keep your car’s interior cooler, especially during those scorching summer months. 

Light-colored dashboard covers prevent heat absorption and reduce glare, providing a more comfortable and safe driving experience. 

Remember, every choice, even a seemingly small one like the color of your dashboard cover, can greatly affect the internal temperature of your car and, in turn, the comfort of your drive.

14. Turn on the AC Early

One practical and efficient method to maintain a cool temperature in your car involves strategically using your car’s air conditioning system. 

Instead of waiting until you’ve already started your journey, turn on the AC early — before you even start driving. 

Doing so can help circulate cool air around your vehicle, reducing the initial heat and providing a more comfortable environment from the moment you get in. 

This strategy is particularly effective during those sweltering summer months when the heat inside a parked car can escalate rapidly. 

To effectively cool down the car, start by lowering the car windows slightly to allow hot air to escape. Next, start the car and turn the AC to its maximum setting. 

Allow the air conditioning to run for a few minutes, circulating the cool air throughout the car. After a few minutes, raise the windows and adjust the AC to a more comfortable setting. 

By taking these proactive steps, you’re not just creating a more comfortable driving experience, but you’re also potentially extending the lifespan of your AC system. 

Making your car work less to cool down can reduce strain on the AC system and could lead to fewer maintenance issues down the line. Remember, a little preparation can go a long way in keeping your car cool and your travels comfortable.

15. Place a Damp Towel on The Dashboard

Another trick to keep your car cool in the summer is to place a damp towel on your dashboard. 

A damp towel has the potential to absorb heat and humidity, helping keep both inside and outside of your car at a cooler temperature. 

The best way to execute this technique is by placing a damp, dark-colored towel across the windshield, with the ends tucked in along either side of the dash. 

This solution can help keep your car cooler and longer – particularly when you’re parked and don’t have access to an AC unit. 

Moreover, a damp towel is easy to install and only takes a few seconds of your time – making it an ideal way to stay cool without having to invest a lot of effort. 

So, the next time you’re parked in the summer sun, try this simple technique and enjoy a cooler car that’s ready to go when you are. 

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